Back To Business by Nancy McSharry Jensen and Sarah Duenwald | Book Review

a.k.a. For women who have considered that staying at home isn’t paying enough

Let’s say at the outset that having the opportunity to be present with your child is priceless. But if you really want to put a price tag on it, the cost of childcare can rival the cost of a fancy college education. In fact, day care can consume such a large chunk of the working mother’s salary that it doesn’t justify going off to an office job and paying someone to fill in. And I say mothers because that’s the norm, and although there are many stay-at-home dads, many of the challenges that women face with making the decision to change their career trajectory and eventually return to it, just aren’t experienced by men who do the same thing. Many women make the decision to work primarily in the home until their children are school age, and even then, many working mothers still get flack for jetting out of the office promptly at 5:00 to attend to extracurricular activities. Yet life changes can prompt a return to the corporate world after having taken time away.

In Back to Business, authors Nancy McSharry Jensen and Sarah Duenwald share some of the reasons many women who swapped their high heels and office-appropriate blazers for the athleisure required to chase the kids around and yet be ready for spontaneous trips out, are now looking to dust off their attache cases and return to the formal workforce. The authors share testimonials and case studies that acknowledge the challenges in finding jobs to return to but give advice and a step-by-step guide to securing that next position. Topics that I found especially instructional were overcoming the bias of hiring executives, bridging the learning gap that may have occurred in the extensive time between jobs and the tendency to settle into less-desirous positions out of fear. 

Back to Business is a workbook designed to address and overcome all these challenges and one that I am happy to have as I contemplate my own journey back to the office when my daughter enters pre-school. McSharry Jensen and Duenwald are re-entry experts who have helped hundreds of women overcome the fears and make the transition to not just a job but landing dream positions after life changes and I am sure something in this book will be helpful for any reader. 

The publisher’s synopsis states:

The 45 percent of American women who take career breaks know better than anyone that searching for a job—with its new modes of communication, new rules of discoverability, and new expectations—has changed rapidly in the last decade. This book lays out a clear path for anyone ready to re-enter the workforce.

On the job hunt? Don’t just polish your resume—you better make sure your LinkedIn profile is updated. And, if you aren’t getting responses from recruiters, chances are it’s, because the robots  aren’t selecting your profile because it’s missing pertinent keywords. And, by the way, dress codes have changed and you’ll need to know new technologies such as Slack and Google+ Hangouts.

Got it?

For many women re-entering the workforce after a career break, the job search world is a disorienting, confusing, and overwhelming place. Getting started is much easier when you know what the first step should be.

In Back to Business, career coaching and re-entry experts Nancy McSharry Jensen and Sarah Duenwald have put together a guide for women returning to the workplace.

Easy to understand and easy to put into practice, Back to Business teaches you how to:

  • Identify and talk about what you want, taking into account what you’ve been up to while on break.
  • Understand your personal brand, both in-person and online, and how your skills translate to the career you are looking for.
  • Become professionally relevant and gain confidence in your ability to return to the paid workforce.
  • Look for job opportunities while being productive and intentional with your time.

The authors understand through first-hand experience the anxiety of returning to work. They have helped hundreds of women facing the job search process to overcome the anxiety of what is often overwhelming life change.

Consider getting a copy of this blueprint if you want to know how to:

  • sell your skills in an application or interview after time away from your career path
  • highlight your unpaid experience to become professionally relevant 
  • develop and use your network
  • find the right job opportunities 

I think Back To Business is a great resource for busy moms who have been working hard and are ready to return to getting paid for their skills. I found a lot of valuable insight in this book and was particularly drawn to the Don’ts and Cautions that were included, along with why some habits might be counterproductive. 

Note: I received a complimentary copy of Back To Business from the Publishers Harper Collins Leadership and TLC Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. I was not otherwise compensated but I genuinely appreciated the information included in this book and recommend it to you on that basis. 

Book Details

Title: Back to Business

Authors: Nancy McSharry Jensen and Sarah Duenwald

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 250

Publication Date: February, 2021

Purchase Links

Amazon Barnes & Noble | HarperCollins Leadership

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