Laura IzardFounder, Comeback Girl
I’m Laura Izard, mother of two, a native Australian now living in the UK. I have spent most of my career in in-house talent acquisition and recruitment. I love this work especially when I know I have had a part in changing a life.
I took six years out of full-time work to raise my children. I also did other stuff: I just didn’t get a weekly salary. Through that time I volunteered, worked pro-bono, worked for a friend and did a million other things, just not Monday to Friday in the same workplace drawing an annual salary
When I wanted to go back to full–time work, it was trickier than I thought it would be. Not because I had had a career break, but because…
I couldn’t articulate my skills.
I undervalued the commercial worth of what I had learned on career break.
I had no idea how to leverage my network.
I let myself fall victim to a raging inner critic.
I was waiting for others to give me permission to sell my personal brand or better still, get someone to do the selling for me.
I am back in the swing of things, my family is in the new rhythm and of course it is like I never left the workplace.
I want to share what I learned on my journey back to my career.
The idea behind the blog and the podcast is that women thinking about coming back to work after career breaks can lean on my wisdom on the topic.
It is unique to understand both sides of the interview desk so well: as a returner myself and also as a recruiter. I know what constitutes a great interview, a candidate who presents confidently, how to dazzle during the interview process, how to put together a great pitch, and how to ensure you are ready to go back to work.
Right now, I am living out the experience of thriving back in the workplace whilst (trying to) keep in balance all of the other parts of my life that featured more heavily when I was on career break.
Here on Comeback Girl
A lot of the podcast interviews cover some element of this; how we can endeavor to be more than our professional selves. By 2020, one-third of the workforce in the UK will be over 50. We need to be able to have sustainable, interesting work that sees us through and is manageable given the pace of life for most.
I want you to have free resources and over time, courses that you can work through at your leisure that empower you to see the job search as it really is; an opportunity to be revitalized, reminded of your power and get moving on the next stage of your life adventure.
What I believe
If I can avoid just one person going through the crisis of confidence that I did in going back to work after a break I will be delighted.
I believe that there is a success path that you can follow to get back into the workplace and secure a job where you thrive and flourish. I believe that if you spend time identifying the ideal role up front and what your edge is as a professional the job hunt is so much easier, dare I say exciting and energizing.
I believe you can shift your thinking from “I’ve lost my mojo” and “I don’t even know what I can offer any more” to knowing the value you offer and being able to communicate it.
I believe you can have the best years of your work life ahead of you after a break. You know more, you are more resourceful, you are used to learning and making hard decisions, quickly.
I believe you can not just survive in a job but thrive and fulfill important parts of you who are. I believe careers are non-linear and no longer take the “logical progression” that they used to.
I want to add my voice to the movement of women who are celebrating careers that become most enrich and enrich others later in life. Age diversity in the workplace is a thing to be celebrated. I also want to lend my encouragement to those who approach returning to work as an introvert. It may not be our obvious first choice to network and sell our personal brands but there is a way to do this that allows you to remain authentic.