How to Renew Your Professional Identity After a Career Break

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April 12, 2024 at 8:50PM UTC

No matter what your professional trajectory looks like, it’s completely natural to take a break from the workforce at some point during your career. In fact, approximately one-third of women with college and graduate degrees do it. 

Yet even though this pattern is common, and is certainly nothing new, women who take a break continue to face obstacles upon returning work, such as age discrimination, gender bias, bias against mothers, and the gender pay gap.

If you’re looking to re-enter the workforce, you might also face personal barriers related to your self-confidence. For starters, figuring out how to address a career gap in your resume is not always easy. You might feel judged for taking time off and not appearing ambitious, or perhaps you perceive that you are technologically behind and can’t catch up. Moreover, if you’ve spent a lot of time at home looking for jobs, you may feel like you lack a supportive community or feel uncertain of how to network in today’s social media landscape.

Having time to reflect on your priorities, it’s not uncommon to discover that you’re interested in meaningful work following a career break. Whether you’ve been volunteering and/or taking care of children, you likely view this work as personally, if not professionally, fulfilling and want to feel this sense of purpose in your next chapter. 

The good news is the barriers women face are not insurmountable. The large number of women looking to return to work represents a valuable, untapped pool of talent. Purpose driven organizations can, and should, capitalize on this talent, creating opportunities for women to re-engage by leveraging their accumulated skills, life experience, and passion for purpose-driven work. 

One of the goals of Inspiring Capital’s Return with Purpose Summit — coming up on Jan. 10, 2019 in NYC — is to help bridge this gap. The summit is a one day, content-packed event that facilitates the transition to purpose-driven roles through a supportive, like-minded community of women. Participants in the summit will gain opportunities for clarity, confidence, community and connections needed to pursue a career within the social impact sector. Summit topics focus on career re-entry tools as well as an introduction to the spectrum of social impact organizations. 

Why attend the summit? It’s a great opportunity if you’d like to approach your return to work or explore the beginnings of a new professional identity with a like-minded group women in a safe space. The summit will also offer you inspiration from leading career experts, change makers and women who have made it to the other side.

According to summit organizers, you’ll walk away with:

  • The beginning of a renewed professional identity

  • Strategies for successful career re-entry: interviewing and networking skills, elevator pitch, and strategic volunteering tips

  • Knowledge of social impact trends across not-for-profits, social enterprises, industry and government: impact investing, B Corp movement and more 

  • Advice on how to present and position your skills to stand out to potential employers

  • The motivation to act on career intentions for 2019

  • A new community!

Read more about the summit and register here by Dec. 7 for a 20% discount!  

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