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Episode 84: A Career Break Can Be An "Explosive Time of Growth" with Relaunch CNN Producer Kuae Kelch

Kuae Kelch Mattox Headshot

Episode Description

Knowing early on that she wanted to be a journalist, Kuae Kelch, Editorial Producer at CNN, National President of Mocha Moms, iRelaunch Advisory Board Member and relauncher talks with Carol about her career prior to her 13 year break while raising her family. She describes the “powerful and profound” time spent during that break, the importance of staying relevant, and how she relaunched her career as a producer.

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, the chair and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. Today we welcome Kuae Kelch Mattox who is an editorial producer at CNN and the national president of Mocha Mom. Kuae took a thirteen year career break from her producer career at NBC and MSNBC. And she's also a longtime member of the iRelaunch advisory board. We're going to talk about Kuae's relaunch back into production, the steps she took to get there, and also about the Mocha Moms organization.

Hi, Kuae, welcome to 3,2,1 iRelaunch.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Hi Carol. It's a pleasure to be here.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Well, we are so thrilled to have you, and I want to start by talking about before your 13 year career break, when you were, I think last a producer at MSNBC and an assistant producer at NBC. Before that, can you tell us some of the highlights of your pre-career break career?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Oh, wow. I mean, that seems like a whole lifetime ago, but absolutely. I knew very early on that I wanted to be a journalist. I knew this all throughout college, so I had some great internships. I had worked as a reporting intern at the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Washington Post.

I had an opportunity to dip a little bit in television and work at the local CBS affiliate in Philadelphia. So I knew very early on I wanted to be a journalist and with all those great internships, I did get a wonderful opportunity to become an education reporter for the Miami Herald, so that was my first job out of college.

I moved from Howard University in Washington, DC to Miami and covered the schools and education in Miami for a good year. And then went from the Miami Herald to a really exciting opportunity in Chicago working for the Oprah Winfrey Show, which was lots of fun. I learned the talk show ropes from none other than Oprah Winfrey and all of the exciting producers at that show. So I was at Oprah for a bit, and then that was my first foray into television. That's when I said to myself, “Okay, I know I started out as a print journalist. I think I want to be in TV now.”

So after Oprah, I moved to New York. Work for some other King World shows. King World was the company that distributed the Oprah Winfrey Show. I worked at a show called Where in the World is Carmen San Diego that some moms might be familiar with.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I remember that.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Really fun. Yeah. Great show. And then, I just became involved in the television world in New York and that often involves moving around from show to show, and landed at ABC on a newsmagazine show called Day One and knew at that point that I wanted to continue in television. But I wanted to get a little bit more experience in television and decided to go back to school and get my masters from Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

So I did that for a year, graduated from Columbia and continued working in television. I worked at a local news station in Philadelphia, and actually commuted from New York to Philly for a while. Then my husband and I moved near Princeton so it would be closer for me to get to Philadelphia.

And then I landed at what I thought and what I think was a really big get, and that was at Dateline NBC at NBC News. I had been knocking on NBC's door for quite some time, and it was a very exciting time to be at Dateline. This was when Jane Pauley and Stone Phillips hosted the show and it was its heyday. We were on three times a week, there was a huge staff. Everyone was really excited to be there. I formed some really incredible friendships there. Nine of us were pregnant at the same time, Carol, I mean what said, we really formed some incredible bonds and bonds that have continued to today.

I stayed with Dateline for about five years, and then I was moved with a group of others who were associate producers to MSNBC, where I became a producer for Headliners and Legends with Matt Lauer. At the time I was pregnant with my second child, my son, and my mother had passed away about three years prior to that. So, I guess my excitement going into work every day was starting to wane, and I knew I was getting ready to have a second child. So when I went on maternity leave, that's when my husband and I realized that we could survive on one income. And I decided not to go back.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow, so that is quite an awesome career path.

And so now you have two children, I don't know how many years apart, and you have just had this baby and you've decided to stay home. So, you ended up being home for 13 years. Did you at the outset think that it was going to be anywhere near that long, or did just one thing lead to another?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: No, I had no idea in my head that it was going to be that long. In fact, my husband and I had discussed it and the plan was that I was going to stay at home until my youngest went to kindergarten. It did not exactly work out that way. My plan was to be home for a few years. It was never to be a stay-at-home mom for any huge length of time. Looking to get back to work, it just became longer.

Carol Fishman Cohen: So tell us, you ended up doing some pretty interesting things during that thirteen year period. Were they volunteer opportunities? Was it paid work? How did you get those opportunities? What happened, and tell us a little bit more about them please.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: I don't think I realized when I decided to stay at home, how profound that choice was. I really became heavily involved in raising my children and very wrapped up in the world of motherhood, in my community and with other friends. Everything was about my children. Everything was about motherhood. So it was a really explosive time of growth and new opportunities for me, and a chance for me to step out of my own individual silo, kind of working as a journalist. It was a chance for me to explore my community and see what was going on. So when I decided to stay at home, a friend of mine asked me, had I ever heard of this organization called Mocha Moms?

I had never heard of it. I think she lives in Virginia and she was telling me about this organization that supports mothers of color, stay-at-home mothers of color in particular who are home like me and want to connect with other moms. So I just couldn't believe that there were other women who looked like me, who were staying at home and wanting to connect with each other and support each other.

I looked into it and discovered that there was not a chapter in my area. So I decided to start the Essex County chapter of Mocha Moms in my area in New Jersey and became the president of the chapter. But I also became really heavily involved in my community. I eventually became PTA president at my children's school. I worked as a fundraiser, I helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for my kids school, put in a science lab and playground equipment. I served on the board of our town's early childhood corporation that oversees our town's pre-K, so I was involved in making decisions for the pre-K.

Then I did a whole host of other things that I would not have had the opportunity to do. I was a spokesperson for a period of time for Mr. Clean. You know, Mr. Clean, I was on the mom board of McDonald's. McDonald's had this board of mothers that learned all about their products and helped them with making decisions about their products.

My husband ran for town council in our town and I was press secretary on his campaign. And then he ran for mayor four years later and I was press secretary again, and we became a political family. So all the while I was still really active and involved in Mocha Moms, I became the national director of media & publicity for Mocha Moms, and then went on to be the national director of community service for them.

So, it was a really explosive time for me in my community, but then I also wanted to make sure that I was still a journalist, that I was still kind of keeping my irons in the fire and doing the stuff that I love, but also staying relevant. I worked as a freelance journalist and many of the positions I had were volunteer positions or unpaid positions. Sometimes I got paid a little bit, but it certainly wasn't much. I covered school board meetings. I covered civil rights meetings. I wrote for the hyperlocal blog in my area. I was a freelance producer. I produced a video for the local Red Cross. I worked as a freelance producer on the 30th anniversary of Roots. You remember Roots, the television miniseries, their 30th anniversary DVD. I was a field producer, so I did a little bit of everything.

And then, because I love writing so much, I did a lot of writing. I wrote blog posts. I had a platform on Huffington Post. I wrote blog posts and a lot of this was through Mocha Moms because we have some incredible partnerships.

We were a stakeholder organization that partnered with the White House and the EPA and the Department of Education and different things. So I wrote for their blogs, our partner, the UN Foundation, I did stuff for that. And then eventually I became editor in chief of a magazine called Black Family Today, which was a wonderful magazine. It didn't last very long, but I did that out of the house and then all sorts of other things chased me and I wrote essays that were in books, a scientific paper on black women and breastfeeding and a peer review journal. And once again, most of them were not paid or the pay was low. But my idea was not necessarily to get paid. It was really just to stay relevant in my


Carol Fishman Cohen: I hope our relauncher community is listening closely because what you, first of all, I love the way you described that this was an explosive time of growth for you, because some people will make that kind of reference to some sort of a milestone period in their paid career, but you describe your career break as that time.

Kuae Kelch Mattox:Yeah, absolutely. And just looking back on it and I'm sure I will say this at the end of my life as well. That period of time when I was on a break, was probably the most powerful and profound time in my life. It was an opportunity for me to step out of my comfort zone and to do things that I had not been accustomed to doing and to do things that I knew little about. It really shaped me as a person and who I am today.

Carol Fishman Cohen: I loved the way you're talking about this. It's really amazing and compelling and completely reframes the way a lot of relaunchers think about their career break period. But also as you're talking, you can tell you're the kind of person who gets in there and just makes the most of all of your opportunities, that makes the opportunities for yourself. I'm a fellow PTA president too. I did not raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for my school. It was, I felt like a lower scale.

But I'm just very intrigued by the freelance journalist opportunities that you either made for yourself or came your way and how the involvement in Mocha Moms, for example, then the leadership there actually was the source of some of these, and how you decided, I am a journalist,I am going to write about this and take the initiative to engage in a professional way without being paid most of the time, but still in a professional context in all of these opportunities.

So lots of important lessons there for our relauncher community, who's often thinking about, “How do I integrate activities during my career break that are relevant to my professional career?How do I find them? How do I make them meaningful and not get too hung up on getting paid right now?”

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Yeah, I had to dispense with the notion that I should get paid each and every time, because I had to think about what was most important. And what was most important at that time was for me to build my brand. I knew I had a voice on particular issues and particularly as a member of Mocha Moms. And then eventually as national president of Mocha Moms, I knew I needed to represent the needs and the interests of the moms in our organization and the issues that our mothers were concerned about. So that was a really great platform for me to do what I love, to write and communicate with folks and share with people what was important to our moms and where their concerns lie.

Carol Fishman Cohen: For those of you who are just tuning in, you are listening to 3,2,1 iRelaunch. This is your host, Carol Fishman Cohen,

and I'm speaking with Kuae Kelch Mattox, editorial producer at CNN, national president of Mocha Moms, and her relaunch. We are talking about how she made the most of her thirteen year career break in all ways, and it's just been fascinating.

Kuae, can you talk a little bit more now about what happened at what you would consider the milestone moment that led to you returning to work?And, I know that you're where you are right now. If I'm remembering correctly, you didn't completely relaunch in the current role, you relaunched

before this. What happened and what were the key moments?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Sure. Well, I think if I had to describe it, I would say that my relaunch was shaky and uncertain. It was not exactly the relaunch that I anticipated. I thought that I was going to stay at home for a few years and then the world was going to welcome me with open arms and want me to come back as quickly as possible, and that was not necessarily the case, particularly in my industry and television.

So, you know, the very first jobs that I had in my relaunch we're essentially jobs that kind of got my feet wet. I like to call them false starts. They weren't exactly where I wanted to be, but everyone kept telling me how important it was just to be working, to be in the working world, because then you become much more relevant to folks who want to hire you.

So I knew I needed to kind of get back to working, and working in some kind of possibly full-time capacity. I started to talk with friends and others and let them know that I was looking to go back to work, which is something that, by the way I wasn't doing initially, I was, to be honest, ashamed of sharing with people that I was having a hard time getting back to work.

Once I kind of got over this kind of shame that I felt, and started sharing with people, “Hey, I'm looking for work.” And I think a lot of people had this notion that I made the choice to stay at home, now I'm national president of this mother's organization and she probably is never going to go back to work. So, they kind of didn't even think that I was having an issue, but once I shared that with people, they started texting me or calling me and saying, “Hey, I heard about this position. Maybe you should reach out to such and such and see if that's something that you're interested in doing.” So I think sharing it with folks caused them to kind of come to me and tell me when they heard of things.

The very first thing I heard about was a position back in television, not exactly a network position, but there was this new network called Arise which focused on the African diaspora. It was run by a very wealthy Nigerian businessman who wanted to compete with Al Jazeera and have a presence in the United States.

I heard about this position on a new show, as a booking producer, it was a show about women's issues. It was called Our Take with Christina Brown and I started working part time for this new network in New York City called Arise as a booking producer.

And I was excited about that because that was not exactly where I wanted to be, but now I'm starting to get back into television,and even though it's part-time that's okay. Well, the show was canceled, as happens to many shows on television, it had a good run. I mean, it was six months to a year. I'm not exactly sure how long the show ran, but it was a big confidence booster because I thought that it was going to be really, really tough to get back. It showed me that it was in fact possible.

So there was a lull after that show of not working. Then someone called me and said, “Hey, there's an opening at the same network on another show. And this time it's the Sunday News Show.” So I ended up going back to that network and working on the Sunday News Show for a period of time, all the while, continuing to knock on the door of the television networks, because that's really where I wanted to be.

I remember having a meeting with a friend who works for one of those networks. I think she's in HR. She's an executive actually in HR and I was just picking her brain and she essentially told me that the chances of me getting back to television after all these years was just slim to none. And I remember leaving that lunch and thinking, “Wow, it sounds like it's not going to happen.” So then I started to think, “Okay, maybe I'm not going to get a job back in television. Maybe I should just find another field.” And that's when I started to look for other positions and landed in a PR position interestingly.

So, I worked two part-time jobs. I had a part-time job on that television network Arise, and then I had a part-time job with the PR network, and I kind of cobbled together a full-time schedule with those two part-time jobs. Once again, people just continued to reach out to me to let me know that there were opportunities and things open because they knew that that I was looking.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Wow. Okay, so much here. We talk to relaunchers about how you have to get out of the house and go public with your job. So you are just illustrating this, but the fact that you point out that there was shame attached, like you were ashamed that it was hard for you to be getting work as someone with your background, and how you were viewing yourself. And it was tough to make progress and to have to tell other people that you're looking was kind of revealing the shame or having to get over it.

I think that's so powerful and it's so important for relaunchers to hear and feel like that's being normalized. It's okay to feel that way.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: It's okay to feel that way. But it's so important when you feel that way to talk to other people who are in similar situations, because then you start to realize that you're not alone, that you're not the only one who's feeling this shame. And as you talk through it with other people who've been through it, over time you become strengthened.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yes. And the other thing that you said was that it was important to be working because we've had a lot of conversations lately and I'm doing a lot of thinking about this myself, about what level do people feel comfortable at getting back in. And there's two schools of thought here, a) are you selling yourself short in some way if you don't come back in at the same level or b) just get in at any level to get your foot in the door and then things will happen after that. And there's some competing thoughts on that.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Well after it took such a long time for me to get back, I had to really swallow my pride and dispense with this notion that I had to get back at a certain level. I mean, I realized in the television world that I needed to get the boat in the ocean, right? Just get it in the ocean and then steer it. So my goal became, I have to get back,whatever is the position I have to get back in, and keep in mind, what was going on in my head also was I was almost 50 years old. And so here I am thinking I'm almost 50 years old, how am I going to get back into this field, which is increasingly young, full of younger people. How are we going to get back as an almost 50 year old, having been out for 13 years? So, I had to really kind of dispense with the notion of having to be in a position at a certain level. In fact, when I got back to CNN and I remember reading the job listing to the position that I have now, it requires three years of experience.

I've had more than 30 years of experience. So I had to say to myself, that's okay, this gets me back where I want to be.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Thank you for putting this out there. There’s so many important points. I just want to underscore a little bit. So you went public with your job search, you told a lot of people that you were looking, you started to get input from people when they shared this opportunity or that opportunity. And when you started working for Arise, did you apply cold for that? Did someone recommend you? Then, when you went back to work for them that second time they already knew you. How did that work?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Very early, when I started looking to go back, my model was wrong. I was spending a lot of time at home in front of my computer, looking at job listings and applying for jobs electronically, and I was doing less networking and talking to people. Once I changed that, once I realized that it was more important for me to get out there and talk to people and connect with people, that's when things started moving.

When I started to realize that it's more important to network 80% of the time and apply for jobs 20% of the time, that's when things really started moving. And so my jobs at Arise were from people that I knew in the industry who knew about openings at Arise, and that's often how it works in the television business, particularly in New York, you kind of hear about stuff. Often it hasn't even been posted, but someone tells you they're looking for someone and then you share it with somebody else.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right. And then tell us about the next milestone.

How did you break into the big TV networks the first time?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Well, interestingly, of course I was looking at all the listings at all the networks online, but I had a very dear friend who happened to be an executive at CNN. And she had said to me all along, “Just look at the listings, if you see anything, let me know that you're interested in it. And if I know someone in that division,I'll make an introduction.” And that's exactly what happened. I went to the Turner jobs listings. I saw this position open for an editorial producer at CNN, and I said, “ I'm not sure about this position.”

The reason why I wasn't sure is because it was on the morning show, A New Day, and I was concerned that I would have a shift and overnight shift, starting at 1:00 AM or working at night and not being able to have time with my family at home. So I was very concerned about what the hours would be. And she said to me, “Don't get too wrapped up in the hours, apply for the position and I'll make an introduction, and you take it from there.” So she opened the door for me and she knew exactly what I needed. She said, “After all this time,” and mind you, it had been maybe six years that I was trying to get back, she said, “what you really need is the door to be opened, and then you can take it from there.” And that's exactly what she did. She opened the door. Of course, I went through the formal process of applying for the position, but she helped open the door.

And so by the time that I got there, and by the way, once she opened the door, I was at home. I listened to her completely. I said, “Please look at my resume, tell me, what can I do to be the person that they want to hire?” I listened to her intently and by the time I showed up for that interview, I was really eminently prepared for the position.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Right, right. Again, so many lessons here that we encourage for relaunchers that you are illustrating perfectly. Can you talk to us about where there technical tools or certain types of updating when you got into the interview process, or even once you were on the job that you thought, “Whoa,

I didn't realize things had changed as much,” or had your freelancing sort of kept you up to date?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Well, I mean, things over the years have changed drastically in terms of technology in the television world. When I left television, we were still using tape. We were using three quarter inch, we were using beta tape. When I came back to television, everything was digital, right? So that was very different, but I didn't necessarily have to learn that.

I mean, I had to be aware that things were different in that way, but my job as an editorial producer was largely to book the guests for the show. And I was eminently prepared for that because I had spent years and years connecting with people and building contacts with other people. So it was very easy for me to move into a position like that because it required connecting with other people and finding stories and identifying angles, which is really what I had done all of my career.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And now from the vantage point of where you are now looking back, would you have done anything differently or do you think you had to do what you did and at the time and, and you wouldn't change it?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: You mean in terms of getting back to work?

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, you're relaunching, the different steps that you took, is there anything you would have done differently?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: I mean, I think the main thing that I would have done differently was what I just touched on a moment ago. And that is, I spent a lot of time just spinning my wheels applying for jobs online. And I don't want to say that it's not important to do that.

It is important to do that, but what I came to realize is that my resume and my application were going through some kind of automated process that was not fully understanding my career break, and fully understanding my value for having that career break. I realized I needed to get to a person, not an automated system, so I needed to get beyond that.

I realized that I spent a lot of time spinning my wheels. And even to this day, when I go into my email, I had Monster, Job Board, Career Builder, everything, my email was just full of job listings and all this electronic stuff. So I would definitely have changed my model so much earlier and realized that I needed to connect with people and network with people. I think that's probably the core thing that I would have done differently.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Yeah, that is the key, besides figuring out exactly what you want to do, that is such a key step. You don't quit. I just want to mention you were on the cover of the New York Times Magazine a few years ago in a store.

I think it was around 2013.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: 2013. Yeah.

Carol Fishman Cohen: In a story that Judith Warner did about relaunching ten years after that famous Lisa Belkin opt-out revolution article, out in 2003. I think they were looking at where people were, and they brought in a few new people into the conversation and you were one of them. And I was wondering, how did that happen?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Well, Judith Warner and this kind of goes back to Mocha Moms because it's been such an important organization in my life, Judith Warner was a friend of Mocha Moms when she wrote her book Perfect Madness: Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. She interviewed our moms, she interviewed Mocha Moms, not only did she interview our moms, but our moms were on ABC's Nightline and it was a big splash of publicity for us. So Judith contacted me all these years later just to connect, and I think we had stayed in touch off and on throughout the years.

So, she contacted me and said, “I'm looking to do this story for The New York Times about a follow-up to my Perfect Madness book, the mothers who did opt out, they seem to be having a problem getting back in and I want to look at this.” Initially, we started talking about me helping her identify mothers in our organization that she could interview. And I remember the more we talked, it just became this really long conversation. I started sharing with her my own story of staying at home and trying to get back in and how difficult it had been. And one of the things that I remember pointing out to her was that, when Lisa Belkin did that opt-out revolution story, I felt, and many other mothers of color felt that the African-American mother population had been left out of that story. Because one of the most profound aspects of the opt-out revolution was that for the first time African-American mothers were opting out, while white mothers have been opting out for generations. But here is a whole generation of African-American mothers who didn't have the opportunity to opt out before who now have this opportunity and who are making that choice. So I think she became fascinated by that.

And then as I shared with her more about my own story, I remember her saying to me, “Would you be interested in interviewing for this story?” And, once again, it was initially about, “Tell me about some of your moms and how can I connect with them again, as I did in the past.” And so, I think a span of time passed about maybe six months, I didn't hear from her. And then she got back to me and she said, “Initially I was going to talk to a whole bunch of moms, and now my editor wants me to focus on two or three, and I'd like for you to be one of those moms. So that's how it came to be.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Amazing. Yeah. So quite as we're wrapping up, we've touched on the Mocha Moms topic a few times during our conversation. Can you just tell our audience what Mocha Moms is and anything else about the organization or how it's evolved over time?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Sure. Mocha Moms has truly been a labor of love for me, I'm happy to tell you a little bit more about it. So Mocha Moms is a national, nonprofit organization that supports mothers of color. It was started in 1997 by four moms. I'm not one of the founders, but it started in 1997 with four moms who wanted to connect with other stay-at-home moms. They were not straight stay at home moms per se. I mean, I think they had part-time jobs, but they essentially considered themselves stay-at-home moms and they wanted to connect with other stay-at-home mothers of color throughout the country.

So, at first it started as a newsletter and then evolved into the national, nonprofit organization, Mocha Moms Inc., to connect with other stay-at-home mothers.

It has evolved into an organization that is not necessarily focused on stay at home motherhood, but supports mothers of color through the various seasons of their lives. We have about a hundred chapters in twenty-nine States. Our mothers meet weekly for mother support group meetings, they bring their children, they connect with each other.

They might have guest speakers. They might talk about different topics. It's really just a chance to connect with other moms and feel good about the choices that you're making in your life. They meet monthly for moms-only get-togethers without their children. They go out, they have fun, they have dinner, or they do something fun in the community.

And then the third part of what they do has really become the cornerstone of our identity, and that is community service. Our moms are really active and involved in community service in their respective communities throughout the country. We have wonderful partnerships with the UN Foundation on the National Association of Mental Illness and others that have allowed us to share their messaging, and to give messaging to our mothers and allow our mothers to become involved. It's a wonderful sisterhood of women who support each other. One of the reasons why we've made the shift from an organization that focuses primarily on stay-at-home mothers of color, to just mothers of color, is that we know that a stay-at-home mom in January could very well be a working mother in September.

We know that this is a very fluid process for many of our mothers and many of our mothers are looking to go back to work. Some are in career breaks themselves. I mean, they're in various forms, but we want to make sure that our organization is an organization that supports mothers throughout all of the seasons of their lives.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Kuae, thank you so much about telling us about Mocha Moms. Before we do our final closing, I want to know if you could give your best piece of advice to all of our relauncher listeners. And this is a question we ask all of our podcast guests, even if it's something that we've already talked about today.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Okay. In a nutshell, it's several points of advice. One is to look at your model and change it. IYou need to make sure that you're networking with other mothers, other like-minded women, and obviously apply for jobs, but make sure that you're getting out there to tell everyone that you're looking for work. You never know who can help you. You never know who will get back to you and share something with you. Three, be open and willing to accept advice from others. Show other people your resume. I remember working out at the Y one day and talking to the director of business development at the Y.

I ended up showing her my resume and she gave me some really good advice. about changes on my resume.

So, be open and willing to accept that advice for LinkedIn Learning, how to use LinkedIn. LinkedIn is an incredible, incredible resource.When you look at your page and it says you have 400, 500 connections, right? You really have infinitely more connections than that because the people that you are connected to are connected to other people. Really learn how to use LinkedIn and utilize the people that you know, to introduce you to other people. And lastly, the most important thing for me, particularly as a president of a national nonprofit organization, is to connect with other like-minded women who can support you and let you know that you're not the only one. And it's not about “misery loves company.” It's about connecting with people who make you feel good about the choices that you're making in your life.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Excellent advice. Thank you so much, Kuae. This has been a wonderful conversation today. Thank you for joining me.

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Oh, thank you so much, Carol. It's been a pleasure. Any chance to help other mothers I look forward to.

Carol Fishman Cohen: And before we close out, can you tell us. I'm not going to ask you to tell us how people can connect with you at CNN, but can you tell us how people can find out more about Mocha Moms?

Kuae Kelch Mattox: Yes, absolutely. Please visit our website at That's M O C H A M O M S dot O R G, you can find out if there's a chapter near you.

Carol Fishman Cohen: Beautiful. 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 chair, and co-founder of iRelaunch and your host. For more information on iRelaunch, go to

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