The Secret to Successfully Returning to Work After a Career Break, From Women Who've Done It

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In recent years, it's become incredibly common to take career breaks. Whether you take time off to travel, to care give or to take care of personal business, it can be difficult to figure out how to jump back in to the professional world. That's why building a strong community of career breakers is the secret to transitioning back to a career-oriented lifestyle. 
Path Forward's FGB Group hopes to be that community to any woman looking for a helping hand. On top of a supportive community, the group offers free resources to making going back to work a breeze, plus insider's information on their national programs  — found everywhere from New York City to Arkansas. You can join for free with your Fairygodboss account. Don't have an account? Sign up and be sure to fill out your profile for more groups recommendations. After all, Fairygodboss groups are the newest way to network with like-minded women. 

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Want to learn more about Path Forward? We spoke to their administrators about the benefits of joining their online (and IRL) community. 

Who are you? 

We are a non-profit on a mission to empower caregivers to return to work after significant career gaps.

What inspired you to start this group? 

We started this group for many of the same reasons we originally launched our non-profit organization, Path Forward. We strive to be a much-needed resource and supportive space for women (and men) who feel alone in their journey back into their careers. At our in-person workshops, many of our program participants say that they felt motivated and uplifted just by being around others in the same situation as them. We hope that our Fairygodboss community inspires the same sense of camaraderie.

Who is this group best suited for?

Anyone who has or is currently taking time off for the care of a loved one, for childcare or for self care and is thinking about re-entering the workforce but isn’t sure where to start. 

Is there an IRL (in real life) version of your group?

Yes! We are a New York based non-profit that runs programs across the U.S. This fall, we offered returnship opportunities in the San Francisco Bay Area, Austin, Seattle,  New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Reston (VA), Bentonville (AR), Carlsbad (CA), Dallas and Houston. We also run a number of free career restart seminars — both in person and through webinars — to help people prepare for returning to work. These presentations offer practical advice on how to assess your career goals, find and utilize your networks and restart successful careers. Applicants also have the opportunity to meet with recruiters from our partner companies to discuss open returnship opportunities. 

What part of FGB Groups are you most excited about?

We are so excited to be on Fairygodboss and to reach out to such a variety of professionals at all stages in their careers. We value community dialogue and we hope to see people engaging and supporting one another in their search for fulfilling careers with companies that recognize their talent. 

If you could get one celebrity to join your group, who would it be and why? 

Reese Witherspoon has become a force in Hollywood creating movies and TV shows that are made by, star and appeal to women. She created her production company because she was frustrated by the roles she was being offered and complained to her husband, a Hollywood agent. He told her that it wasn’t her — if anything, she was being offered the best roles available. If she wanted better roles, she was going to have to make the movies herself. Witherspoon could have had a perfectly good and lucrative career starring in the movies she was offered. She would likely still be on lists of the most powerful women in Hollywood. But she didn’t just want to be an actress in movies — she wanted to change the movie business and expand opportunities for women. We are here for any and all women who are trying to make more opportunities for women!

If you could describe the vibe of your group in three words or less, what would the words be?

Supportive, inclusive and empowering.

How can the FGB community get involved with your group? 

Share your stories! Whether you’ve had experiences as a caregiver, a professional, someone who's struggled to switch careers, change directions or forge new paths, we want to hear from you.

This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Are you returning to work after a career break? Share your answer in the comments to interact with other Fairygodboss members!