Resurrecting your career after a long break is not easy. But stories of those who went through the transition can teach us how to better navigate a way back to work.
No one wants to have to choose between staying on their career path and tending to urgent personal needs that may crop up. But that’s the essential situation faced by countless professionals, given how difficult it has become to return to work after even a couple of years away. In addition to degrading employees’ quality of life, this blind spot in the business world costs companies dearly due to the premature termination of far too many promising careers.
It’s also a major setback to gender equality. Nearly half of all women who leave work to raise children don’t go back, which is especially troubling as women constitute 95 percent of those who take a career break for child-raising or family caring. This statistic was related to us by Julianne Miles, co-founder of a revolutionary firm called Women Returners, which exists to facilitate the return of women to the workplace.
Sadly, those who successfully resurrect their careers after a hiatus are the exception rather than the rule, but we interviewed executives who have done it to find some tips for returners. It never seems to be as simple as picking up where they left off, but the coping strategies they developed made their careers even stronger.
Here’s how they did it:
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