The HERdacity team was honored to connect with more than fifty motivated and inspiring women at our February 7th Career Reboot Event. Our attendees included women from diverse backgrounds, industries and age groups. One thing they all had in common was a willingness to seek out career support and an interest in making new connections. We had an incredible day with the group and with talented speakers who volunteered their time to present. The workshop covered topics ranging from women's career development, resume building, and female networking to tips for building a professional wardrobe and where to find inspiration for the job search. Here is a short recap of the event.
On the morning of February 7th, HERdacity kicked off the HER Career Reboot event at Chateau Bellevue, operated by the Austin Women's Club in downtown Austin, TX. Attendees were greeted by HERdacity volunteers with name tags, enjoyed hot coffee, and mingled before having their complementary LinkedIn portrait taken by photographer, Allison Dudley.
Women attending the conference ranged came from a variety of industries including, tech, finance, health, marketing, insurance and teaching. Their work experience ranged from a few years to several decades. Most were looking to transition from not working or working part-time to working in a full-time position.
HERdacity President + CEO Mary Flanagan welcomed the attendees and speakers, outlined HERdacity's mission, introduced the staff, and presented the agenda for the day. She also shared her personal story of taking time off to care for family and returning to the work force. She addressed some of the challenges women face when they look to re-enter the workforce including obsolete skills, diminished self confidence and economic pressures.
The first panel of the day had three speakers and focused on career and networking presentations. Presenters included: Career Consultant Lydia O'Neil, an executive career coach; Marny Lifshen, Professional Speaker, Marketing Consultant and Author of Some Assembly Required: A Networking Guide for Women; and wardrobe consultant, Jen Young, founder of Foreversytled.com
Lydia O'Neil provided practical advice for women re-entering the workforce, detailing how to create a strong resumé and how to present your authentic self in the interview process. She detailed useful tactics for the job search and addressed gaps on the resume that women often have to account for when they step away form the workforce. Lydia shared the term "family sabbatical" as a method of explaining large period of times missing in many women's resumé.
Next was Marny Lifshen, who effortlessly took the stage and commanded the attention of the room. She was an engaging speaker who emphasized the importance of leveraging your network. Typically, men and women have the same amount of connections throughout their lives, but she demonstrated that men tend to utilize their connections in a more effective way. To combat this, she outlined how to make use of natural strengths as a woman in order to get ahead in your career. Marny was adamant about her "no apologies" attitude, touching on the importance of not apologizing for your choices, but instead, using them to your advantage.
The final speaker was wardrobe consultant, Jen Young, who brought along a clothing rack and mannequins to demonstrate work-appropriate outfits for various industries. Her confidence and poise was contagious and had the whole room laughing with her. Her presentation was insightful as trends and styles change so quickly, and conceded that it can be daunting if you haven't been in an office in a long time. The right outfit can make your interview process flow more smoothly and ensure you are comfortable in your own skin. She brought along a Nordstrom representative, Paige Jeffries who was kind enough to supply both the clothing pieces for the presentation and goody bags for all the attendees.
After a beautiful lunch (and chocolate mousse) we had a Q&A panel to showcase three moms who have gone through the personal transformation of getting back into the professional world. These speakers shared their personal experiences of stepping away from the work force and provided tips on how to return. Their stories sparked a lot of meaningful questions and conversations with the women in the room.
Rochelle touched on the importance of visualizing your goals through creating a vision board (and keeping it somewhere you will see it often) and working to achieve them with an audacious spirit.
DeeDee spoke about her journey of being a stay-at-home mom for fifteen years, going through a divorce, and suddenly having to re-invent herself in order to support her two children. Her story seemed to resonate with women in audience who may have found themselves in a similar situation.
Suzanne, the author of Insights from Successful Professional Part-Time Working Moms who Balance Career and Family, demonstrated that part-time work is a viable option for mothers who want to have a professional career that emphasizes flexibility.
Overall, the event was inspiring and the camaraderie in the room was a reminder to women looking to re-enter the workforce that they are not alone. Whatever you are struggling with, there are others to help you. The HERdacity mission is to bring women together to share their stories and support each other and the Feb. 7th HER Career Reboot was an example of doing just that.
If you're in the Austin area or are able to travel, check out our upcoming events here: https://www.herdacity.org/upcoming-live-events. Or visit our site to see video recaps and presentation materials. We are working to be able to offer live webinars to our community soon. Please reach out with any comments or questions!