iRelaunch team member, Anne Zacharias, shares her return to work journey and tips she learned along the way.
After leaving my corporate VP of Sales position in my 50th year, I
stayed home with my kids for eight years. When I left my corporate job, I
was retiring; I had worked nearly 30 years. After my youngest went to
college, I unexpectedly found I wanted to return to the corporate
world—I missed working and was looking for a new challenge. But at age
58 (and with a career break) big corporations were not interested. One
manager said, “She doesn’t have enough corporate experience.”
Eventually I found a straight commission consulting job with a small productivity firm. After doing that for 3 1/2 years, I was hired as Director of Business Development by iRelaunch. I started this position at age 62—and I’ve been here nearly two years. It allows me to follow my passion (helping people, mostly women, return to work after a career break) and use my selling skills as well as my strategic thinking. It’s a full-time position—but most of the time it doesn’t feel like work because I love the mission. It’s also very entrepreneurial –a new experience for me.
I'd like to share some tips I learned after my "retirement" that helped me get back to a career I love. I hope these help you too:
1. Go for it!
Nothing happens for those who wait for life to happen to them. Women: Read *The Confidence Code" (affiliate link) and then go for it!*
2. Strategically volunteer
Love pets? Volunteer at a shelter. Love kids? Volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club. Want to empower women? Volunteer at Strong Women, Strong Girls. This will help you figure out what you love and what you want to do in your “second act.”— And it gets you out of the house.
3. Meet people and network
85-95% of jobs are obtained by networking—plus it’s so interesting to meet interesting people. (And it makes us more interesting.)
4. Pay it forward
Help someone achieve what they want to achieve (Very Zig Ziglar, but it’s true!)
5. Be a life-long learner
“I don’t do Instagram” sends a bad signal. If you don’t “do Instagram” then try it. Read books, take online courses, be informed and open. Don’t just talk about the past, look toward the future. Nix all talk about health issues—marks you as OLD!! If you’re in your 60s you're probably going to be around for 20+ years, so create your future. Don’t be a victim—who wants to be around that?
* Claire Shipman, co-author of "The Confidence Code" was a guest on our 100th episode of "3, 2, 1, iRelaunch."