Diversity

Thinking of Returning to the Workforce After a Career Break? This Might Help

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With Jen Jones (2 min read)

After taking a two-year career break, Jen Jones joined the IBM Tech Re-entry Program as a Data Scientist. Jen—who describes herself as a wife, mom, friend, yogi, golfer, and natural hair enthusiast—comes from a career background in sales and strategy and is currently working with analytics and telling stories through data analysis.

In this installment of the Tech Re-Entry series, Jen tells us a bit about her journey throughout the program and what it’s like to be working at IBM after taking a career break.

What advice you can give someone who is thinking of going back to work after a long break?
Just go for it! Remember that even your time during the break is valuable. Think about all your experiences and skills you gained during your break, and don’t be shy in talking about them!

Based on your experience, what type of people does IBM look for to join the program?
I believe the main requirements were to be a technical person who left the workforce and who genuinely wants to come back into technical work. I met those requirements. And I’m passionate about data science, which helps.

What is the work environment at IBM like?
The culture at IBM is truly inclusive. I can be myself in front of my manager, and I’m not afraid to be honest. And I love that.
When I joined the program in March 2018, the program owner at the time was the most amazing sponsor I ever could have hoped for to help me in my transition. Her dogged persistence and focus gave me a voice where there was no one in the room to speak for me.

Can you share more about the projects you are working on as an intern?
Right now, I help support employee engagement. It gives a voice to 380,000 IBM employees, allowing leadership to act on that feedback. We work to make sure no employee gets lost. And we live the ideals of inclusiveness.

What is the most valuable benefit of the IBM Tech Re-Entry program, and how did it make a difference in your career?
This program not only helped return me to the workforce full time, it helped me solidify a career pivot into I field I love: data science. Both my manager and my technical mentor were amazing supporters; their voices gave me confidence when I had none.

The IBM Tech Re-Entry Program is now accepting applications for US, Canada, and India. More information about the IBM Tech Re-Entry program can be found at www.ibm.com/techreentry.

Are you interested in having a career at IBM? Get the latest career information and job opportunities by joining the IBM Talent Network!

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