Women in Tech

Q & A: I’ve been out of the workforce for years. How do I transition back?

Over the past year, many women have asked questions at ARA events about the obstacles of balancing work and family. To shed additional insight on this topic, we talked to Jocelyn Greenky Herz, a CEO in the tech world herself who has also published a book providing career advice for women.

Here is a typical question asked:

I have just returned to work after a career break to start a family and would value advice on transitioning back into the work world after this extended absence.  Any tips you can share to help with this transition?

Below Jocelyn shares recommendations on how to navigate this transition:

It’s a big decision to re-join the work world and the myriad of issues that go along with being employed with a family.  By returning to work, you now join a labor force that is almost equally split as women now make up 47% of the workforce, so you are not alone.

Off the bat, it’s critical to decide which industry and what role you intend to pursue before you start speaking publicly.  Being crystal clear will help you focus and ultimately guide the people around you to think of your name when an appropriate position opens up.

If you are having trouble figuring which avenue to take, I highly recommend hiring a career coach whose goal is to help you develop a clear “elevator pitch.”  This 1-2 minute description is what you will be telling everyone in your daily path as to what you’re seeking in your upcoming job. Having a muddled message will delay your chances of securing the gig you want and could damage your reputation by coming across as “all over the place.”  Practice your pitch in front of the mirror and with your family to ensure you come across like a woman in command who knows exactly what she wants!

Only then, update your resume. Do the best you can.  Pay attention to key phrases you see in the job descriptions for positions you might like, addressing how your experience aligns with those requirements in your resume. Spending time on LinkedIn can also help you get back in the mindset of a career change. So many people have spent time to ensure that their LinkedIn profile rocks.  Do the same.  Another option is to employ a professional resume writer.  These professionals work with recruiters and other job seekers and can help you become even more focused…online and on paper.  Their job is to make you look good.  They will provide valuable input and may have a contact or two.

Hey, you may even have to take a class at the local community college or online to get up to speed in the industry of choice.  Each industry seems to have their own jargon and you must be familiar before you start making those calls.

Once you have the job, enjoy it.  Your new company will be delighted to have an eager and determined employee on board and ready to contribute.

Email me with questions or connect with me on LinkedIn.

Jocelyn Greenky Herz

CEO, BriteBean Technologies

Jocelyn Greenky Herz is the founder of Sider Road Media, CEO of BriteBean Technologies and author of The Big Sister’s Guide to the World of Work: The Inside Rules Every Working Girl Must Know.