Back on the Career Track, pt. 2

Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder of irelaunch,  returns today with some concise words of advice for anyone looking to reignite a career or maybe change direction. She gives us some great personal stories that we hope will provide inspiration and direction.

If you want to hear more Carol gave a great interview with Better After 50 (BA50) and you can read it here.

5 ways to relaunch a career:

1.    The Volunteer Relaunch

  • After a 15 year career break, Jenny Brody founded the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project to provide pro bono representation to low-income clients in family law cases.  The non-profit has now secured funding and has 450 lawyers involved.
  • Another lawyer, Deborah Felton, spent most of her 15 year career break as a community activist, including increasingly senior volunteer roles at a senior housing community. When the housing community was looking for a new (paid) Executive Director, Deborah was their first choice.

2.    The Back to School Relaunch  The benefits of going back to school only begin with what you are learning in the classroom.  You have access to career services, exclusive job listings and internships, and networking opportunities with professors and fellow students.

  • Belinda Nanda, an IT consultant who had taken a 10-year career break, took IT courses at a local community college to update her skills.  She applied for an internship posted at the community college to work at an electronic medical records management company.  Instead of being offered the unpaid internship, she was offered a permanent position.
  • Cindy Rawlings completed a Certified Financial Planning Certificate at Northwestern University at the end of her 20 year career break and subsequently returned to work at North Shore Community Bank as part of their commercial banking group. She has worked in increasingly senior positions in the 6 years she has been back at work.
  • Debbie Krasnow, a former public relations executive, went back to school for a degree in social work at the end of her 15 year career break. She is now a social worker working with at-risk women and their families at a non-profit.

3.    The Internship Relaunch 

  • Erika Grinius transitioned from a career as a social worker to a career in business. She was in the part time MBA program at University of Chicago Booth School of Business when she saw a listing for an internship at Whitney Automotive Group, the largest online retailer of auto parts in the country.  The internship turned into a permanent position, and Erika got a promotion upon receiving her MBA degree.  She subsequently transitioned to a position as Director Target Marketing, E-commerce, for Walgreens.

4.    The Career Reentry Program Relaunch. 

  • Dr. Margaret Rayman relaunched her career via the Daphne Jackson Fellowship program in the U.K., which enables professionals in scientific and technical fields to relaunch careers after career breaks.  Following a 15 year career break, Dr. Rayman returned to academia and is now a tenured professor at the University of Surrey.

5.    The Entrepreneurial Relaunch. 

  • Kris Hintz founded Position U4 College after a 15 year career break. A former consumer marketing executive, she completed a part time Masters Degree program in Psychology and also focused on personal coaching and counseling.  “My relaunch has been tremendously gratifying thus far. I am happy to share my experience with other empty-nesting parents who want to leverage their experience and talents in a new entrepreneurial career!”
  • Ann Levin was a former advertising executive who took a 20 year career break to care for her children, and ultimately, her mother, who had suffered a debilitating stroke. Her experience caring for her mother and orchestrating the downsizing of her home and relocation to an assisted living facility was the genesis of her business idea. Now her company Senior Move Partners does this work for other seniors and their families.

About Grown and Flown

Parenting from the Empty Nest
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2 Responses to Back on the Career Track, pt. 2

  1. This is really interesting, thank you. I am particularly considering the volunteer relaunch. The more you get out there, even in an unpaid capacity the more opportunities come your way.


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