WellesleyWeston Magazine

FALL 2017

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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the top: Only seven percent of partners in the top venture capital firms are women. Women take career breaks to retool to enable a career change or to apply their skills in a different capacity or sector. Many women off-ramp in order to care for children or aging parents, or to find their way through a death or divorce, or to manage illness — sometimes their own. Sometimes women take a break to write that book or take that trip. More often than not, a combination of factors prompt a career break and also determine its length. Consider Usen's experience. When she left Merrill Lynch, Usen planned on taking a short pause in her career. She and her husband were both juggling big jobs and raising their son. In addition, Usen was traveling regularly to see her mother, who was terminally ill. "Something had to give," Usen explains. "We didn't have any balance." During her pause, Usen cared for her mother, settled her estate, and relocated family mem- Tips for a Smooth Re-entry Whether you have already left the workforce, or are contemplating doing so, here are some hard-won tips from women who have successfully found their way back in. n BE A LIFELONG LEARNER. Stay involved, engaged, and aware of what is going on in the world and in your field of interest during your career break. n NURTURE YOUR NETWORK. Your connections are important sources of knowledge, introductions, and support in your re-entry job search. Stay in touch even while you are on a break. n BE COGNIZANT OF YOUR CORPORATE WORTH. Keep your skills, licenses, and memberships current. n DON'T CONFUSE YOUR CORPORATE WORTH WITH YOUR SELF WORTH. They are completely different. n BUILD YOUR PERSONAL BRAND. Keep your social media profiles current and professional. As you contemplate returning to work outside the home: n KNOW FROM THE START THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE and that you will find a position if you are committed to doing so. n TEST THE WATERS TO SEE IF YOU ARE READY TO RETURN TO WORK. Ask yourself why you want to return to work. Where do you see yourself in three to five years? How does returning to work fit into your world? n GET FAMILIAR WITH RE-ENTRY RESOURCES like reacHIRE™ and iRelaunch. Join their communities and attend workshops to get into their pipelines. n DEVELOP A POSSE. You'll want friends with whom you can share stories, practice elevator pitches, and be mutually supportive. n MINE YOUR CAREER BREAK. What gifts has it brought you? How has it increased your corporate value? n IDENTIFY YOUR SKILLS, EXPERIENCE, AND INTERESTS as clearly as you can. Know what you bring to the table. n BE OPEN TO POSSIBILITIES. Don't pigeon-hole yourself. Jobs and industries are likely to have changed since you were last in the market. Consider how your skills can be applied in multiple environments. n MIND YOUR ATTITUDE. Although you may have a lot of experience, you are also starting over. Stay right-sized and teachable. n BE GRATEFUL. Although hiring returners may seem like a no-brainer, it often is a result of a hard-won change within companies. Remember, it is this company that is giving you the opportunity to move beyond being a returner. n PAY IT FORWARD. Do what you can to help out those that are hoping to on-ramp after you. 133 W e l l e s l e y W e s t o n M a g a z i n e | f a l l 2 0 1 7

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