At my high school graduation, my mother shared some valuable advice, “Katie, never shut a door. You just never know what’s going to happen in the future.” That advice has rung true several times in my life, most recently with JustinBradley.
I have a long history with JustinBradley and I’ve worn several different hats throughout the years. My career at JustinBradley began in 2008 when I was hired as a Financial Recruiter. I was later promoted to Team Lead, managing our Project Solutions Group. Then, I became JustinBradley’s Marketing Manager and in 2017 returned as Marketing Coordinator. My career journey seems all over the place, but if I told you I had two children during my tenure here, “my story” might make a little more sense.
In 2011, before my first child was born, I was trying to figure out what my life was going to look like. How would a new baby, a commute and my husband’s work schedule all come together? Without family in the DC area, I decided working part-time would be the best option for my growing family. Three years and a second child later, along with my husband’s new promotion, I decided it was time to put my career on hold indefinitely. It was a difficult decision to make, but it was the right one at the time.
Fast forward to 2017 when my second child turned three: the recruiter in me started to resurface. Maybe it was all the sleep I was finally getting or maybe it was having both children attending school during part of the day? Regardless, I started to feel like my old self again. As luck would have it, I reconnected with a former colleague at JustinBradley and was offered the opportunity to join the company once again.
For most stay-at-home-moms, whether you put your career on hold for two years or twenty, it’s not that easy to rejoin the workforce. The New York Times reported that 31% of working women voluntarily left the workforce between 2004 and 2009, primarily for child care reasons. After career breaks averaging 2.5 years, 89% said they wanted to return to the workforce, but only 40% managed to find what they regarded as a good full-time job in the sector of their choice.
When I speak to my friends, they all seemed to have the same feeling. They want to go back to work but HOW, WHEN and WHERE? Women for Hire, a company that focuses on women’s careers and recruitment, suggests preparing for these questions:
- Are you really ready to reenter the job market?
- Have you kept up with the trends and issues impacting your industry?
- Are your skills current and up to date?
- Do you have realistic expectations of today’s workplace?
- Can you articulate how your time off will benefit your future career endeavors?
Bounce your responses off trusted friends, especially those who are currently working in demanding positions. The silver lining is that a looming labor shortage means that many employers will be willing to look at nontraditional candidates. Companies like IBM and Morgan Stanley are creating “Returnships” or re-entry programs for women. That “career door” women may have closed years ago doesn’t have to be permanent.
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Katie has a long history with JustinBradley, which began in 2008 when she was the Team Recruiting Lead for JustinBradley’s Project Solutions Group. Five years ago, Katie transitioned her role to Marketing Coordinator, where she currently manages JustinBradley’s marketing activities and social media presence. Prior to joining JustinBradley, Katie was a Manager of the Northern Virginia region in the Executive Office Unit for a global staffing company where she was ranked one of the top five recruiters in the US. She has a Bachelor’s in Communications and is originally from Buffalo, NY. Katie stays busy with her two children, enjoys Crossfit – and keeping up with the latest in Social Media.