My husband and I relocated to the U.S. from Australia in 2000 with our two young children. I have since spent my time volunteering on a pre-school board, serving on various school committees, and most recently, consulting part-time on marketing projects for a small business and a foundation. I found that volunteering allowed me to stay busy and keep my skillset current. It benefitted my family to have me “at home” during this period. When my kids entered high school I started looking for a more permanent position, and now that both kids are in college, going back to work is more feasible.
Before attending the reacHIRE powerUP™ workshop I had updated my Linkedin profile, networked with other women who were looking to go back to work, and applied for positions online. Because I hadn’t worked in America in many years, I had to transform my social network into a work network. I had been keeping abreast of reacHIRE on Facebook when a post popped up on my feed about an upcoming powerUP™ workshop. I applied and the rest is history!
The powerUP™ training was instrumental in kickstarting my return to work. It provided direction, empowerment and a network of women searching for an opportunity after a career break. I found it invigorating to hear other women’s stories that were similar to my own. And it was fun and exciting to be the work me again.
The information in each session was just as important as the experiences and ideas shared by the other participants. My biggest takeaway is that the job search isn’t something to do alone. I was so inspired that I joined forces with some of the women from the program and started a blog, “We’ve Got This: Women Helping Women,” to share our experiences, ideas, concerns, laughs and most importantly, to support each other. Searching for a job on my own didn’t go as well as it did when I had a group of like-minded women that could motivate each other.
I’m proud to say that I recently started an assignment at Commonwealth Financial Network working as a marketing consultant. My skillset appears to be a match for this role. I am excited by the opportunity and can’t wait to see what value I can bring to the company.
My biggest piece of advice to those considering going back to work is to talk to everyone and anyone. Let the world know that you are ready to return, what you are interested in and what you can do for a company. Keep active on social media – especially LinkedIn and Twitter. It’s a marathon not a sprint, and as they say about the marathon, at mile 18 you wonder what you got yourself into, but after 26.2, you no longer ask yourself.