Following the birth of my first son, I thought it would be better for me to leave the workforce to take care of him. At the time, I knew personally that I would not be able to juggle the balance of work and family life. It was more important to take the time to focus on our young and growing family.
When my boys turned eight and ten, I found that I was spending a remarkable amount of time on volunteer efforts, and craving additional intellectual challenges. The boys were fully engaged in elementary school and a number of extracurricular activities, so the time they needed from me had diminished. Additionally, the nature of my husband’s work was changing, requiring less travel and fewer aggressive hours. So the time seemed ripe to re-enter the workforce and re-invigorate a career.
Making the decision to go back to work was all well and good, but actually making it happen was a different animal all together. For perhaps the first time in my life, I lacked confidence both in my abilities and in the value that I could bring to an organization. I had been out of the workforce for 10 years. I recognized that there were huge technology shifts that had happened during that time, and that I would have to “catch up.” I knew I needed to network, but I didn’t know how to even approach people I hadn’t done a great job of keeping up with. I needed help.
I attended an information session for reacHIRE and I honestly felt THIS was the answer. Every component of the program just seemed so right. I knew — after listening to Addie and the team passionately discuss the reacHIRE program and their obvious dedication to the mission — that I needed to be part of it.
The reacHIRE experience allowed me to update my skills in a safe, supportive setting. I was able to struggle with figuring out things like how to structure a pivot table, without feeling the pressure of being behind on a deliverable and (somewhat more importantly) not feeling like a complete dinosaur. I could work on regaining my professional presence, think through what I wanted out of this “next phase” of my career, and learn from professionals how to position myself in the marketplace. Finally, through my reacHIRE placement, I was able to demonstrate my value at a company, reinvigorate my resume and increase my professional network.
Upon completion of my project assignment through reacHIRE, I was fortunate enough to be brought on board as an employee of Putnam Investments, where I worked for two years in their marketing department. I learned a great deal during this work experience.
From Putnam I was able to leverage my now re-invigorated resume to secure a position at Bentley University, as the Assistant Director of Executive Education. This was a role that spoke to me, as not only would it leverage my marketing skills (in marketing Bentley’s offerings), but it also spoke to an interest I have in professional development and training. I love the idea that my work can help others get closer to their professional goals, much in the same way that reacHIRE helped me. After one year in this role, I’ve been promoted to Associate Director and am so thankful for the opportunities that I’ve been given.