Full-Time Mom and Security Engineer: How This Well-Thought-Out Program Helped Me Return to Work

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Claudia Galindez

Photo courtesy of Audible.

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Audible’s community impact is tremendous, genuine and innovative — the work we do goes beyond creating an incredible product, and it makes me so proud to say I work at Audible,” says Claudia Galindez, a member of the information security team. She works at a fast pace and supports Audible initiatives from thoughts to full fruition.

But, before Galindez got involved in the work she enjoys so much at Audible, she took a break from her career. Galindez left the workforce in 2019 to focus on her family and, in particular, her youngest son who was diagnosed with a learning disability and had a tough time adjusting to kindergarten.

“Something had to give, and my family and I collectively decided that I would step back from my career for a while to focus on this new dynamic,” she tells Fairygodboss. “The time I spent with my son was essential for him to adjust, and having his mom’s full attention made it easier for him to succeed. I was thankful for that dedicated time with him, and we all saw the benefit. He was making progress in leaps and bounds and, most importantly, he was happy.”

When she and her family started to see her son’s success, Galindez says that she knew it was her time to do the same. That’s when she became aware of the Audible “Next Chapter” Returnship Program, which she calls “the most well-thought-out program” she’d ever found. Now, as a security engineer, Galindez tells us that she uses curiosity as a “tool to open new doors of opportunity.”

Here, we caught up with Galindez to talk more about her career journey and, ultimately, her return to work. Here’s what she had to say about the process and the program at Audible.

What inspired you to become a security engineer?

First, let me tell you a little more about myself. I’m a wife and a mother to three children. I started my Bachelors in Rutgers University, where I was initially a biology major, but only because that was “the thing to do.” I later decided to do a minor in computer science and was blown away with the first course I took, Intro to C++ Programming. Up until then, I had never been so engaged in a class at school, so it was an awakening — my first career awakening.

Without a doubt, I had found my major, and my introduction to my career started. After graduation, I was welcomed into the world of system analysts. I learned, excelled and was always eager for more learning. This eagerness eventually opened opportunities to engage with the security teams at work. My brief stint working on technical security projects opened me up to the world of hackers, vulnerabilities and risk. This was totally new for me; it was also my second career awakening. I saw it as my next step of growth and was excited and hungry for just a sliver of opportunity in information security. But it would have to wait a little longer.

Could you share about your Returnship experience at Audible?

Audible’s Returnship Program provided just the right amount of support and resources for success. Additionally, they provided a community of returnees because we all went through the program in close cohorts. I still keep in touch with them now, even after receiving a full-time offer. They’re a part of my professional support network. We were all in the same boat, and we all helped each other.

What is your best advice you have for someone returning to the workforce after a career break?

Beware of imposter syndrome. It will try to break you down and push you away from your goals. I can tell you that, if you feel imposter syndrome, meet it with enthusiasm. It only means that you have reached an opportunity that you have not had before.

Now, after your successful return, could you share the most rewarding aspect of being in security engineering at Audible?

Information security is a service provided to the whole of the organization. This means I will eventually get to know and work with every operating unit within the company. The appreciation I have seen so far from those I have worked with is amazing. Everyone here is really one team and working towards a common goal.

What do Audible’s People Principles mean to you?

Audible’s People Principles are the mantra of how all companies should be. The one that resonates the most with me is Be Customer Obsessed. It is the best way to exemplify how I live my Audible work life every day. 

Is there anything else that you’d like to mention that you would consider distinct about your Audible experience?

When I first joined, I heard about how supportive and collaborative everyone was at Audible. But it’s one thing to hear it, and it’s another thing to witness it. Well, I am setting the record straight: Audible employees are 100% the kindest group of people you’d ever want to work with.



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