Re-entering the workforce


I was laid off in July and decided I'd stay home until Early 2022 to be with my son born in January of 2021.

I have spoken with a couple of recruiters and one mentioned I won't make what I made when I left at the end of July because I've been out of the workforce. I've worked since 1998 so am clueless about this but considering I'm Hispanic and a female I find this hard to swallow. Can anyone share their thoughts or experiences?


LiaODonnell's profile thumbnail
Umm, no. Every time I've returned to work after having a baby, I significantly increased my salary. July through now is only 5 months. People have job hunts that last that long. You could mention in your cover letter that you took a break from working to care for a family member and are ready to find your next challenge, or not. It's a very short break, and with the pandemic all kinds of people have interrupted work for all kinds of reasons.
MichaGoBig's profile thumbnail
Absolutely agree with @LiaODonnell. Five month is a very short break, definitely nothing to raise eyebrows – especially considering your personal circumstances as a new mother and the pandemic. I also want to point out that our brains can be such jerks: It's only one of several recruiters who said that (tbh, sounds like a jerk too!) – and still your brain goes straight to worrying about it, without evidence of lower-salary job offers, etc. That's what our brains tend to do: focus on the most negative to "keep us save". But you don't have to go there and believe this thought. It's just a statement one person made. You can refocus on a thought that actually serves you in your job search, like "I am ready to take my career to the next level" or whatever sounds good to you and focus on that like a mantra when the negative thought comes up. Choose a positive thought that makes you feel good about the job search – and it'll help you prove that one recruiter wrong!
AmberSass's profile thumbnail
Hi Hi! Please do not stress out about this! I would say that the pandemic has changed the game tremendously. I just started my new role this week and was out of work since Jan 2021. That is almost a whole year! I switched industries and roles so I am making about the same as I was (I ended up in a slightly more junior role because of the multiple changes). Of course, I had a few recruiters and hiring managers that questioned why my job search was "so long", but those were not good fits, clearly, as they don't see the human component to what we are living through. Please do not let anyone belittle you for taking time away for yourself, your family, or any other reason. Sorry! I have a tendency to end up on tangents! TLDR; this is barely even a gap on a resume and anyone who questions it is clearly not a place you want to work!
brianarani's profile thumbnail
Hi Diana! When I first saw the title of your post, I thought you had been out of the workforce for years and was going to share with you returnship resources, lol. I completely agree with what the others have said - 5 months is very little (especially during this pandemic time), and that's actually the amount of parental leave that some tech companies give.
ezbrizlax12's profile thumbnail
lol this recruiter is all the way lost. I quit my job and didn't work for 5 months pre-pandemic and got a job that paid me way more money than all my previous jobs and no one cared about my break. This recruiter can truly kick rocks for trying to fuck with your confidence like that. Now go get your dream job for all the money.
Chiming in to agree with the others to not give that (terrible) recruiter another thought. Your salary in your future job should be based on the value you will bring to the job. It has nothing to do with how much time you have been out of the (paid) workforce — which by the way, is not long at all! — and it has nothing to do with what you made before. Ignore that recruiter, arm yourself with up to date salary information for the roles you are interviewing for, and make sure you get paid for your value!
annamiller's profile thumbnail
Hi Diana, Happy to support if you'd like to chat, feel free to DM me. Firstly, to echo others, your salary can be as much as fits within the market rate and your negotiation, so the advice you heard so far isn't really accurate. Second, having a gap in your work experience is not an issue at all, most companies that are smart won't spend time asking about gaps and focus the conversation on your experiences that you can bring to the new role. Good luck in your search!
rachelserwetz's profile thumbnail
That doesn't seem right! You'll pick up where you left off and/or what feels commensurate for the role you're interviewing for, your prior experience, and what is market standard based on the level of role, size/stage of the org, location, etc. If you're debating/rethinking/clarifying your direction upon re-entering and want to chat, let me know, I'm a career exploration coach! Website here for reference -- Free coaching call here -->