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Episode 187: Relaunching in Civil Engineering as a Military Spouse, with Krystal Shorts

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Episode Description

Krystal Shorts is a civil engineer and a military spouse working on her master’s degree in civil engineering at the University of Kansas. Currently stationed in Kansas with her husband, a Navy Officer, she is relaunching her career after a 4 ½-year career break because of childcare decisions and military moves. Krystal is working in an internship with Apex Engineers that almost didn't happen when the COVID lockdown occurred and work went remote. We are going to learn exactly what Krystal said to keep the internship opportunity, how she is relaunching her technical career while moving locations every few years, and the creative way she used LinkedIn to expand her professional network and learn about her industry.

Read Transcript

Carol Fishman Cohen: Welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice, and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. Today we welcome Krystal Shorts. Krystal is a civil engineer who is currently working on her master's degree in civil engineering at the University of Kansas.

She's relaunching her career after a four and a half year career break because of childcare decisions and military moves. She and her husband, a Navy officer, are currently stationed in Kansas, and she's also working in an internship with Apex Engineers while she's obtaining her professional engineer certification. Krystal found out about the internship and first spoke to a recruiter about it at a University of Kansas job fair. However, after the COVID lockdown, when work went remote, she was notified that the internship would be canceled for that winter break. Krystal proposed a few ideas and convinced Apex to keep her internship, even though it meant onboarding remotely. We're going to hear more about exactly what Krystal said and how she's relaunching her technical career as a military spouse, and while moving locations every few years.

Krystal, welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch.

Krystal Shorts: Thanks for having me, Carol.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Thanks for being here. And I can't wait to hear about how you're restarting your career. But first I want to go back in history a little bit and hear more about what factors were involved in your decision to return to work. How did you end up going back to school for your master's degree?

Krystal Shorts: After being home for a couple of years, my husband and I decided that for me to return to work was probably going to be the best thing for our family. And so we thought I would go back around the time all of our children were in school full-time. But, given our circumstances and different things in our family, we decided for me to return to work sooner rather than later.

I actually started this journey about the end of 2018, when I decided to go back and get my professional license and take the PE exam, that's what it's called for civil engineers. Since then, we've both just seen the experience of relaunching a career is not quite linear or easy, so we've definitely been through a few trial and error seasons. This right now is me relaunching a career by going back to school and trying to find a place to rebuild skills through something like an internship, and that's where we are now. And I'm really glad that we've done that. I'm excited to be where I am, but it has come after a few years of being on this journey.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right. And we really appreciate you talking about that and giving us those details because that's what happens during a relaunch. It's hard to predict and things come up, it takes longer than you think, or the pathway is different. So this thought process is exactly what our audience wants to know about because we're all going through the same thing. But your situation is different because your husband's in the military, you're a military spouse. Can you talk to us more about how you think about these short and longer term career planning decisions in light of being a military spouse and part of a military family where you're moving around?

Krystal Shorts: It's definitely, like I said, it has gone through a lot of trial and error. There were times where we thought getting into the federal industry through something like the Navy, working as an engineer there would be a really great fit. But we've come to find it's not that easy to go into that, even with the efforts the military has made to include military spouses within hiring. The moving really is the biggest hurdle I think for us as military spouses, and the restarting and reconnecting with businesses and industries in whatever location we're going to.

With me as a military spouse, I think the biggest thing I've learned is my varied experiences are actually a benefit for whatever future job I have. I think it also teaches us how to pivot with a short amount of notice, how to be resilient despite the changes, and having to recalculate things. And also with going back to school, it really has been a military benefit through the GI bill. We realized my husband wasn't going to be using that GI bill for himself, so he transferred it to me and to our children. So the GI bill has actually been a huge resource. I am very grateful that my husband has made that decision to share that with us, and that's made it possible for me to go back to school.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Got it. Thank you for talking about the GI bill and how it can be used in different ways, I wasn't aware of that. I just want to switch gears a little bit and talk about, you're in a technical field, and I wanted to have a better understanding of how you kept up or if you kept up with technical changes that were going on in civil engineering while you were on career break.

Krystal Shorts: The short answer? No, not really. When I first had that decision to resign and stay home, it was actually in the mindset that I didn't need to go back to work personally. We were grateful to be able to have me stay home and that we could rebudget things. We went from two cars to one, and we went through some financial planning in order for us to budget, to be on one income. But all that to say, I thought this was just going to be it, that I would remain home and we would raise our family, and that would be the best thing for us. After a few years, we both realized that's probably not going to be the best for us.

And so we needed to make certain changes. With that, I knew that I wasn't keeping up with engineering for three years. And so my thought process through that was really going through what it takes to get back into an engineering job without going straight entry-level. What would it take as far as the skills and have those skills changed?

The best thing I think I was able to do was reapply to sit for the professional engineer exam. And I think after speaking with other people in the industry, people that I've just met through connecting with professional organizations, they all told me getting your PE would be a great way to show your future employer that you still have the skills necessary, and that you are still able to comprehend and use complicated principles.

So with that, I knew taking the PE was going to be a financial investment and it was also going to be a time investment. Normally you study for about 150 to 300 hours before you take that exam. And that's after acquiring the necessary years of experience, your degree and another fundamentals exam. So with that, I knew I had to figure out a study plan.

How was I going to do that when I still have three kids, or two kids, I was pregnant with our third at the time. And I still had to juggle, we didn’t really have family support because we were out of state, where my husband was stationed. So that really took a little bit of planning, some asking for outside support and just knowing that we were going to pay this energy, this financial investment in the hopes that it would help me open doors in the future with future employers.

Being up to date on engineering skills during my time at home was probably the one thing I would have changed if I could. But I didn't really know that about myself, that I would want to return to work eventually, and try to keep some skills whether it's part-time or just doing some new learning with our computer software programs.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And then when you were starting to study for this, did everything just start coming back to you in a wave or did you feel like you're starting over again learning it? Were there any sort of ups and downs in terms of your confidence when you were moving through the material?

Krystal Shorts: I would say probably yes to all of that. There was a time where it felt like, "Okay, I remember this." And then there were times, where I thought, "I have no idea," so it was a journey for sure. And I think doing the course and investing that money towards really getting involved with the course is what helped me stay disciplined, helped me put out a study schedule. And it felt like, "Okay, this is real, I'm investing money. I'm investing time. We're going to make a plan, stick to the plan and get it done." So I think by doing that and being in the material four hours a day, five times a week, and doing practice exams where I'd sit down for four hours and take the morning and then four hours and take the afternoon portion, because the exam is eight hours total. Really testing and practicing in a timed setting, I think that really helped me to grasp the material, and to really just immerse myself. So it's almost like having a part-time job, really.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, it sounds like it. I'm just thinking about every time you're doing a practice exam, you really do have to organize it because it's an eight hour exam and it's just not to sit down for an hour and try to squeeze it in like late at night or something.

Yeah, I see what you're talking about. So, you're in this master's degree program now, and how does that feel back in a high level graduate school technical program after taking a career break? Or was studying for the PE exam really good for getting ready to be back in the master's degree curriculum?

Krystal Shorts: The reason why I went back for a master's degree was, after studying for the PE and passing the PE exam... huge moment. I've heard from plenty of other engineers who are taking that exam and they felt very similar to what I felt after that day was, "I think I failed." You just don't know and you don't want to be overconfident.

And yet you're like, "I hope I did enough to pass that exam." But anyways, so after about five to six weeks, they'll let you know if you passed the exam or if you failed. And it's just such a waiting game and it's so nerve wracking, you just try to forget about. But the day that I knew results were out, I remember just being shaky, so nervous and just telling everyone, "Don't ask me how I did, let me come to you," because my family was very excited for me, but I just felt, “Wow, if I didn't pass this it's gonna feel like another uphill battle." And thank goodness! I opened up that email and it said "pass," and I kid you not, I threw my phone because I was so excited. I don't know why I took it out on my phone, but I just remember laughing and crying and it just really felt like one of those moments, or it was a high, you're on a mountain top and you feel like, "Wow, I can do anything."

And as it turned out, it's not that easy even after having your PE and having that career break, maybe because it's also knowing I'm a military spouse and I'll be leaving, it still was not a simple step to get hired. A couple months after I got my PE, I worked on my resume, I reached out to a career advisor through some military resources that we have access to, and I tried. I sent out those applications, really put it on my cover letter about who I was, what I've been through and how I can be successful. And it just did not open any doors. I really believe it just wasn't my time. After getting a no and a no and a no after passing my PE, I just thought, "Wow. Maybe I can't go back to work, it really is this hard and I just need to do something else."

I thought about that, but, I tried again and I went to a career fair in person. I was eight months pregnant and had a big belly and I knew I was probably waddling, it was about that time. But I really had it in me, "Okay, I'm just going to go to this career fair and talk to some people, give them my resume, tell them what I can do. If something happens, it happens. If not, it won't." And I also knew that we were planning to move six months after that point to another state. So looking at a career fair that's hiring locally, I didn't go in thinking, "Oh yeah, they'll hire me and let me work remotely." Anyways, going to that career fair, I actually talked to a couple of managers and they were excited for me and they were actually very supportive. They knew I was going to move out of state, but there was another Navy base nearby, so there was a possibility to bring me on board. That was really exciting, and I couldn't wait to hear more from them, but it was a long time, you know how it goes, you meet people and things get busy and they don’t give you a job offer right at that moment. So you don't actually know how it's going to go.

Suffice it to say we went through an up and down roller coaster, back and forth emails of talking to different managers. I felt like they really did try, but the gap in my career break and the different jobs that I had taken, just due to the fact that's what was available when they sent my husband to another place, those types of jobs just didn't equate to enough value for them, and my PE wasn't quite enough too. So with that, these two hiring managers both just could not actually get it to work out for me, and it was really tough because we had drawn it out over six months. When it came right down to the wire of us moving to that state, the Navy actually changed our orders anyways.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow.

Krystal Shorts: So we did not end up going to that state and that job did not work out. But at that point was when I really felt like, "I need to figure out a new plan. Somehow I need to regain new skills and rebuild the ones I used to have since they are not quite as sharp anymore." After we found out that my husband was going to go for his master's and we were going to be here for two years, it was actually my husband's idea for me to go back to school too.

When you have a family, you just have so many more things to think about, and it's not just my career and my time it's, “What about our children? What about our needs as a household?" So with that, we talked about it and we thought, "Okay, that still sounds like a good idea," knowing that my husband does enjoy the military.

He believes he's going to be in it for the career, and that it would help me get to a certain spot that would open more doors. So with that, we decided we're going to contact KU, we're going to contact the civil engineering department and talk to them about how to apply and then how to get enrolled in school and to be done within two years.

I know it's a long story, but all that to say, this relaunching career has not really been some linear experience as so many of your listeners and the iRelaunch community understand. It is definitely up and down, and it requires a certain attitude of resilience and a certain attitude of, "Okay, so what else can I do?"

I think the biggest thing for me in this whole journey has just been to build a support network, to not do it alone, whether it's getting outside help at home, getting support to get a break, or getting support to help you learn about your industry in a way that you can't just do by Googling. Really getting that firsthand experience and expertise, by building your network with other professionals in your industry or outside.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Krystal, I just want to change gears now and talk about this internship with Apex, because my perception is, and tell me if I'm wrong, that it is going on right now concurrently with you being in the master's degree program.

And I want to know if you could take us through what happened when you got that and then when it was taken away, and then what the conversations were where you got it back.

Krystal Shorts: Yeah, definitely. During my first semester during the last fall, part of my plan while going to get a master's was also getting an internship, and doing that to regain, rebuild skills and to get some relevant time onto my resume, and current time onto my resume. KU had a career fair a couple of times in the fall. One was for a meet and greet with companies, not necessarily a career fair, but it could lead to that, and then one was an official career fair where people were hiring. So the first career fair or meet and greet I went to, it was a failure.

I did not do well at meeting and greeting people virtually. Both of these were online virtual career fairs.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I just want to point out two things. First of all, you get to go to this because you're a student, you go to the meet and greet and and the career fairs because you are a student, so this is like a by-product of being registered in a college university educational program, I just wanted to say that. The other thing is you said this first meet and greet was a failure. I guess you could look at it as a failure, I understand why you say that, but also immediately it taught you to do something different the next time. So in that way, maybe it wasn't a failure.

Krystal Shorts: That's exactly right. Because the first one, even though it was this very casual thing, it was virtual and it was just a meet and greet, I think it was a great time for me to fail in a sense of to not do it well, so that I could see different things about myself, any kind of negative talk that I had in my head just from going through the experience I've gone through and feeling that low confidence, low self-esteem.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Hold on for a second, sorry, I'm sorry to interrupt again, but I just want to make sure that we capture something that you talked about. This is a virtual meet and greet, in the age of COVID things are virtual, things may stay virtual. Can you tell us what happens in a virtual meet and greet? Are there company representatives and students and everyone goes around and introduces themselves or, what actually happens?

Krystal Shorts: So the first meet and greet, we all went into the same virtual call where you see everyone's face, different people. It can feel overwhelming because there are so many people there and you don't know anyone. But after we were in this one call, we actually had breakout rooms.

And these breakout rooms were with two to three representatives of different companies. So it could be like six recruiters in one breakout room with seven to ten students, and we're all in it together. So it's a smaller group, but again, still feels a little bit awkward, as virtual can sometimes be. With that they ask you, "Okay, what questions do you have for us?" And honestly, I did not go prepared, and that was probably my mistake. I probably should have been a little bit more prepared as in knowing who the companies were going to be and coming up with some questions beforehand, so I wouldn’t be caught off guard.

That was all part of the learning experience, and that is one of the reasons why going back to school has been such an amazing opportunity. It really has opened the door for me learning about myself in a pretty safe space. This is not necessarily something for your full-time job, so I feel like it's the best place to get out there and try. It's really just fine tuning communication skills and fine tuning what kind of career I'm really wanting as a goal, because that has definitely changed as well.

With that, the second career fair that they had was an official one, where you go into a chat room with one recruiter from one company. This time, I went into it as, "I'm going to pick the companies I'm much more interested in, and I'm going to do some research about these companies. And then I'm going to treat this conversation like just a conversation. I'm not going to go into it trying to prove something or expecting anything." And I think that really helped my nerves. And so I went in and I found this company, Apex Engineers.

I saw them online. I was really intrigued by them. And I went in, talked to the recruiter there and it was really nice. She really was down to earth too, and we had a fun conversation for a quick ten minutes. And I just told her, "I am very interested in structural engineering and I'd love to learn how to design buildings."

Carol Fishman Cohen: Hold on, that's so specific, can you say that again, because one of the things we tell people, it's not, "I'm going to civil engineering," say exactly what you said, so people know what we mean when we say "be specific."

Krystal Shorts: Oh, yeah. So I went into my appointment with the recruiter and I had looked at this company because they are specifically a structural engineering firm that designs buildings. So, going into my appointment with the recruiter, we had a really great conversation, but exactly what I told her was, "I am so interested in learning more about structural engineering and I want to design buildings."

And that kind of helped her also,"That's exactly what we do. And I would love to have you talk to our hiring manager out in the Lawrence office or the Kansas City office." So really, having that specific idea in my mind it narrows down your options in a way, but at the same time, you really get to focus on exactly what you want to do. And I think that clarification really helps the employer know that, "Oh, she fits in with what we do."

Carol Fishman Cohen: So then what happened? Was this for an internship and then getting it?

Krystal Shorts: Yeah. So this was for a winter break internship. She got back to me I think maybe a week later, and I had an interview with the hiring manager, he and I had a great conversation as well. I think about a week later is when they offered me the internship. Again, just so excited, so elated that I was going to get this hands-on experience that was directly in the path that I wanted to go. However, a couple of months later, our COVID numbers had been rising, and so they decided their company was going to go back to fully remote.

With that decision, he emailed me and let me know that they would not be having this internship any longer because we would be remote, and he really felt it was impossible to onboard an intern remotely. So I was pretty disappointed. After that I had tried emailing other companies just purely through LinkedIn, just by connecting with some people and saying, "Hey, have you ever thought about doing a remote internship? I have a winter break coming up that's six weeks. I'd love to learn, help your office in any way." And none of them panned out. So I was like, "Okay, I'm going to go back to Apex, and I'm just going to give them a couple ideas of how we can make it work." So I tried to put my thoughts together and I decided to really play on the fact that I'm an experienced engineer.

I'm not green, I'm not someone who's never worked in a professional environment before. I'm smart. And I really want to be in this industry. And so I tried to put those thoughts into an email as briefly as possible, but by asking him first, "Would you be willing to meet with me for twenty minutes and discuss how we can make this remote internship successful for you and for myself as an intern trying to gain work experience? As we know COVID is not going away completely, so onboarding trainees remotely might be part of your normal daily operations. If you feel like you don't have the process down yet, I'd be willing to be a guinea pig. I would be willing to be a trial for you guys where we would work out what works, what doesn't work, and how we can make things better for not just me, but the future of your operations and opening up that talent pool to a now remote talent pool."

And that was something that intrigued him and, it might've been just the timing of it or just what was going on with everything with COVID that it was just crazy enough, "Okay, let's just do it. Let's just try." So he told me, "Okay, I will meet with you for twenty minutes." And we set up a date and I just put together a really short, brief presentation on PowerPoint of those points that I explained and what we would do by the end of my time. And if they wanted, we could try for a week, and see how it goes. And if it's something that's just not working, we could cut it loose and just say, "Hey, we tried." So really it was a no pressure type of situation.

Carol Fishman Cohen: There's just so much information there, and just a message out to our listeners, if you want to rewind and replay that. Sometimes, everyone's curious about what people actually write or what do they actually say? And you essentially just scripted out for us what you included in that email communication that was so effective in starting this communication again, and ending up with you getting the internship.

So, I love it. There's so much quotable language in there, and thank you for sharing that, Krystal. We're running out of time now and I want to jump to a couple of last questions that are really more focused on advice. And I want to know if you can first give any particular advice specifically for other military spouses who are trying to maintain some kind of career continuity while making frequent moves.

Krystal Shorts: I think, as I mentioned a little bit before, the military does have quite a bit of resources for military spouses, whether that is focused hiring in the federal agency or whether it's career advice and resources just through military affiliated agencies, or whether it's through the GI bill.

So, if you're a military spouse, and if you guys haven't looked into the GI bill yet as an avenue for you to return to school or to even just get a certificate or a license, because you can actually use the GI bill for more than just education. You can use it for beyond education, licensures, certification, or year-long certificates that you can get at the graduate level.

There are actually a lot of options with that, and I encourage any military spouse who hasn't used that yet or looked into that to do so by contacting your VA, or going online. And another thing is, outside of, "Hey, maybe you do have the right skills, but how do you keep a career going while you have lots of changes?"

And with that, obviously I'm still pretty new, I'm still in the process of relaunching, but one of the things that has helped us since we know that we're only here for two years, is by building relationships as much as possible, and doing that through a network. And it's not just gaining relationships with people who could give you a job, it's really gaining relationships with people in your industry so that you can just keep the conversation going about, "Hey, what's trending in our industry? What's important for these companies? What are those challenges that are coming and what are the things they do well?" And when you learn all that about your specific industry, I feel like that gives you a good amount of knowledge to know how to work on things yourself, so that when you go for that job or when you get into a company, you know how to leverage your experience in a way that they can keep you on, even if you move.

And the more we go into this new mode of operations where remote work is much more possible, the more possible it is for military spouses to do that. And so one of those things is just knowing your industry, and building relationships within that industry, so that people can know who you are and how talented you are and the things that you could bring to a company despite having these changes of locations.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Can you give us just one example when you're saying “through these professional contacts," are you meeting them on LinkedIn? Are you meeting them through a professional association? Is there a virtual event? How exactly are you expanding your professional network?

Krystal Shorts: Yeah. So one way is really through LinkedIn.It's been pretty neat to see how people will respond to each other. But I think as you engage in the things going on in your circle of your career field, you will start to see other like-minded people where you get excited about the same things going on in the industry and whatnot, and you just start engaging through posts on LinkedIn, through people's articles that they write and share.

And then, you can go into LinkedIn and message those people that you saw posted this or that you saw write an article, and comment to them on how it affected you, how it impacted you and share that you're thankful for that. And I think that starts to open up the conversation between you and other people, because you genuinely care about what's going on. It's really engaging with what is going on in your industry and seeing what matters and where your industry is going. And I think once you start to immerse yourself in that to just have courage, and to be open to building relationships with those people. And that's been a lot of fun for me.

I've even developed a great friendship with a structural engineer I met on LinkedIn, and we've done video chats two to three times in the last semester. And it's just been fun because he lives in Texas and I live here. But, we met on LinkedIn and we just both have sparked a really great friendship. It's been neat to have someone who is in your industry and who's gone through some experiences with growing, and it's just neat to get to have that in common with others. So it's a great support mechanism.

Carol Fishman Cohen: This particular person, did you meet this person because this person commented on an article and then you saw the comment and you responded? Or somehow randomly you saw that the person posted something that was interesting to you when you responded? How did you meet a random structural engineer on LinkedIn that then turned into this sort of relationship where you are actually in touch with each other?

Krystal Shorts: Like I said, when you immerse yourself in the things going on in your industry, you'll find there's a lot of conversation going on. And for me, particularly, there are a couple podcasts that are all based on structural engineering. I know it sounds strange, but there they are out there. And so a couple of them, I have been listening to one in particular, and it was a guest who started his own structural engineering firm out in Texas.

He was commenting about higher education for engineers and his experience with that, because he's an adjunct faculty. So I went on LinkedIn and I shared the podcast episode. And I messaged him afterward, that guy. And I said, "Hey, I just listened to your episode on a structural engineering podcast. I really love these points." Really, he was talking about a structural engineering career being a part of higher education even after they leave school. And so anyways, he and I got to talking and I asked him if he had any advice and he was very gracious, "This is my advice... and so on."

He had talked about another engineer on his podcast that he got to come work for him. So I asked him,"I heard you talk about this guy, would he be interested in doing some kind of event at KU where he talks to engineers or students?" And he said, "Absolutely." So he gave me his email and I emailed him. We hopped on a video chat, and we just had a really, I don't know, like similar personality or something, and we just had a lot of fun talking and it's turned into where we just check in with one another every now and then, and just talk about structural engineering, about professional development, and just about different things what's going on in our industry that we find interesting.

We all love making personal connections, but we probably wouldn't have done it if we weren't on LinkedIn or something because we live in different states.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I love every detail of this example. It's virtual, it started with you listening to a podcast, and being enterprising enough to get in touch with the person on LinkedIn,and then one thing led to another. And that is exactly what we're talking about when we're talking about networking. And people are so confused by it. "What do you mean by networking and how does that actually work especially in a virtual environment?" This is a perfect example. So I'm so glad that you put that out there in the detail that you did.

Krystal, I want to wind up by asking you the question we ask all of our podcast guests, and that is, what is your best piece of advice for our relauncher audience even if it's something we've already talked about today?

Krystal Shorts: I would really say the example that I shared about getting immersed in your industry and knowing what your industry is about, and what impacts those companies involved, I think you becoming an expert on those things really helps clarify not just what kind of job you'd like to get, but the vision behind your career. And I think the clearer that you can get that vision of really what you want to do helps you to identify the type of skills that you want to develop, and it gives you a lot of confidence when you think, "Yes, this is where I want to be, and this is what I want to do." I think employers and other people in the industry really respond to that kind of excitement and enthusiasm, and it really doesn't come unless you know what you're talking about. I've definitely heard a couple of people tell me, "Your heart cannot love what your mind does not know." So, I think the more you spend knowing the industry you want to get into and the career is all about getting to know the people who are in it, what kind of job they do, what skills they find important and who these companies are, and what's important to them so that you could bring that value to them and they can see that.

And if you don't know, then the best thing to do is really by asking questions of other people who are in it. People love talking about that, especially if you get to know those things and you realize, "Yes, this is what I want to do." Now you can move forward or you can say, "Oh, that did not sound like something I want to do. I can figure out something else." But, I just think the more you know, the more you'll find what you really love.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Excellent advice. Krystal, thank you so much for joining us today.

Krystal Shorts: Thank you Carol, for having me and thank you so much for all the work you guys do at iRelaunch. I've been a part of the community for a while and it has been great encouragement.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I appreciate you saying that. And thanks for listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch, the podcast where we discuss strategies, advice, and success stories about returning to work after a career break. I'm Carol Fishman Cohen, the CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. For more information on iRelaunch conferences and events, to sign up for our job board and access our return to work tools and resources, go to

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