Information, helpful advice, and commentary about topics relevant to relaunchers.

"A few things to keep top of mind as you go forward with your search"

Shelley O'Connor, Chairman and CEO of Morgan Stanley Private Bank and Morgan Stanley Bank, sets the agenda for a motivating and productive iRelaunch Return to Work Conference in NYC

A cold and rainy day was no match for the energy and enthusiasm of more than 600 attendees at the 26th iRelaunch Return to Work Conference at Columbia University in NYC on October 3rd. Representing our Lead Sponsor, Shelley O'Connor shared the company's commitment to providing opportunities to relaunchers, noting that Morgan Stanley has been the Conference Lead Sponsor every year since 2014, and that they are also entering the 7th year of their own Return to Work program (app deadline has been extended to October 20th). 

Shelley spoke about her mother’s experience returning to work after raising her two children. "There were no support networks like iRelaunch back in the 1970s and ’80s," she said, adding that her mother had to do it all on her own. She entered the travel industry and eventually owned her own agency, where she made a point of mentoring other women looking to return to work, and in fact, hired many of them. Shelley's advice for relaunchers included:

  1. Find the right company. Do your homework on the company … and make sure any offer is challenging, allowing you to broaden your skillset.
  2. Take time to make your decision. Where does it feel like a good fit?  Does the culture and purpose of the business align with your priorities and values? Could you see yourself in the role and company long term?
  3. Consider your needs and the needs of your family. Make sure you are able to find an employer who supports your work / life balance needs.


Following Shelley's welcome, Carol gave her keynote address (always a crowd favorite) mixing humorous anecdotes with the challenges she experienced as a relauncher, and the strides she and iRelaunch have made in changing the return to work culture. Carol also shared a special video welcome from Patricia Heaton and the entire cast of new CBS comedy, "Carol's Second Act" - as another example that the concept of relaunching after a career break has become normalized as a career path for returners of all genders, expats, veterans, post-retirees, eldercare-givers and more. 

We started filling the Relauncher Toolkit next, with advice and best practices on "Leveraging LinkedIn for Your Career Relaunch," "Resumes for Career Re-Entry," "Interviewing Strategies for Relaunchers," and "Salary Negotiation for Relaunchers."





"... Kendall Brown kindly assisted me how best to incorporate (into my resume) my military experience as well as medal received for performance that exceeded expectations."


With a lot of information to process, relaunchers enjoyed lunch while talking to one another and sharing their experiences. According to many relaunchers who attend the Return to Work Conferences, these are among the most valued conversations of the day.





"I thought the iRelaunch conference was amazing! The content was spot on and having the ability to do some on-site networking was cool too. It was great to get those of us in this position inspired, educated and connected."


Addressing relaunchers' comments about rebuilding confidence after a career break, Dr. Wendy Borlabi, Performance Coach for the Chicago Bulls, shared her tips on maintaining belief in yourself despite the challenges you face. 



Breakout sessions offered relaunchers the chance to visit with our employer sponsors* (Lead Sponsor,  Morgan Stanley; Sponsors American Express, Barclays, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Macquarie, Moody's, OnRamp Fellowship, UBS, Carlson Capital, LP, Columbia University Human Resources, DTCC, Ford Motor Company, HERC, HSBC, Natixis, RBC Capital Markets, and Societe Generale), attend our two employer panels: "Re-entry Employers on Hiring Relaunchers," our "Assessing Your Career Options" workshop, "Coffee Talk" informal discussions with iRelaunch coaches and others with specific experience in re-entering the workforce, and the "Non-Traditional Relaunch" panel discussion.



"I was able to meet multiple organizations that communicated their needs and location for their Return to Work program. In some cases, I received exact contacts. I was able to identify nine organizations whereby I will be filing an application"









Back together at the end of the day, attendees of the 2019 New York Conference had a chance to ask those few remaining questions of Carol and Michelle, shore up new connections on the Conference app, and leave feeling confident about themselves and optimistic about their relaunch.





"I am very grateful for this experience! Today was filled with great inspiration, confidence boosting and meeting with many wonderful people. I gained clarity and better understanding of the direction I’m going in. Once again thank you for your hard work and dedication to making our relaunches easier and more effective!"

Want to see more? Take a look at our Instagram story for a glimpse of the day in action. 

We hope you'll join us at an upcoming iRelaunch Return to Work Conference. Click here for more information on our Conference plans for 2020

*Note: Thanks to CBS "Carol's Second Act" for hosting the Recharge Lounge at our Conference. Our appreciation also to our Contributing sponsors, CFP Board Center for Financial Planning, LinkedIn, M.M. LaFleur, and SWE, who, although they were not in attendance, provided support to our Conference.

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A 5-Phase online workbook and support program to help you go from relaunch readiness assessment to negotiating your benefits package. Your self-paced tool for returning to work. 

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