Back to Business: Finding Your Confidence, Embracing Your Skills, and Landing Your Dream Job After a Career Pause

Back to Business: Finding Your Confidence, Embracing Your Skills, and Landing Your Dream Job After a Career Pause

by Nancy McSharry Jensen, Sarah Duenwald


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The 45 percent of American women who take career breaks know better than anyone that searching for a job—with its new modes of communication, new rules of discoverability, and new expectations—has changed rapidly in the last decade. This book lays out a clear path for anyone ready to re-enter the workforce.

On the job hunt? Don’t just polish your resume—you better make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. And, if you aren’t getting responses from recruiters, chances are it’s, because the robots aren’t selecting your profile because it's missing pertinent keywords. And, by the way, dress codes have changed and you’ll need to know new technologies such as Slack and Google+ Hangouts.

Got it?

For many women re-entering the workforce after a career break, the job search world is a disorienting, confusing, and overwhelming place. Getting started is much easier when you know what the first step should be.

In Back to Business, career coaching and re-entry experts Nancy McSharry Jensen and Sarah Duenwald have put together a guide for women returning to the workplace.

Easy to understand and easy to put into practice, Back to Business teaches you how to:

  • Identify and talk about what you want, taking into account what you’ve been up to while on break.
  • Understand your personal brand, both in-person and online, and how your skills translate to the career you are looking for.
  • Become professionally relevant and gain confidence in your ability to return to the paid workforce.
  • Look for job opportunities while being productive and intentional with your time.

The authors understand through first-hand experience the anxiety of returning to work. They have helped hundreds of women facing the job search process to overcome the anxiety of what is often overwhelming life change.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781400221417
Publisher: HarperCollins Leadership
Publication date: 01/19/2021
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 402,907
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Nancy Jensen has launched businesses for IDG and Microsoft, served as an instructor at UW, and currently serves as CEO and Co-Founder of The Swing Shift. She’s been featured in Forbes, The Huffington Post, at Seattle’s infamous F-Bomb Breakfast Club and the Female Founders Alliance Champion Awards. The award-winning Swing Shift was a semi-finalist at Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch competition, and a finalist for Seattle Chamber’s Women in Business Leadership awards. Nancy believes that women shouldn’t be penalized for taking care of their families, committed to getting women into the workforce on their own terms, and dedicated to 100 percent pay parity.

Sarah’s career over the last 15 years has focused on revenue growth operations in the technology consulting industry. At ADP, where she managed a team of business development representatives, and as a senior manager for a Gaming Technology Consulting company. She has won multiple Presidents’ Clubs & various awards for revenue achievement and client growth.

After the birth of her second child, Sarah took a brief career pause, and then as fate would have it met Nancy and they co-founded The Swing Shift to pursue their passion for helping women in career transition. She heads up Operations, Programming and Partner Relationships.

She believes it’s imperative to change the perception of the modern workplace and works every day to empower women to take control of their careers.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Part 1 Strategy: Paths Back to Business

1 Boomerang: Alice 3

2 Lily Pad: Aliyah 9

3 Try and Buy: Emily 15

4 From Pro Bono to Paid: Jasmine 21

5 How You Can Do This: Discernment and Self-Assessment 25

Part 2 Marketing Toolkit

6 What Is a Personal Brand? 41

7 Position and Pitch 51

8 Social Media Platforms 73

9 Résumés: What's "Good Enough"? 81

Part 3 The Power of Relationships

10 In-Person and Online Connections 113

11 Networking with a Purpose 127

12 Networking Toolkit 137

Part 4 Resources

13 Interview Preparation 143

14 Negotiations 159

15 Alternative Hiring Options 185

16 Timeline and Salary Expectations 191

17 In This Together 199


Appendix 1 The Self-Assessment 201

Appendix 2 Mind Map Worksheet 203

Appendix 3 The Paths Back to Business: Cheat Sheets 209

Appendix 4 Creating Your Personal Brand: Who Are You? 223

Appendix 5 Creating Your Personal Brand: Passion and Purpose 225

Appendix 6 Your Elevator Pitch 229

Appendix 7 Interview Prep Template 231

Appendix 8 Salary Negotiation Worksheet 233

Appendix 9 Performance Review Annual Raise Exercise 237

Acknowledgments 241

Index 243

About the Authors 251

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