Monday, April 14, 2008

Opting Back In: Navigating the On Ramp

Writing as the Work It, Mom! Team, I took a look at on ramping -- that is, what it takes to rejoin the workforce after an extended leave of absence. It's something that more and more parents, especially mothers, face as they find ways to juggle career and parenthood.

According to the Center for Work-Life Policy and the Harvard Business Review, about 93 percent of the highly qualified women who opt out of the workforce want to return to work later in life. Unfortunately, the study shows that only 74 percent of those women end up rejoining the workforce and, of those, only 40 percent are able to get a full-time job with benefits.

“Many talented, committed women take off-ramps but an overwhelming majority can’t wait to get back in,” says Sylvia Ann Hewlett, President of the Center for Work-Life Policy and an author of the report. While work-from-home options -- like starting your own company, joining an online business, freelancing, or consulting -- are available for many working moms, others prefer to return to full-time employment outside of the home. There are things you can do to make opting back in to the work force a bit easier. ... [More]

So what can you do? In a nutshell:

  1. Be determined.
  2. Ask for help.
  3. Develop an "elevator pitch."
  4. Invest in yourself.
  5. Keep up (and really use) your network.
  6. Be realistic.
  7. Stay in the same city, if possible.
  8. Consider going back full-time.
  9. Overcome emotional obstacles.
  10. Opt back in sooner rather than later.

Read more about each of those tips here, and check out Work It, Mom!'s new Quick Tips and Lists section for easy-to-digest information and printable lists that make the juggle a little bit easier.

No comments: