Pivoters: Getting It Right, the Second Time Around
The choice to return to one’s previous profession might seem the most obvious and easiest path to reentry, but for many women that wasn’t an option either for personal or professional reasons. Instead, they pivoted.
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Some found the re-entry to their old careers too challenging. As one respondent to the Women on the Rise survey who had pivoted her career wrote, “I could not find a job in 2009 and being 50 years old [made it even harder]. So I moved, got my real estate license, and went to work for a builder. Now, I run all aspects of the construction business. It’s a career I never dreamed of, but one that uses all of my skills and abilities.”
Other Women on the Rise respondents found that stepping away from the paid workforce gave them a chance to reevaluate. They came to realize they had been in the wrong profession and used this opportunity to move to a new one.
Pivoting to a new profession after a career pause requires more than smarts; it requires vision, tenacity, and the help of inspired employers who are willing to take a risk on you.
My friend from the Not-So-New Mothers Group, Patricia Nakache, was lucky enough to have just that kind of support. Before she became a mother, she worked her way up the ladder at McKinsey & Company as a management consultant. After her son, Robbie, was born, Patricia worked three days a week for McKinsey. She also wrote a number of articles for Fortune magazine about the business climate in Silicon Valley. In that role, she interviewed a variety of venture capitalists and found she loved what they did and dreamed of joining their ranks.
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