Women play a critical role in the workforce in whatever industry they are in. Due to personal reasons, however, some of them had to take a step back from the workforce. In today’s episode, Bianca Collings talks about what women returning to the workforce should know.
Who is Bianca?
- Bianca Collings thinks of herself as a master juggler. She does many things but professionally, she grew up as a harpist. She studied it since her formative years and eventually, she got a scholarship to the University of Washington.
- Three years into college she realized two fundamental things: 1. She loves the University of Washington, and 2. She hates being a music major.
- Being a harpist means being at the back of the orchestra, mostly all by herself. The thing about Bianca is that she’s naturally extroverted, she loves connection, and she loves collaboration.
- She left and went to live in Taiwan for a couple of years. When she came back, she studied Chinese.
- She taught harp lessons for years before she decided to start her own business in 2007. She started her marketing journey and she was one of the few people who used Facebook for Business.
- She’s the head of marketing for a software company in American Fork, Utah.
The challenge in going back to the workforce
- The hardest part for Bianca is the moment right before you go back. It’s about that experience when your last kid goes to school all day long and you’re left with nothing to do.
- It’s about having to do all the things for your children for so many years and when that’s taken away, you’re just left wondering.
- You have this mentality of “I’ve been out of work too long.” You’ve got all these reasons to keep you out of work, whether it be your outdated resume or that you’re out of date.
- When Bianca started working in tech, she also felt out of the loop. She felt like they were speaking a different language. There were all these terms and acronyms that she didn’t know about. Most of the people working in tech were young and were fresh out of college.
- The strong narrative among women today is that when they leave, they will ruin their family.
- Women must have the courage to resolve this narrative and get past this negative mentality that they are too old, too outdated, to do anything.
- The truth is, you never left the workforce. You can always dial on the soft skills you’ve learned and learn from the experiences you’ve had. Women need to learn to believe in themselves and learn how to spin their story the right way.
Tips for women who returning to the workforce
- First tip: Dial in and figure out who you are and what you can bring to the table. Know your top strengths and capitalize on that. Apply those strengths on your job. Make those strengths your talking point.
- Second tip: Don’t make excuses and don’t make disclaimers. Instead of making excuses, present your skills and the value that you can bring into the company. When you’re able to get their interest, that’s when you show your grit. Show them that you have what it takes to get the job done. Make sure that you’re negotiating only when they’re already invested in your value.
- Third tip: Don’t set yourself up for failure before you even begin. Don’t convince yourself of the negativities and don’t sell yourself short.
- For Bianca, going back to the workforce is an opportunity for many women. Even when most of them don’t really work the 9-5 typical hours, they get their jobs done in their own time frame within the time allotted for the jobs to get done.
- You’re not too old to go work again. It’s never too late to plant a tree so plant a tree today. Go back to the workforce today.
- Creating boundaries is critical and you need to be present with the task at hand.
“What Women Returning to the Workforce Should Know” episode resources
Connect and follow Bianca Collings via LinkedIn.
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Audio created by Ryan Rasmussen Productions.