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

My First iRelaunch Return to Work Conference

... and why you should join us on October 4 in NYC

The first time I attended an iRelaunch Return to Work Conference was in 2011. I had just been hired by iRelaunch Chair and Co-founder, Carol Fishman Cohen, and believe it or not, I was just as nervous as any relauncher attending. At that time, I was still learning what iRelaunch was, I was meeting sponsors and speakers for the first time, and I wanted to make a great first impression on my new employer - whom I had never met (we all work remotely).

I remember being in a room full of professionals, many of whom (I thought) had more degrees, from better schools, more lofty work experience, and better connections than I had. You might think they would have been intimidating. But nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything, they were a little timid at first at first as they met each other. I realized, quickly, that every single one of them was there to find a community, to feel a little less alone in their doubts, and to overcome the discouraging feelings they dealt with on a daily basis. Fortunately, that was soon to change.

It all started with Carol. With her sense of humor, experience as a relauncher herself, and her conviction to change the re-entry culture, Carol related to every person there. Her keynote set the stage for the day – understanding, instruction, and opportunity. 

Carol's enthusiasm is infectious and I loved her engaging, personal demeanor. She really makes you feel like this is so possible and it's clear how dedicated she is to helping relaunchers return to work. I especially loved her self-deprecating humor and the photos were a hoot.

The funny pictures and the personal story take the edge off my panic about this process.

She makes the (returning to work) seem possible and fills me with hope.

I appreciate that she shared her mistakes and vulnerabilities. It was as useful as sharing her successes.

As the years have passed, I’ve watched as brilliant experts on returning to work have joined Carol on the stage and in breakout sessions.  One after another they share their most effective advice about resumes, interviewing, networking, confidence, types of relaunches, salary negotiation and more recently, social media.

(The comments below refer to speakers and/or programs that are on the 2018 Conference program again this year):

The iRelaunch Conference is a phenomenal event. I had no idea what to expect, but the speakers were so on point and at the top of their game.

Assessing your career options was great - made me really think about what I want to do, and what I like to do. 

Great presenter and handy tools to help reevaluate career objectives and kickstart an effective job search.

Great opportunity.... it's incredibly valuable... you can network with your tablemates... and we can seek out the people who most fit our circumstances (occupation, fields, etc.). I had a chance to talk with 2 table hosts unique to my job search that were a perfect fit and wish I had more time!

The presenter at my table happened to be Mary Dell from Grown and Flown - she was great, very helpful and shared lots of details. Since I was a writer and TV news producer around the world, for Reuters for 15 years, I will definitely try to contact her. about possible submissions. 

Loved the interviewing strategies!!! Everyone could use this information!!! Thank you for the follow-up resources!

… practical advice that applies to everyone.

Great content here - the speaker was well prepared and moved the content along. Good handouts and examples. Some resume myths busted.

The iRelaunch conference provides the perfect forum for those starting on their journey back into the workforce after an extended break!! I learned so much about interview strategies, LinkedIn, advice on addressing my career break.

Throughout the day, you’re learning how to talk to potential employers about your career break, how to overcome that feeling that you’ve been out too long to find a great opportunity, how to best present yourself during social and professional networking, on your resume, on interviews. You’d think that would be enough. But, you also have numerous breaks to talk directly to Conference sponsors who are hiring or who have return to work programs custom-made for relaunchers. These aren’t just people who have job openings; these are employers who have opportunities specifically for women and men who have taken a career break.

After returning home from my travels and spending some time with my family, I decided I wanted to practice law again. The search was not an easy one, particularly given the reason for my hiatus; but I was fortunate to come across the OnRamp Fellowship program which provides a re-entry platform for women returning to the workforce after a career break. Through the program, I was able to interview with several law firms. I am now an associate attorney at Goodwin Procter LLP. 

I attended the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference because I knew I had great obstacles to overcome since I had not formally worked in about 15 years. During one of the small group sessions the exercise was to break down what we loved and hated doing in our previous positions. One of the group members remarked that most of what I loved (training, hiring etc.) was in the HR field. It made me think, and I sought out advice from HR professionals.

(The) iRelaunch Conference at Columbia University surpassed my expectation mainly because there were opportunities to talk face to face with the representatives of companies ready to hire relaunching applicants. This is very rare in a technological world where the hiring process feels very automated and not personal.

The conference provides fantastic opportunities to connect with employers and most of all, everyone was encouraging!!

What strikes me most, 11 Conferences later, is the change I have seen every time, in every single attendee, as the day progresses. No more timidity, no more doubt, no more discouragement. Instead, hundreds leave feeling confident, with new connections and friendships, the passion they had forgotten, and the tools to achieve their goals.

I hope you’ll join us on October 4th at Columbia University in NY.   

After a seven-year career break, I relaunched my career … I attribute my successful relaunch directly to the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference.

The iRelaunch Conference is a phenomenal event. I had no idea what to expect, but the speakers were so on point and at the top of their game, the event was so well organized, and attendees were so supportive and wonderful to connect with, I wish I had known about this much sooner.

The conference was full of dynamic intelligent women and definitely gave me the boost I needed. The program made me rediscover my self- confidence. I knew it was there, just hiding deep inside! I am thrilled to be back to work and found the transition far easier than I expected.

My head was spinning by the time I left the iRelaunch workshop!!! I was both inspired and encouraged that getting back to work is, and will be, a reality! I have conquered the first BIG hurdle... I showed up!!! I am excited to use the tools and strategies I learned to get BACK TO WORK!!!

It was a comfort to see many others who were in a similar place in their lives. I was energized by networking and left feeling better equipped from all that was shared and incredibly inspired to take the next step - to pursue a part-time consulting position. Shortly after I began networking, a colleague for whom I had completed a project years earlier asked me to join a human resources consulting group. 

The Conference was outstanding. I had expected 25% useful information and 75% fluff, but it was 100% great information and time very well-spent. It gave me confidence in my abilities and background, and also in my conversations with people about going back to work Soon after, I ran into a high-school classmate whom I hadn’t seen since graduation some 26 years before. Feeling confident, I was excited to tell him that I was beginning a job search. It turns out, he was running an executive search firm that specialized in the healthcare and pharma/biotech industries—a perfect match for my consulting background. The conversation evolved into a job offer with his company.

I attended the iRelaunch Return to Work Conference in New York City. It provided me with invaluable information and motivated me to take the leap into entrepreneurship as a solo practitioner.

Attending the iRelaunch Conference gave me the confidence I needed to jump into my reentry planning. More than anything I learned how taking time away from the career path is not a liability anymore. I walked away with practical next steps, clear resources, and inspiration for the job search ahead. I no longer feel alone or overwhelmed. Thank you!

I have never been more eager to complete a survey immediately after attending a conference as I am for this. I feel so energized, motivated and focused! The conference has helped to calm the anxiety around re-entering the workforce by assisting in highlighting a path to get back out there. I have actionable items for the next few weeks to work on!

Learn more about the Roadmap

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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