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What is a relauncher?

Relaunchers are mid- to senior level professionals who have taken an extended career break and want to return to work.

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Why do relaunchers take breaks?

There's more than one reason to take a career break!

There are many reasons why someone would need to or want to take a career break. Career breaks for childcare or eldercare are most common. Other reasons include a personal health issue, an expat or military spouse experience, taking time off after military service, bereavement, pursuing a personal interest or passion, taking a sabbatical, "un-retiring"- the list goes on. The commonality is that these reasons are all unrelated to work performance - they are for an external factor.

The relauncher population is predominantly female, with the largest subset being women who take career breaks for childcare reasons.

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!

Recruit from diverse relauncher talent pool
What makes relaunchers an attractive talent pool?

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.

Barriers to reentry concept
What challenges or barriers to reentry do relaunchers face?

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.

When relaunchers apply for roles after career breaks, they are not doing it on a whim. Expect significant thoughtfulness and deliberation on the part of the relauncher about where they can add the most value at an employer before they submit their application.

What is a returnship anyway?

Learn about the most popular and effective way for relaunchers and employers to engage with each other.

Are you a relauncher?

We've got comprehensive resources to get you back on the career track!

Relauncher Launch Pad

Or, start with a few of these resources below...