When I first met Janice, a colleague and friend who I very much admire, and a whip smart consultant to boot, she was just re-entering the workforce after having taken a few years off with her kids. As she recounted for me some of the tales of interviews she had been to, where HR reps looked at her suspiciously and asked her to explain just what exactly she had been doing with the couple of years she had taken off, my jaw hit the floor. We all know that women regularly get penalized in the workforce for taking time off to be with their kids, but somehow I guess I had thought we were for the most part past that, and that particularly someone with Janice’s level of skills and experience would be given a full pass for stepping out for such a short time particularly when stacked up against her experience and skills. But apparently I was wrong.
Janice, followed up that conversation by sending me some links for women who are taking time off (for whatever reason) from their careers on staying “relevant”. I put that last word in air quotes, as I feel those women are more than relevant as they are, but … well you all know what I mean. Anyway, as I clean out my inbox and get rid of some pieces that rightly should have been filed last May, I thought I’d share them here for those of you thinking about stepping off the merry-go-round for a while.