What is a relauncher?
Relaunchers are mid- to senior level professionals who have taken an extended career break and want to return to work.
There's more than one reason to take a career break!
There are so many reasons why someone would need to or want to take a career break - extending far beyond the usual suspects of child care or elder care. Especially during the pandemic, career breaks can be for anything from a personal health issue, recovering from an accident or taking care of one's mental health, expat or military spouse experience, taking time off after military service, grieving the loss of a family member or close friend, pursuing a personal interest or passion, taking a sabbatical, the decision to "un-retire" - the list goes on.
However, the relauncher talent pool is predominantly female, as the largest subset of the relauncher population is women who take career breaks for childcare reasons.
The truth is - relaunchers are everywhere!
Relaunchers are represented in almost every age, gender identity, income level, marital status, family make-up, class status and household types. They're mothers and fathers, sisters, brothers, neighbors, parents, cousins, in-laws, veterans, military spouses and community members.
Everyone knows a relauncher!
Education, experience, energy and enthusiasm...
Relaunchers are highly educated, have significant work and life experience, and are exceptionally motivated to resume their careers. They have a mature perspective and are in a stable life stage. During their career breaks, relaunchers have had the opportunity to step back and reflect on where they can add the most value at an employer; they are not in “exploratory career mode” as they might have been earlier in their careers. They have worked on teams, with different personalities and work styles, and faced work deadlines. They do not need to re-learn these skills.
Another hallmark of relaunchers is their energy and enthusiasm about returning to work precisely because they've been away from it for a while. Managers consistently report that relaunchers bring an excitement to their work teams because they are so thrilled to be working again.
Concerns about technological obsolescence? Ageism? Bias toward resume gaps?
Relaunchers have proven time and time again that being technologically obsolete is a temporary condition. There have never been so many high quality and often free resources to upskill and reskill as there are today, and relaunchers serious about relaunching are taking advantage of them. Beyond this, keep in mind that employer return to work programs are competitive. Those relaunchers prioritizing getting updated in their field are the ones who rise to the top and are selected to participate.