If you are working on your professional comeback, there are so many things you need to think about: your resume, career direction, LinkedIn presence, cover letter, professional wardrobe, preparing your family for a big change, and on and on.

But how about you?  Yes — you!  Do you feel ready? Are you nervous? Need a confidence boost so you can get out there and present yourself in the very best light?

Job seekers tend to spend a lot of time on the tools of job search that I mentioned above, but my experience tells me that women returning to work often need a big shot of confidence in this stage of their life. You’ve been doing amazing things during your years out of the paid workforce but you may be unsure of how they translate to your next career move.

Someone told me recently that they appreciated that the Back to Business Women’s Conference dealt with more than just the tools of job search; we took the confidence issue head-on for women returning to work after a career gap.



I’ve been thinking about this issue a lot today because I spent the afternoon doing the high ropes course and zip-line at Bond Park in Cary, North Carolina where we live with our 4 children. Originally, I signed our 11-year old twins up for the open ropes course afternoon, but when one of them asked me “Aren’t you going to do it too?” I went back and signed myself up also.

This was not my typical Saturday! We climbed up a shaky 35 ft rope ladder, walked across a balance beam in the sky, crossed rope bridges and zip-lined. It was scary! But during the ground training we learned that we were protected by a two-fold security system: we wore two harnesses and were clipped into 2 carabiners. So, although it was scary, we were not going to fall.  There was no way we could fail.

What if you couldn’t fail? What if you approached your return to work knowing that you could not fail? Would you walk a little taller? Be a little bolder about reaching out to people you’d like to meet or work with? Speak up about your accomplishments and skills with a different voice?

Well, guess what? I’m here to tell you that you cannot fail in this endeavor. It may take longer than you’d like and you may hear a number of “no’s” along the way, but all you need is one “yes.”  And I promise you, eventually you will transition back to work. Approach it like you know you cannot fail.



Another thing I was reminded of while walking high among the tree-tops today is the importance of trust. When we climbed the rope ladder today, we had to have a spotter and before we began we had to say “Trust on” to verbally acknowledge that we trusted our spotter.

Who’s spotting you during your transition back to work? I hope you have people you trust to encourage and support you as you look for a job and return to work.

During the Back to Business Women’s Conference, we seat women with others who live near them and suggest that they get to know each other and continue to meet after the Conference to support each other. Some of these groups met for a year or more after the conference – as members started new jobs and left the groups, they introduced friends who took their places. Many women have told me what a great source of support their Back to Business group has been during their job search.


Making it fun

Let’s face it – going back to work is hard work. Whenever possible, let’s make it fun.

If you’re in our area, I hope you’re planning to join us for the Back to Business MeetUps that will take place over the next few months. We’ll have fun as we share job search advice and hear from women who have successfully made the transition so you can learn from them. Check out the full schedule of upcoming Back to Business events here.

If you’re not in our area, you can access all the information you need here from recaps of MeetUps to How to Conduct an Informational Interview and pretty soon some online content.

So now that we know we can’t fail, let’s get Back to Business!

You can do this.

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