reentering the workforce

Reentering the Workforce with Confidence

Have you taken a break from your career and are now faced with the challenge of reentering the workforce? No matter the reason for a break; raising children, trip around the world, mission work, you should approach reentering the workforce with confidence.

You weren’t buried under a rock during your break; you had experiences, learned new things, developed new skills and that knowledge along with your forte prior to the break, make you a valuable asset.

Els Hol-ferman offers several tips for coming back with confidence in her article of the same name, one for which I have a strong connection:

Choose projects that have the 3 Is: Impact, Importance and Influence. This will help you make an mark quickly, it will help you demonstrate success in areas that are visible and will work toward reminding you of what an important asset you are to the organizations.

Before you say yes coverIn my book Before You Say Yes, I talk about the importance of understanding your impact and influence quotient and making decisions based on what you are good at and what is important to you.

The following Venn Diagram indicates the overlap you are seeking when deciding to say yes to a new project. The overlap is your Influence and Impact Center I2








  • What do you look forward to doing?
  • What do people compliment you for doing?
  • How can you position yourself for opportunities that create value?

The area where the answer to these three questions intersect is where you should focus you energies when reentering the workforce.

If you are given an opportunity that doesn’t align with your impact and influence, then you must say no.

Don’t feel guilty. Know that you have truly assessed this request and if you said yes when you know you should have said no then:

  • Your heart won’t be in the project
  • You’ll begin to begrudge the task and perhaps even those on the committee
  • Your other work may suffer
  • Your health and emotional well-being could be affected

Saying no actually is a good thing because it means:

  • Someone else has the opportunity to benefit from being part of the project
  • The team and project may go in an entirely different direction under the influence and leadership of the person who does say yes
  • You can feel proud that you’ve been true to your own goals and can now give your full attention to the projects you currently lead.

Before You Say Yes is a workbook offering a series of questions that help you focus in on what that impact and influence sweet spot is.

If this is a time for reentering the workforce in your life then do so with the right mindset – you aren’t looking for a paycheck, you are looking for a way to offer value, make a difference and earn a living.

Els offers ten tips for reentering the workforce and I strongly suggest you read the article. Remember this, above all, trust your instincts. Els says:

One of the most highly underrated business skills but by far one of the most valuable is the ability to listen to your gut feeling! Trust it and act on it! This can (sometimes) be a distinct advantage women in business have- a strong instinct. We have to learn to trust our instincts.

As part of the process of reentering the workforce, you might want to subscribe to our video series Resume Strategies To Secure “The Interview”

In the meantime, have confidence and seek new opportunities that will make the most of your impact and influence!

IMG_5268cJJ DiGeronimo, keynote speaker for women, based in Cleveland, presents keynote addresses on women in leadership, diversity in business and advancement for women.