There’s so much in the news about the challenges of returning to work after a break. There’s the gender pay gap. There’s hiring bias against mothers who stay home. There’s imposter syndrome. There’s the push and pull of working full-time and handling your family’s day-to-day requirements. There’s the concern that you won’t command the salary you once did, or, if we’re being honest, any salary at all. And we know firsthand how sore these spots are.
We believe, however, that it’s better to know than wonder. So, we’re going to give you the straight talk about how long it will likely take you to get back into the workplace, the variables included in that process, what you can expect in terms of time to market, what the break penalty looks like from a salary perspective, and some best practices. Generally speaking, when you’re looking for a job, the factors include time dedicated to job searching, time management, responsiveness to opportunities, willingness to adapt, and competition. For people who’ve taken a break, this would be a fabulous experience. As we’ve discussed ad infinitum, there are additional barriers, including break time, SAHMs (stay-at-home moms) bias, and age bias, which can extend your search time. There are a few additional factors we want you to be aware of that can propel your search forward, or alternatively keep it in neutral. The most successful approach to getting a job is keeping up a sustained search effort. This sounds like common sense. However, as anyone who’s engaged in a job search, it’s an emotionally draining process and eats at your self-esteem.
It’s essential to keep at it, though. The women who’ve come through our programs and met with the most success keep up an organized process. They treat this like any other project, engaging in a steady stream of informational meetings, industry group connections, both in-person and online, and adjusting their pitch and tactics depending on their audience and the prospective role.
We do have clients who engage on an intermittent basis, either because they have additional responsibilities that pull them away from their search, or they get frustrated and give up. The challenge here to start the whole pitch/outreach/connection/interview cycle all over again. You lose time and potential opportunities.
This said, you can get things up and going, and we totally understand that life takes over sometimes. What we want you to understand is this intermittent approach will likely take longer than a dedicated search.
Finally, we do have a small set of folks who are very selective about what they want next, in terms of role, compensation, and opportunity. These opportunistic searches are the hardest, in our experience.