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Who's Hiring? We're Naming Names (Again!)

By Nikki Steingold

Nikki Steingold joined the iRelaunch team in 2011 as Director of Marketing and retired in 2020 as Chief Marketing Officer. During her nearly 10-year tenure at iRelaunch she built the iRelaunch Return to Work Roadmap based on Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin's bestselling book, "Back on the Career Track" (affiliate link) and conceived and lead the development of the award-winning "3, 2, 1 iRelaunch" podcast series. Nikki currently provides pro bono marketing experience for non-profits through Catchafire and is founder of the popular blog "Not Yet Dead."

When I began writing this blog, I took a moment to re-read a post Carol wrote in November 2008 (in the midst on the 2007-2009 "Great Recession) entitled "Who's Hiring? We're Naming Names!" Carol wrote, "This past Wednesday, 120 attendees participated in our one day return to work conference, the Career Relaunch Forum, at George Washington University (GWU). Part of the day’s agenda was an employer panel, where companies spoke about their interest in the pool of talent on career break, even in the midst of this difficult economy. Additional employers set up booths at the event in order to network with mid-career professionals on career break. Our Career Relaunch Forum sponsors ... are not all hiring at the rates they were before the economic downturn, but they are hiring all the same."

Although we certainly recognize relaunchers' fears in the midst of rising unemployment rates, we are nevertheless encouraged by the job opportunities that do exist - and the eagerness of employers to fill those jobs with qualified, mature candidates - and that's where relaunchers excel!

The iRelaunch Job Board is not only a place to find jobs and give employers an opportunity to look at your resume - it is solely for relaunchers and the employers (like Facebook, Bloomberg, Eaton Vance, Johnson & Johnson, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Medtronic and others) who want to hire you. You won't have to explain why your career break won't affect your job performance - these employers know about your career break and, for many, that's exactly why they want to hire you. They recognize the diversity and experience you bring to the job. They are eagerly searching the resumes you've uploaded to the Job Board and have begun reaching out to candidates (without having listed a particular job). We urge you not to be concerned about the number of jobs on the Job Board at the moment. We've only opened our Job Board to employers for job posting in the last month, and our conversations with employers indicate that their job posts will grow exponentially over time.

And, similar to Carol's note in her 2008 blog, we are excited that employer sponsors are enthusiastically signing up for our 2020 iRelaunch Return to Work Conferences (we have an exciting announcement to make about our Conferences next week!). These employers are clearly indicating their support of relaunchers and their desire to share their opportunities with you.

Another great resource for relaunchers is the iRelaunch "Champion Employers" page. These employers offer career reentry programs specifically for the relauncher community and are included among others on our "Return to Work Programs" archive.

While relaunchers can rest easy knowing that the iRelaunch Job Board, our iRelaunch to Work Conference sponsors, our "Champion Employers," and our listing of career reentry programs are specifically targeted for those who have taken a voluntary career break, there are many opportunities for qualified employees through other aggregators. Today, LinkedIn's Andrew Seaman, Editor for Job Seekers & #GetHired at LinkedIn News, published this list of "companies from industries spanning from technology to retail (that are) hiring to meet increased demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic."

Another sector that we often mention is academia, and hercjobs.org today lists 27,775 job opportunities. These jobs include legal counsel, nursing, payroll representatives, administrators, academic counselors, program analysts and many more job functions. Were big proponents of finding "unexpected jobs in unexpected places" ... so keep your eyes open for those unexpected pools of opportunity!

iRelaunch has been through the "Great Recession" of 2007-2009 - one of the worst economic downturns in history. In fact, as a proud member of the Baby Boomer generation, I've personally lived through 10 recessions - and I've found professional opportunity throughout all of those during which I was of working age. Yes, you might find yourself making some concessions during these difficult times, but you will succeed in your job search. Because relaunchers put the "R" in resilience!