Are you thinking about returning to work after a lengthy career break and feeling doubtful - unsure about which way to go, how to get there or whether it’s even possible? If so, welcome to our blog, it is written for you.
This blog was started in 2012 by Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, Co-Founders of Women Returners, a network, coaching and consultancy organisation which specialises in supporting professional women to return to work after a long career break. We have since included other members of our team and a variety of experts as guest bloggers.
From our own experience and that of our clients we have found that some of the major stumbling blocks are not the practical aspects - it’s the doubts, worries, fears and lack of confidence that stop us even exploring if we can make it work:
Will anyone employ me after such a long time? I’m not sure I can still do what I did before … or if I could start again with something different. Are there any interesting jobs that can fit with the rest of my life? Are all working mothers completely stressed-out? Am I being selfish? Will my family suffer?
Do some of these worries ring true for you? Often we don’t have many role models of women who have successfully returned after a long career break and we wonder if it is possible.
We’d like to guide you through the fog of uncertainty to see the range of possibilities open to you and to feel inspired to find a fulfilling path that works for you and your life. We look at some of the fears and myths surrounding returning to work and share the stories of women who have found or created rewarding work that fits with the rest of their lives.
A bit about the authors
Julianne Miles: I am a Chartered Psychologist, career coach, lecturer, trainer and mother to two teenage children. Before my career break, I worked for over a decade in strategy consulting and marketing, including an INSEAD MBA. After four years home with my children, I worked through my own doubts and uncertainties, and made a decision I’ve never regretted: to follow a strong interest and retrain to be a psychologist. Six years, a conversion diploma, an MSc, and many research projects later, I decided to specialise in careers and career management. I founded and run Career Psychologists, where I mainly help people in mid-career to make positive changes to their career and/or work- life balance. I really enjoy working with women returners: I have been running ‘return to work’ workshops since 2010 both for my own business and as the UK career coach for iRelaunch (www.irelaunch.com).
Katerina Gould: I am an executive coach and career consultant, conference speaker and commentator as well as a charity trustee and mother to two teenagers. Throughout my career I’ve been an unintentional pioneer at each of my employers: first graduate trainee in corporate finance, first female MD’s assistant and first person to request part-time working when I became a mother. Along the way, I gained a Law degree from Cambridge and an MBA from Harvard Business School. By the time I had two young children, a dying mother and a globe-trotting husband, I no longer had energy left for my career. However, I wasn’t prepared for the way my confidence evaporated once I stopped working. This experience, added to my training in psychotherapy while I was out of the workforce for 10 years, is behind my focus on helping women to re-discover their value and purpose.