Career Restart

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A woman uses her smartphone while waiting for the train in the Times Square subway station. A woman uses her smartphone while waiting for the train in the Times Square subway station. (Natalie Fertig/WNYC)

Inspired by programs that help women who took years off from their careers get back to work, we're asking listeners to share stories of how they were able to re-enter the work force after taking a significant amount of time off.

Comments [10]

Amy Gewirtz

I am the Director of Pace Law School's New Directions for Attorneys program, which was featured in The New York Times article you mentioned. We are planning our September 2014 session and have Information Sessions coming up inApril and May. For further information, potential applicants may refer to our website at

Mar. 25 2014 03:58 PM
Kate from Brooklyn

A bit off-topic but I'm wondering if the woman that is a musician looking for work as a teacher needs to reformat her resume. Considering what an incredible background she has, it seems very odd that no one would even respond to her. Though her skills may be timeless and not be "out of date" so to speak, applying to jobs is a skill in itself. Perhaps I am being naive and it truly is due to her gap years. Just thought I'd comment in case she sees this. Either way, good luck to all...

Mar. 20 2014 04:45 PM
Carol Fishman Cohen from Boston, MA

Hi Brian, I just listened to your show. The last caller mentioned the company I co-founded as a resource for returning professionals and you asked for more information about it. The website is One of the events we have coming up is in NYC at Citi headquarters on April 8. It is almost sold out (there is no charge, but people have to register), but listeners can register for it on the iRelaunch website. We feature career reentry tools and resources, return to work success stories, and events. Thank you, Carol Fishman Cohen, co-founder, iRelaunch, co-author Back on the Career Track.

Mar. 20 2014 04:27 PM
A. Liu from NJ

I left the corporate workforce 14 yrs ago after getting my MBA at NYU, and working for 10 yrs in a NYC financial firm. At the time, I had 3 kids, a demanding job with travel and a long commute. My son was asking the nanny about God. That signaled to me that it was time to tip the balance toward my family. I figured that in 5-7 yrs, I could easily take that MBA and successful career experience and get back to work. Not so easy. It seems MBAs do not take time away from their careers to raise children so the jobs that I am qualified for, are not interested. The gap is very difficult to explain without a hiring manager who is sympathetic or has personal experience. I am currently interviewing for a position in a major corp. which is offering a 10-wk (paid) internship - this is the perfect option for a company to take a chance on someone and tap into a great pool of talent. If it works out, the position will convert to a FT job. Cross your fingers!

Mar. 20 2014 02:43 PM

The common thread here is that as a society, we do not value the benefits to society that raising children provides. We've just listened to caller after caller - all gifted, talented and well educated - be challenged about their decision to raise a family. Child care is a real profession and we need great parents to do this job. And, to employers, a prospective employee who has completed the "child rearing" portion of their 'education/profession,' should be an ideal choice for a dependable contributor to any workforce.

Mar. 20 2014 12:00 PM
Alice Rubin from Brooklyn, NY

At age 42, mother of two young children and after a previously successful career in government (two degrees in political science) I was unable to find position. After three years of seeking employment I started law school at age 45, graduating at 48. I found my first law job with an insurance company and moved to other positions until I qualified to take a civil service job as an administrative law judge and stayed in that position until I was eligible to run for Civil Court. I served for a full and a portion of a second term until compelled to retire at age 70. I have had no shortage of offers if I want to continue practicing law, but prefer and can afford a comfortable retirement. Raising children, going back to school and also doing community volunteer work was not easy, but with supportive husband it all happened.

Mar. 20 2014 11:47 AM
Aparna from Brooklyn

Is there anything particularly challenging about returning to the workforce now, in 2014, given that business constrictions have pushed many other people into the jobmarket as well?

In other words, do employers evaluate the "support for an aging parent" gap on a resume differently from a "I was laid off" gap on a resume?

Mar. 20 2014 11:37 AM
Thomas from NJ

What about men who suspended their careers, stayed home with the kids while their wives fulfilled their career aspirations, and now want to return to the workforce?

In my [very personal] experience, HR execs sympathize much more with women than with men in this regard.

Mar. 20 2014 11:31 AM
teresa from Brooklyn

After 8 years off I was very lucky to have the firm I worked with before I left on maternity leave, hire me back. I would have stayed out longer but after divorce there was no option. Glad I did. I think that had I waited longer it would have been more difficult.

Mar. 20 2014 11:28 AM
Jacqueline Montgomery from bayside ny

great topic. I was a director of residential services for an agency for the intellectually disabled (UCP OF NYC) when I quit in 1998 to get married & have kids, I knew I'd return. but how- I wasn't sure & I didn't plan. but I volunteered for my community in Douglaston-garden club, PTA president, Community Education Council-then I had to ask for an ad for the annual fundraiser -I called QCC and I began speaking with the Dean of continuing Ed- she was impressed with my talents & skills and offered my a job! it is now 5 years and I am the director of the kids & Teens college for Continuing Ed! I am also going back to school through CUNY tuition free for my Masters! My recommendations-VOLUNTEER and put it on the resume! Volunteering & Community Service is real!

Mar. 20 2014 11:03 AM

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