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NMSN 2018 Impact Award Winner INTERVIEW WITH CAROL COHEN

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t’s no secret that military spouses are forced to launch and then relaunch their careers with every transition the military has in store for us. Carol Fishman Cohen may not be a military spouse herself, but she does know a thing or two about what it means to relaunch your career after time away from it. Not only has she lived this scenario, she decided to do something about. Ten years ago, Carol co-founded iRelaunch; an organization that works with companies to create, implement and expand “returnto-work” programs and provides “relaunchers” with the tools and resources needed to transition effectively after those pesky ‘career breaks’. She’s also written a book called “Back on the Career Track” which is fill of relevant information for those looking to re-enter the workforce. That’s why NMSN is proud to announce that Carol will be recognized as the recipient of the 2018 NMSN impact Award, which recognizes those who have made significant contributions in the arena of military spouse employment. “I’ve always felt closely connected to military spouses returning to work,” said Carol. “I deeply admire the return 8 | NMSN Magazine

to work success stories I have been so privileged to know about and witness in the military spouse community.” We were honored to have a chat with Carol before she heads out to the D.C. Annual Military Spouse Career Summit, and wanted to share her nuggets of wisdom. 1. Tell us about iRelaunch. “iRelaunch is the pioneering leader in the career re-entry space, and has been since our founding over ten years ago. We work with over 50 global companies on career re-entry programs of all kinds; involving mid-career internships or hiring returning professionals directly into full time roles, and also career re-entry event-based programs. We have over 60,000 returning professionals in our community and have delivered over 350 career reentry programs and presentations since inception. 2. What made you want to start iRelaunch? “First, I lived it. Then I wrote a book about it. I co-founded iRelaunch to cause an institutional shift in the way companies engage with professionals returning to work after a career break. I am a financial analyst by trade and worked in corporate finance for an nationalmilitaryspousenetwork.org

investment bank in the late 80’s. I was on maternity leave with my first child in February 1990 when the bank collapsed, so I didn’t have a company to return to and my career break began at that time. We had three more kids in close succession and I was out of the full-time workforce for 11 years. Way back in 2001 before anyone was talking about relaunching, I returned to work at another investment firm. I remember feeling isolated and without a game plan. I didn’t know a single other person who had returned to work after a career break. No one was talking about it, there was no media attention, no employer or university programming. Vivian Steir Rabin, a relauncher with five kids who returned to work in executive search after a seven year career break and I got a book contract to write the book we wish we had when we were relaunching our careers. Our book, Back on the Career Track was published in 2007 and became known as the “Bible of Career Reentry.” When we were doing research for the book we started getting asked to work with universities and employers creating return to work programs way back before the recession in OCTOBER 2018

NMSN Magazine Fall 2018  
NMSN Magazine Fall 2018  
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