Finding Community and Support During a Transition Back to Work

by Jim Whitfill

Transitions out of and back into the workforce are one of the most challenging experiences adults undergo. As someone who went from being a professor in an Ivy league hospital to a stay-at -home parent, when it was time to re-enter I needed to re-invent my career. So, I know firsthand the emotional ups and downs of taking this path. At OBI, we want to help women who are opting back in after a career pause. While there are multiple facets to a transition, the community we build at OBI is perhaps the most special and unique part of what we offer. It is a community that takes what is often a solitary journey and transforms it into an experience where you are surrounded by others walking the same path.

In addition to community, we know that education and assessment are key to opting back in. Technology and culture have transformed in the business world. OBI helps women adapt to these changes and leverage new tools through courses we offer. Today’s workplace is often virtual and gig-based and we are increasingly seeing women create their own companies to make space for their talents on their terms. Our OBI experts help women learn the nuances of social media and productivity as well as the art of project management. Our Getting Informed Series gives a view of the broader trends and what other women are doing.

We invite you to be a part of the OBI community and let us help you as you opt back in. However you define that for yourself, we will be there for you.

Taking Step One and a Half

by Beverly Bradway & Amanda Hayden

amandaMaking the decision to return to work is only Step One in what inevitably becomes a multi-step process.  While re-engaging in work or career requires the obvious preparation such as resume update, refresher experiences with tech, and some industry/opportunity research. Perhaps the most important and fundamental step should be called Step One and a Half and that’s pushing ‘pause’ to allow time for self-assessment before doing anything else.

Taking time for self-reflection to take inventory and then understand motivations makes for a powerful promotional tool in the return-to-work experience. Why? Because when you know your strengths, when you know your interests, when you know your motivations you are more empowered to pursue them and succeed. Similarly, when you know where you don’t function best you can avoid the pitfalls of landing the wrong job in the wrong environment. Not only are assessments useful to the individual who is looking to return to work or change career, businesses use them, as well. Fit and productivity on the job matter and assessments provide the data and insights that benefit both sides of the job equation.

There are many assessment tools available including Myers-Briggs, StrengthsFinder, SkillScan, MyIDP, Holland Code, MyPlan, Predictive Index, and more. Each has their advantage and each adds value to self-knowledge. Within each of the assessments are ratings, descriptors, and outcomes that highlight strengths while also flagging cautions that help and inform decisions.

How might that information be helpful? Here is an example: you envision the right job as one where you have your desk, your assignments, your details to provide a structured report. Salary feels appropriate, you like the interviewer, the office seems quiet and nice. But, your assessment points to strong creative elements, just the opposite of conventional. Because you thrive where you’re rewarded for imagination, originality, and innovation you may be fine in a structured work setting, but you won’t be at your best.

If the decision is to return to work and thrive, you owe yourself the benefit of doing something at the start that few people do. Set yourself up to achieve, think about your interests, look into taking a behavioral assessment, and arm yourself with information that will help you succeed.

Articles We Think You’ll Like

Leaning (Back) In: What Happens When Stay-at-Home Moms Return to Work –

Why Women-Led Businesses Outperform Their Peers – Huffington Post

Go Back to Work or Stay Home –

Interview Tips for Stay-at-Home Mothers Returning to Work –

Free Events Fall 2017

· Collaborating in the Cloud
· Updating Your Resume Following a Career Break
· Should I Set Up An LLC ?

· Goal Setting and Moving Forward
· The Value of Self-Assessment in the Return-to-Work Process

· First Wednesday of the Month