Monday, January 26, 2009

Your Off-Ramping Plan

A research study conducted by The Center for Work-Life Policy found that 93% of women currently “off-ramped” are interested in going back to work at some point. These findings make it clear that women are not retiring, but rather taking a temporary break from their careers to care for their children. Here are some tips to make an easier adjustment in going back to work ("on-ramping") while you are staying home:
  • Get back in touch with previous bosses and co-workers. If you’ve lost touch, check out the company’s or organization’s websites to see if they still work there. You can also use popular and effective networking tools such as LinkedIn to re-establish contact if they are not. Try to schedule a coffee, lunch or simply have a call if you are long distance once or twice a year to update your contacts on what you are doing. Remember you may need to call on them later as references. Take steps now to build up your network.

  • Take leadership roles in volunteer organizations to utilize your background or to learn new skills that will help you in your next career. All the experts I have talked to say that substantial volunteer work should be included on your resume in its own section. Be selective on what you volunteer for. Remember quality experiences are better than quantity.

  • Constantly review and update your resume with recent achievements involving part-time positions and volunteer experiences. Use active business terms and if possible, include dollars raised or saved, a budget you managed, or a team you managed for volunteer positions.

  • Consider taking classes, getting an additional degree or starting your own business to fill-in the “gap” on your resume. More importantly, you will learn new skills and have experiences to talk about in applying for that first position back to the workforce.

Christine Fruehwirth is a career and life coach in the Washington, DC area. She is focused on helping women return to the workforce or finding more work/family balance in their current careers. For more information on her practice, please contact her at

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