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Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work Paperback – August 18, 2008

4.3 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Cohen and Rabin are two Harvard MBAs who stepped away from high-powered jobs to raise their children, then years later attempted to relaunch their careers. Faced with myriad challenges, the authors wondered if other women experienced the same struggles. Their business backgrounds show in the organized approach they take to guiding self-evaluation and assessing marketability. But they provide a more personal perspective through interviews with more than 100 women, from a broad career and economic spectrum, who remember the difficulties of relaunching their careers after hiatuses from 18 months to 20 years. They encountered less-than-supportive partners and children and skeptical prospective bosses, not to mention their own self-doubts. In a separate section, the authors offer accounts of women who succeeded in their relaunches, including former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Cohen and Rabin applaud a relaunch movement they hope will be so widely recognized that women will not be stigmatized for gaps in their résumés. A helpful and inspirational source for women reentering the workforce. Bush, Vanessa
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"A terrific compendium of the issues, trade-offs--and opportunities--that Serious Moms recommitting to Serious Professional life will encounter." --Mary Lindley Burton, president, Burton Strategies, and coauthor of In Transition: From the Harvard Business School Club of New York's Career Management Seminar

"After you have talked your girlfriends to death, bored your husband with all your plans and even, in desperation, consulted your mother-in-law, let Cohen and Rabin show you how it is done. They will help you plan the step-by-step campaign that will get you back into the job market no matter how much time you have taken off." --Lisa Endlich, author of Goldman Sachs: The Culture of Success

"Candid, constructive, compelling... The authors provide realistic yet optimistic advice with examples on how to relaunch a career successfully." --W. Stanton Smith, National Director, Next Generation Initiatives/Human Resources, Deloitte & Touche USA LLP

"This guide is a wonderful and practical roadmap to 'on ramping' back into the workforce. If you're thinking about that journey, this book is the way forward!" --Anne Erni, Chief Diversity Officer, Lehman Brothers

"This comprehensive step-by-step guide to workforce reentry should be invaluable to women seeking to relaunch their careers. Real-life examples of success stories combined with a multitude of practical advice make this book a unique resource." --Constance C. Helfat, professor, Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College

"Finally! A smart, practical, inspiring guide for moms looking to get back to paid work--without losing their minds." --Leslie Morgan Steiner, editor of Mommy Wars and columnist, www.washingtonpost.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Business Plus; Reprint edition (August 18, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446695807
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446695800
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,400,044 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Carol Fishman Cohen is the co-author of career reentry strategy book Back on the Career Track: A Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms Who Want to Return to Work, and the CEO and co-founder of iRelaunch (www.iRelaunch.com).

iRelaunch is the industry leader in the career reentry space, producing innovative products and services for professionals seeking to return to work after a hiatus and for employers recruiting from this talent pool. iRelaunch established the market connecting employers with returning professionals, and coined the term "relaunchers." iRelaunch works with employers, professional associations, university alumni organizations and relaunching professionals through its consulting, coaching and public speaking practices, and its annual Return-to-Work Conference is the signature event nationally for the relaunch market.

The iRelaunch Return to Work Conference has been held 18 times since 2008 in major U.S. cities and in London. The 19th Conference will be held in fall 2016 at Columbia University. Nearly 16,000 people have attended over 200 iRelaunch programs and presentations.

Carol and co-author Vivian Steir Rabin are both Harvard Business School graduates and relaunchers themselves; between them, they have nine kids and they each returned to work after multi-year career breaks before writing Back on the Career Track and starting iRelaunch. Carol's return to investment firm Bain Capital after 11 years out of the full time workforce is documented in a Harvard Business School case study about professional career reentry. Her Harvard Business Review article "The 40-Year-Old Intern" was recognized as an "HBR Article That Changed the Way I Think" as part of HBR's 90th anniversary recognition of HBR articles that made the biggest difference in readers and contributors lives, and was the subject of a TODAY Show segment. Carol is regularly featured in the national press as a commentator on topics related to career reentry. She co-leads the Society of Women Engineers/iRelaunch STEM Reentry Task Force initiative to increase the number of women in the STEM sector via reentry internship programs.

Follow iRelaunch on Twitter @iRelaunch, "like" the Facebook iRelaunch page, and join the iRelaunch group on LinkedIn. Check out the iRelaunch website www.iRelaunch.com and the STEM Reentry Task Force website at http://reentry.swe.org/.

Business Week Editor's Review
For those who have put "former" in front of their once-triumphant titles, there's BACK ON THE CAREER TRACK: A GUIDE FOR STAY-AT-HOME MOMS WHO WANT TO RETURN TO WORK Onetime stop-outs and Harvard MBAs Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin offer a tasty, anecdote-filled field guide to getting back in. Cohen and Rabin masterfully reveal the ambivalence felt by women who can afford to drop out yet may be conflicted about doing so. The book offers lessons on how to de-stigmatize resume gaps and get spouses and kids to buy in to the idea of a return to work. For those who say you can't go back, this book is the definitive rebuttal.--Michelle Conlin

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book has two great strengths. One is that if offers a calm, practical strategy for breaking down and following through on the many tasks involved in going back to work. This is really important and welcome, since in the busy day-to-day of parenting, it is often hard to look at the big picture and think strategically. The second is that it talks about the practical AND emotional hurdles to going back to work, and manages, in an upbeat but balanced way, to talk like a firm but supportive friend about overcoming them. There' s a lot written lately about how mothers are foolish and naive if they don't work for pay, a point of view bound to alienate mothers who aren't currently working. This book, by contrast, is not ideological, but helpful and eminently practical. It's a great resource if you are just starting to think about (and feel your way through) this complex question.
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Format: Hardcover
I was so excited to check this book out of the library because I'm in the process of reentering the work force after 7 years as a stay-at-home mom. Unfortunately this book does not apply to me because I don't have a PhD, MBA, medical degree, engineering degree or law degree. This book is clearly written for the woman who has left a highly paid/skilled job to be at home for a few years. The book outlines family-friendly jobs in many areas such as accounting, marketing, legal, and medicine. Advice on adding volunteer work to a resume is covered however, my only volunteer work has been providing snacks for VBS. In hindsight I guess I should have done more "strategic" and impressive volunteer work to bolster my resume and I am kicking myself for not using those years at home to learn a foreign language. Inspirational stories are provided but they describe women who were at one time CEO's, doctors, lawyers, PhD holders, and even famous celebrities. They ARE inspirational women but I simply can't relate in terms of reentering the work force. Information is provided for people wanting to return to school- initiatives from Harvard Business School, and fellowships for those women interested in scientific careers are included. I tried to google "reentry scholarships" as talked about in one of the chapters but found nothing in my state unless I already had engineering experience.This book is perfect and nicely done for a certain category of women. Sadly I am not in that category. After reading through this book instead of feeling inspired and gaining valuable information I just feel depressed!
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Format: Paperback
I can't believe reviewer Martin Nemzo read the same book I did. As reviewer Rachel Towle mentioned, I do not have an advanced degree, yet I found Back on the Career Track to be a realistic, refreshing guide to career reentry. Women who had "relaunched" careers in all sorts of fields and work configurations are profiled and the advice and strategy is accessible and I think equally effective for those of us without graduate degrees. In fact, I think the stories from the authors and their subjects were unusually candid, which made the points the authors were trying to illustrate even more compelling for someone in the position of being at home trying to return to work. Looking at Mr. Nemzo's background, he does not appear to be in this situation which is why he might have missed the major points of the book.

Finally, his comment about the authors backgrounds is clearly inaccurate to the point where I wonder if Mr. Nemzo had some sort of agenda to diss these authors. His comment that one of the authors is noted in the NYTimes for marrying a physician happens to be her wedding announcement from 1988! From their company website ([...]) and some of my own googling, I found out that Cohen, a mother of four, resumed working after 11 years out of the full time workforce in a full time job for an investment company. She left after a year at which time Harvard Business School wrote a case study about her journey back to work after her time at home. Rabin went into the executive search business after seven years at home with her five kids.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm a new mother, thinking about how I will take the next step of "relaunching," or reinventing my working self for the next stage of my career when my daughter is a little older. I bought this book both because it speaks to my personal situation and because I was so impressed after hearing Carol Fishman Cohen speak recently. Thank goodness I did. It has been enormously helpful in helping me deal with both the personal and the practical issues involved in these complex decisions. It walks you through the process of deciding what kind of return to work is best for you personally, and then shows you how to put those changes in practice. For example, I loved the book's step by step guide to creating your own "elevator pitch" - something I knew was useful to have, but which I'd had difficulty creating during this time of transition. Just as importantly, the book helps you get over the psychological hurdles involved in relaunching in a way that is surprisingly effective. It contains a smart, effective pep talk for women who have started to doubt their own value in the workplace - something that can happen even to women with prestigious degrees and major career accomplishments (I can vouch for this personally). I highly recommend this book to anyone considering a return to work after being a full time mother, no matter how clueless and conflicted you may feel right now about these decisions. "Back on the Career Track" will make you feel better and help you relaunch more successfully.
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