SJPL Works: Women Returners Workgroup

*Updated: June 2024*

The last few years have taken quite a toll on many and has unfortunately led many to take a dramatic "career break" from the workforce, particularly for working women who were either forced to leave their jobs or voluntarily left in order to take care of their families. A "career break" is different for each individual and their journey back into the workforce can be equally exciting and daunting. For many returners, the process of job searching can tend to be challenging, particularly when concerned about the stigma of career breaks as well as changes to the workplace environment. To assist those seeking to return to the workforce after a break, SJPL Works is partnering with Suparna Vashisht, Founder of Women Back to Work for SJPL Women Returners Workgroup.

This virtual workshop allows for women returners to meet and collaborate with each other in order to help build their confidence and strengthen their existing skills for meaningful employment. This will be a 6-session workshop that will take place on a Wednesday once a month from July - December 2024. Each month will explore a different topic and have exercises that will help participants with their resume and job search. Additionally, while the workshop is titled "Women Returners" all are welcomed to join.

SJPL Women Returners Workgroup

Below are the scheduled topic and description for each session.

Date: One Wednesday a Month (July - December 2024), 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM

Wednesday, July 10, 2024
Session 1 - Topic: Job Search - Goal Setting

Goal setting is important for identifying what you want to accomplish and what you have to do to get there. In this workshop, learn how to set goals for yourself that break up the whole process into small tasks that are manageable and will help you keep up the momentum. This kind of goal setting can help keep you motivated on the days when it's hard to get going. It will also help you get to the end result faster.

The workshop includes exercises that will get you started on how to set goals for your job search.

Wednesday, August 21, 2024
Session 2 - Topic: Strengths

In this second session of the Women Returner Workgroup, we will work on identifying our strengths. We have all heard about needing to work on our weaknesses. But a growing body of research proves that the more effective approach to improving performance is to build on your strengths. With the exercises in this session, you will hopefully get a better understanding of your strengths and how to leverage them in your resume and job search.

Before the session, please try and find 15 minutes to do the VIA character strengths survey. This will help you identify what your key strengths. The website provides a brief explanation of each strength so you can see how it will be relevant in the work setting.

In addition, also watch this beautiful video called 'Trombone Player Wanted' by Marcus Buckingham, best-selling author, business consultant and global researcher, who says, 'Focus more of your time on your strengths than weaknesses.'

Wednesday, September 11, 2024
Session 3 - Topic: Personality, Skills, Value, and Interest 

In this session of the Women Returner Workgroup, we will explore how knowledge of your personality type, values, and interests can help you define your work purpose. Through the exercises in this session, you will hopefully identify your top skills ,values, and highest interests and begin to leverage them in your resume and job search.

Before the session, please try and find 20 minutes to complete this free personality type test and complete this quiz to explore your interests through the O*Net Interest Profiler.

Wednesday, October 16, 2024
Session 4 - Topic: Elevator Pitch

In this session of the Women Returner Workgroup, you will learn how to rock your Elevator Pitch!

You never get a second chance to make a first impression! Craft your personalized “elevator pitch” to use as an introduction while networking or interviewing and as a tool to engage the listener about what you have to offer.

Learn how to create an authentic, memorable personal pitch to make a great first impression.

This Webinar will help YOU :

  • Focus on your strengths
  • Introduce yourself confidently
  • Better articulate your fit for a job

Wednesday, November 13, 2024
Session 5 - Topic: Networking

Deconstructing Networking!

Networking is critical to a successful and efficient job search as 80% of the US population gets their job through someone they know. However, many find the networking process stressful and intimidating. In this workshop you will learn how to break down networking into small, simple tasks that will make it easier for you to adopt this important job search strategy. For this workshop, please keep paper and pen handy (or laptop etc.) for some simple exercises.

Wednesday, December 11, 2024
Session 6 - Topic: Resume

A well-crafted resume is a vital tool to helping you stand out to potential employers.

In this session we will focus on the most difficult piece of a resume – linking your skills and experience to the needs of your potential employers. Whether you are connecting your previous experience, volunteer experience, or switching careers, you will learn to identify and highlight the transferable skills the employer is looking for.

Registration is required.

Please register HERE

Women Back to Work Logo.

This workshop is presented in partnership with Suparna Vashisht, Founder of Women Back to Work. A work program that empowers women returnees, and partners with leading companies to facilitate a pathway for women with technical backgrounds to return to the workforce after a hiatus.