Greetings! I am Anne Zacharias!
Greetings! I am Anne Zacharias, Senior Director of Business Development at iRelaunch. I became excited about iRelaunch when a friend of mine told me about this amazing company that connects people returning to work after a career break with companies that want to hire them.
Five years after joining the company, I am still as passionate about iRelaunch’s mission of “Normalizing Career Breaks” as when I started. In my role, I’ve had the opportunity to partner with dozens of companies who recognize how talented relaunchers are and want to bring them into their organizations. I’ve had more than one client call relaunchers, “gems!”
Before my eight-year career break, I worked in sales until I was nearly 50. Then my nanny of 12 years became ill and had to quit. At the time, I was VP of Sales, on a plane every week, and a single mom with two young kids. Something had to give.
While on career break, I checked off things on my bucket list--I joined a book club, volunteered on local boards, raised money for charity, became a freelance writer—and of course shuttled my kids to their activities, cooked a lot of dinners and washed hundreds of loads of laundry. I even remarried along the way!
When my youngest entered college, I was ready to go back to work. A friend referred me to a corporate job, but I was told that I didn’t have enough corporate experience. (Really??) Later, another friend referred me to PEPworldwide, an entrepreneurial consulting organization, and I became a productivity consultant for PEP® for four years until I discovered iRelaunch.
As a fellow relauncher, I know it can be daunting to reenter the workforce. Some of the challenges I experienced are highlighted in this Wall Street Journal article . The biggest lesson I learned is to use your network. You never know who might have a connection that leads to a job. (Read: let everyone know you are returning to work.) Every conversation will refine your elevator pitch and updating your resume will remind you of your many accomplishments. Yes, you do have value!
Relaunching is a journey—and iRelaunch has so many tools that can help make the journey a little less lonely and a lot more productive. The Facebook group gives us an active community. The success stories on iRelaunch’s website show there is light at the end of the tunnel, and the podcasts share practical advice like negotiating, interviewing, dealing with ageism, building confidence, and preparing for a video interview. There’s even a step-by-step guide, Roadmap, to guide us through the return to work process!
The one thing we consistently hear from companies is that they are “blown away” by the quality of the relauncher talent. So, no matter where you are in your relaunch journey, remember that you are a GEM!