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I’m Baaaack!

Shifra Ernest

How to prepare yourself to transition from diapers and car pools to deadlines and spreadsheets — and get the job of your dreams

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

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Once your résumé is good to go … network, network, network! That’s job hunting advice 101 — and it’s never more applicable than when you’re seeking to reenter the world you left behind a long time ago

W ith our youngest child starting school — making that five tuition bills — one thing was clear: it was time to go back to work.

But the $64,000 question was: What would I do?

“I don’t know how to do anything!” I moaned to my friend Chanala, as she commiserated with me over coffee on my bungalow porch. “I haven’t worked since my preschool-teaching days! How do I just… get a job?”

Chanala looked at me. “You know how to write,” she said. “Pick up a pen.”

So I did.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. But somewhere along the way, a small career began to form. I got a few responses. I got an acceptance e-mail!

As Chanala will tell you (she reminds me often), I look back at that day on my bungalow porch as The Day My New Career Was Born.

Chances are, if you have no job and five tuitions of your own, if your children have just emptied the nest, or if you’ve got time you’d like to fill in a money-making way, you’re thinking, Well, how can I do that?

It’s a daunting question. But while there will be obstacles — it may seem like starting from scratch all over again — a second career can prove to be one of the most rewarding and satisfying aspects of your life. We’ve done a bit of homework, and gotten tips and advice from the pros, to make that vocational journey a little easier.

More Than a Job

Adele Dubin of New York was on a high-powered career path two decades ago that included a senior management position at American Express and a stint at a venture capital firm run by one of the cofounders of Priceline. It was a fairly predictable path for Adele, who was raised in an ambitious and goal-oriented environment.

“Make it clear from the outset that although you’re a mother and wife, your job is a priority as well”

As she worked her way up the proverbial ladder, however, the struggle to balance her professional career with her personal life as a wife and mother became increasingly  difficult.

“We lived in the city,” Adele explains, “and as my kids got older, we began to outgrow our apartment. My husband and I were constantly juggling our schedules and discussing who would make it home by 7 p.m. to relieve the babysitter. It got to a point where we couldn’t maintain that lifestyle.”

The Dubins made a monumental decision: The family would move to Five Towns suburbia, and Adele would take a hiatus from work to focus on full-time motherhood.

The plan suited the family well… for quite a bit longer than Adele had originally anticipated.

Fifteen years later, she was ready to go back to work. Only one question stood in her way: What would she do? Her former industry had changed vastly, while her skill set had stagnated. And her lifestyle no longer allowed for her former grueling schedule.

There was also another consideration. “I was happy in my former career,” says Adele, “and I got a thrill from my work. Yet, I had felt something was missing. My work just didn’t feel meaningful. When I wasn’t working, I realized from doing chesed that I derived real satisfaction from helping others in a tangible way and making a difference in people’s lives. I knew my new career would need to incorporate that meaning. I needed to feel I was doing something relevant, that I could use my talents more productively.” (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 563)

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