Allison Cheston, Career Connector


Career Connector Blog

Lunching Ladies


Yesterday I was the lead speaker at a seminar for women considering going back to work. This was the first in a seminar series called Mind Your Own Business Moms, started by two women I know through my kids’ school. It was held in a restaurant, and there were about 25 women there, prosperous and engaged in their lives but looking for a career to complete their fulfillment.

My presentation was entitled “Why Work?”, which I felt was apt considering these women are making a choice to work, and income is likely a secondary factor. I feel very passionate about women working as a protective measure. The truth is, 50% of us will get divorced and many of us will be widowed. Women outlive men by seven years, and that number is growing. A horrifying statistic: In the first year a woman is divorced her standard of living plummets by 73% on average. So one of the things I always stress to women is this: You never know.

If you start planning your career now, in a few years you’ll be making enough of a living to re-invigorate your earning power in the long-term. I shared many, many thoughts and tips with this group, and I will share a couple here:

-Figure out what you want to do, what companies interest you, and then find the right person to contact at those companies. Never go in blind.

-Don’t use the Internet to apply for jobs; unless you can prove that you fit the exact profile of what they are seeking in the ad, you will be ignored. Women who haven’t worked in years and/or are seeking part-time work do not qualify. Answering ads only makes you think you’re making progress when you’re not.

-You never know where you might find a job so be prepared. Have an elevator pitch, and use both old and new networks to talk with people. Anyway, there’s lots more in my presentation. If you’d like to view more of it, just email me and I’ll get it to you. Happy hunting!