Build It Yourself: Approaching an Employer about Developing a Returnship

Instead of giving up on returnships, consider trying to develop your own. It may be worth it: Returnships are highly valuable opportunities for relaunchers. Running approximately three to twelve months, these programs provide structured platforms for getting back into the paid workforce after a career break. Many employers offer skills training or re-training, networking opportunities, coaching, mentoring and/or other forms of support as part of their returnships.

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Have a 2021 Resolution to Relaunch? Do This First.

While all of the activities above are effective steps in the relaunch process, your first activity should be to conduct a thorough inventory of who you are, and what your skills, values, interests and goals are. Getting your arms around these topics is an important foundational step for an efficient and successful relaunch.  Relaunchers often want to dive into the reentry process at 90 mph and attack 'To Do' lists involving resumes, Linked In profiles, and cover letters. Instead, your first step should be to take stock of yourself by thinking about these questions:

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Is Your Relaunch Recipe Missing This Key Ingredient?

Relaunching is kind of like baking.  It requires a set of ingredients for a great outcome: a self assessment process, a great strategy, a polished resume and Linked In profile, a compelling narrative, and intangibles like confidence and a sense of curiosity.  One additional ingredient, however, can elevate your relaunch process: a Group.  Belonging to a cohort or community of counterparts can altogether change the trajectory of your reentry into the paid work world.

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Don’t Let the Age Issue Rattle You. Be a Snowball in the Desert.

On New Year’s Day, I was enjoying the distant view of white-capped mountains as I ran along a desert trail in Red Rock Canyon, just outside Las Vegas. It was a clear morning, with bright warm sun and Joshua trees all around me. It didn’t feel much like the winters I’ve come to know back east, with their freezing temps, snow and ice.  I climbed a slightly elevated trail of dirt and sand and then it appeared: a small patch of brilliant white snow, sitting trailside, all alone. I stopped in my tracks to take in this lovely but unexpected image.

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The First 100 Days in Your Relaunch Position: Paving the Way for Success

After a challenging eight-month job search, Lily P., a former arts publication editor with a twelve-year career break, finally landed a position as a development officer at a major cultural institution in New York. In the three weeks leading to her start date, she organized her home, her kids’ schedule, and her new work wardrobe. She sent emails updating and thanking the dozens of people who’d helped her with referrals, advice, and encouragement during her search. But three days before her start date, she had a moment of panic.

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How She Built It: Approaching an Employer about Developing a Returnship

Are you a relauncher who would love to land a returnship with an employer but haven’t been able to? Perhaps there are no returnship programs in your targeted industry or in your commutable radius. Or maybe you want to work for a small employer, and view returnships as more a feature of large employers. Maybe you applied for a returnship but, after a competitive and rigorous selection process, didn’t get an offer.

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A Special Brand of Relaunchers: Military Spouses

Imagine wanting to relaunch or continue your career but your spouse’s work requires moving every two to three years, often to remote or rural places without many opportunities. Imagine that your spouse must leave the country for several months at a time -- for work that makes you sometimes worry about their safety and wellbeing -- while you act as sole parent or caregiver without any family nearby.

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How to Ace the ‘Tell Me About Yourself' Question and Set Yourself Apart

No matter how it’s worded or where you hear it, if you’re relaunching, you’ll be asked by someone to tell about yourself.  It may be at a barbecue, an informational interview, a college reunion, a screening interview or a conference. Depending on the context, this question could be asked as: 

  • What should I know about you?
  • What’s your background?
  • How can I help you today?
  • Do you work outside the home?
  • Tell me in your own words, who is [your name]?
  • Tell me about yourself.

 

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The Road Back to Wellness and Work: Relaunching After an Illness

In the last ten years, the dialogue about the value of the relauncher talent pool has shed a bright light on the fact that many talented, competent people take career breaks at various points in their working lives.  This conversation has led to a long overdue legitimization of the reasons for these breaks: to care for children, elderly parents, ill spouses or partners -- or even to write novels or pursue world travel.  Resourceful relaunchers know that they must put a positive spin on the reasons for their career breaks in marketing themselves to prospective employers.  But

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