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Jumping back into the workforce? You don't have to do it alone

Mika Brzezinski explains why we need to spotlight the challenges women making a career comeback face and help this untapped talent pool see their value.
Know Your Value founder and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski.
Know Your Value founder and Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski.Anthony Scutro

Eight years ago we built Know Your Value as a movement designed to uplift and inspire all women to advocate for themselves in the workplace.

But after our 2016 national conference, my sister-in-law Ginny Brzezinski gave me a wake-up call. I was leaving out a wide swath of women: those making a career comeback.

Perhaps they planned to take a career break, focusing on parenting for a few or several years. Others may have paused their careers not by choice: Maybe they found themselves unable to afford childcare, or they were laid off.

You've left us out, Ginny told me. And we have value too.

She was right. And she should know: Ginny’s career plans shifted unexpectedly when her boss, Sen. Bill Roth of Delaware, lost his re-election bid in 2001. Ginny stepped back from a 12-year Capitol Hill press career, raised her children…and then when she was ready to find her way back in 2010 after seven years of childrearing and two years in real estate, she felt she had lost her professional mojo.

Ginny Brzezinski, right, is Know Your Value's comeback career contributor. She is co-writing a book on the subject with her sister-in-law, Mika Brzezinski, left.Miller Hawkins

Ginny explained that Know Your Value needed to reach out to women like her — to shine a spotlight on the challenges they are facing and help this untapped talent pool see their value, regain any lost confidence and write their next chapter.

We signed Ginny on as a Know Your Value contributor, and added discussions to our national conferences specifically about relaunching careers. Ginny and I are also co-authoring a book on the topic — which includes delving into our different career and parenting arcs – coming out in 2019.

Jumping back into the workforce can be scary, but you don’t have to go at it alone. We hope Know Your Value and our upcoming book will be a valuable resource for those ready to unpause their careers. In the meantime, check out Ginny’s top 5 book recommendations for a career comeback:

"Back on the career track: A guide for stay-at-home moms who want to return to work," by Carol Fishman Cohen and Vivian Steir Rabin

"The new rules of work: The modern playbook for navigating your career," by Alexandra Cavoulacos and Kathryn Minshew

The ambition decisions: What women know about work, family and the path to building a life," by Elizabeth Wallace and Hana Schank

"Work Pause Thrive: How to pause for parenthood without killing your career," by Lisen Stromberg

"How hard can it be?: A novel," by Allison Pearson