Women in Tech: Building a Career After a Long Break

Women in Tech: Building a Career After a Long Break

October 27, 2022

As a woman in Tech, have you taken time off to have children or address other personal matters? Now you're ready to rejoin the workforce. But how do you go about it? 

As a women business owner for decades, I can tell you going back to the workplace can either be hard or a bit easier, as long as you have a plan. While planning, try not to neglect your finances and commit to working on your investments and wealth management. Work on your retirement income planning goals as well! 

This is where my value as a female financial advisor can help women overcome challenges that are pulling us in every direction. 

Tech is a growing field for women 

The fact is the IT and technology fields are growing at a rapid pace, and no business can keep up with the demand. Everything from digital marketing to web design to complete network architecture and data management are up for grabs because there are so few qualified candidates. 

That leaves a giant opening for any woman to embrace, regardless of skill level. In addition, numerous online resources like Udemy, FreeCodeCamp, or Coursera can help you get a foundation in tech-related fields for little to no financial investment. 

You can quickly go from being an at-home mom to transitioning from one career to another with few obstacles with only a little dedication and time. 

Take time to figure out what you want to do, then proceed with care. Don't rush into a job that doesn't fit your skills or interests. Start small and build from there, especially if it's been a while since your last full-time professional experience. 

If possible, find a mentor who can help guide your career path and advise how best to navigate these choppy waters. 

Focus on what Makes You Valuable 

The first thing to do is focus on what you've learned, not the time spent away. Don't get me wrong—you should be proud of your accomplishments, but bragging about your break will only hurt your chances of getting hired. 

Focus instead on the skills and experiences you gained while taking time off. Think about how much more valuable those lessons are now than they were before. Countless soft skills are coveted by employers that women often have more experience leveraging. These could be things like: 

  • Time management.
  • Communication
  • Adaptability 
  • Problem-solving.
  • Team Work
  • Creativity 
  • Leadership
  • Interpersonal skills.
  • And many more!

Whatever you decide, try not to get discouraged. The world has changed quite a bit, and women in the workplace are more common now than 10, 20, or even 30 years ago. 

Top Tips for Women in Tech Staring Out 

1 - Leverage Your Personal Connections

The first step to a successful career after a long break is leveraging your personal connections. Whether asking for advice from people who know you well or networking with people you don't know, there are many ways to get back into the game. 

If you have personal connections, use them to help you reach out and build relationships with other professionals in the tech industry. Ask them to introduce themselves on your behalf. Your network is like gold for finding opportunities and getting jobs in tech. Remember: people will always trust someone they already know. 

2 - Use Social Media & Keywords

Many connections you wish to make in the technology industry will require an online presence. This should be LinkedIn, Dice, and probably 1-2 social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or TikTok.

Use social media platforms to connect with people in your field, especially if they work at companies that hire people like you (i.e., women). Another great way is attending local meetups and networking events related to tech or the industry you want to work in (such as Women Who Code). 

Use keywords in your profiles and resume for the types of jobs you want. So if you are looking for a web design gig or work related to JavaScript, include those in your description. 

3 - Be Honest About Your Break

If you've been away from the tech industry for a while, don't hesitate to ask questions. In fact, it's more than okay — it's encouraged!  

Your interviewer will appreciate that you're interested in learning more, and they'll likely be able to explain things in ways that make sense to you. 

If there are things about your resume or application materials that may raise red flags for hiring managers who aren't familiar with your background (e.g., gaps in employment), then address them directly during the interview process.  

Don't feel ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, embrace these opportunities to educate potential employers about why this break was necessary and how its impact on your career has shaped who you are today. 

4 - Own That You're Risky

Companies are taking a risk when they hire someone who has been away from the workforce for a while. It’s also risky to hire someone older or who has been out of the industry for a while. Those are all valid concerns and don't make them any less worthy of consideration—but that doesn't mean you should shy away from applying to those dream jobs you want. 

Own that you are a risk with confidence to show you are not afraid, and they should trust your judgment. A confident woman is a force to be reckoned with! 

5 - Don't Be Afraid to Get a Small Job for a Bigger One Later

This one is a little counter-intuitive, but hear me out. Sometimes you need to take a job that makes it seem like your career is not moving forward or even moving backward. This may feel like the wrong thing to do but think of it as just another stepping stone on your journey toward success. 

That could mean accepting an entry-level programming job to work your way into a System Admin role a few months later. 

6 - Embrace Remote, Part-Time, & Hybrid Work

Remote work is not for everyone. Some people thrive in an office environment, but remote workers need to be self-motivated and organized enough not only to get their job done without supervision but also to keep up with deadlines while being away from the office. Could that sound any more like a woman’s role? 

We are natural organizers who can multitask far better than men. You are naturally gifted at staying motivated and working from anywhere, so this is a fantastic time to jump into remote or hybrid tech opportunities. 

7 - Get Your Finances Prepared for the Change

Making a career change is always a little risky, but that doesn't mean it won’t lead to a much happier living situation for you and your family. An excellent way to ease some of your nervousness about starting a new career path is to get your finances in complete order. 

Understanding your current financial situation is also a great way to find a salary target. When you know what you want to make from a new job, you can walk into an interview equipped with the knowledge to say yes or no based on income potential. 

Get Help from My Team! 

This is where we can help. At Meyers Financial Services, we work with women at all life stages and career development. My professional team will help you create a budget, outline future goals, and prepare your tax situation for this new career change. 

Schedule a consultation with us today, and let’s help empower you, so you have the confidence to walk into any interview with a target dollar amount in mind. 

Wrapping it Up 

It can always be scary to make a significant life change. Maybe you were a teacher, nurse, industrial worker, or manager before and are ready for a change. Or perhaps you are tired of not having an income of your own after raising a family or spending time traveling abroad. 

Whatever the reason, there are plenty of high-paying opportunities for women in tech-related fields. So go out and explore and you may be amazed at the lucrative openings you can get with only a little bit of effort. 

Book a Call today and lets discuss your options.

Lillian Meyers CFP®, CDFA®, EA is a Financial Planner for Women in Sonoma, California helping clients live their best life through the use of financial planning, investment management, and other sophisticated financial options.