Last week, Tami Forman was a guest on Career Pivot’s Repurpose Your Career podcast, where she talked to host Marc Miller about returning to the workforce after a long break. Career Pivot is a career service for adults who are on the second half of their professional lives and are looking to make a change – whether it’s switching to a different career or returning to one after a break.
In addition to talking about the successes of mid-career returners like Marina Groothius, who used their skills to transition from outdated roles into new careers, Tami discussed topics like:
Where returnship participants can differ: “Childcare takes longer than elderly parent care, usually, so mothers raising children are out of the workforce longer. The longer the time out of the workforce, the longer it takes to get back into it.”
What returnship participants have in common: “People coming into a returnship have either directly applicable or directly transferable experience they can put to work within the context of the returnship. I think of a returnee as needing the same level of training that any new employee might get. But they have the basic skills required to complete the job.”
Why tech companies are so interested in returnships: “The gender-balance issue, combined with the overall scarcity of talent, are the factors that lead to the success of returnship programs at tech firms. People out of the workforce are an untapped pool. Other industries may have gender-balance problems but no shortage of talent. They don’t feel the same pressure to bring in more people.”
Career advice for people returning to work: “My general advice to people who are looking for opportunities is to go where the people aren’t. Go where the jobs are plentiful and the people seem to be less so.”
“The ideal candidate for a returnship will have a background that matches what the job is…if you worked in marketing, do a returnship in marketing. If you worked in engineering, do a returnship in engineering. That’s where the 16-week boost, getting you back in the seat, with a manager who can see what you can do, is really successful.”