Stephanie got back into her field with Her Allies
Updated: Jan 9
Stephanie started her career at PWC in accounting and briefly worked in a venture capital firm. Her career really took off at Yahoo in 2000, where over a period of 6 years, she helped build out key sales operations functions.
Then almost 15 years ago, Stephanie made a big decision. She chose to resign from her position, where she was on track to become a director soon, to focus on being a full-time mom for her recently born daughter.
When word got out that she resigned, a number of former colleagues reached out asking her for help considering her expertise. She ended up working part-time as a consultant. She thought that would be for a few months, but months quickly turned into years.
She truly stopped working altogether when it came time to homeschool her daughter. She focused solely on her education from 1st through 8th grade.
Now her daughter is heading off to high school, and Stephanie is ready to re-focus on her professional life.
"I feel my experience is unique and really valuable, but I didn’t know where to start to get back into the workforce."
When she left Yahoo, it was over a decade ago when she went from working 60+ hours a week with rapid career growth to focusing more on her personal life while consulting on a part-time basis.
"It had been a long time since I'd really been in a professional setting, so I didn’t know where to start with my career goals."
Finding support from Her Allies
Stephanie attended a Her Allies event in 2021, thanks to the recommendation of a friend.
"Her Allies was a wonderful resource for me to connect with people and gain insights. I don't know if I'd have gotten the job I got as quickly as I did without Her Allies."
When Stephanie connected with Her Allies, she knew she needed to get back to work full time, but wasn't sure how to best position her sales operations experience as the trending title for her formal role was now revenue operations.
"Revenue operations seemed like the logical place to go, but I wasn’t 100% sure where I could take my unique background. It was clear I could jump into a couple of different career paths."
Stephanie didn't feel 100% confident in which direction she wanted to go. Her role in sales operations had her managing sales incentive plans, and she wasn't sure if she wanted to focus solely there. She was also considering management consulting or even getting an MBA to expand her knowledge of the different business verticals.
Her Allies Assistance
Stephanie was matched with a mentor after her first Her Allies virtual event. Both helped her to expand her current business vocabulary. Similar to how her role of sales operations was now more commonly referred to as revenue operations, she found a lot of vocabulary had shifted.
"Her Allies members helped me understand and update my LinkedIn, which didn’t exist when I left Yahoo. And through LinkedIn is how I found this particular role I'm in now."
Her mentor from Her Allies helped her to understand how to effectively fill out her LinkedIn profile for the roles she was seeking and gave feedback on her strategies for pitching herself.
"Her Allies also did a virtual event on best business practices around what you need to do, how hiring works, and how to give yourself the best chances of being found on LinkedIn."
Stephanie's current role was reclassified for her once the hiring manager for the job she applied for realized her wealth of experience was a more advanced role. She had applied for positions at a few different levels to test her market.
"My current position is a few levels down from where I left off. My past experience applying online through LinkedIn hadn't been successful, but this position reached out almost right away. Ideally, I'd have liked a director role coming back to work, but a lot of things have changed, so I am comfortable stepping back to learn the changes prior to stepping into a director role in the future."
Her current employer reclassified the job to ensure that Stephanie had a manager position, which the original posting wasn't for. This adjustment kept Stephanie in a leadership role, and she's not getting tied up in titles just yet.
"I love the company I am in now, including the culture and the people. I'm going to learn a lot and grow a lot. I look at it as an investment period."
Stephanie first attended a Her Allies event in February 2022, and she got a job offer by the 1st of June, far exceeding her goal of having something by September.
Key Her Allies Messages
"Never apologize for taking a break - own it - and feel good about it."
This was the most impactful message Stephanie took from the initial panel discussion event she attended at Her Allies, where diverse women shared why they chose to take a break.
The event encouraged women to feel good about their choice to take a break, follow through and that they all learned new skills likely over the years, even if it wasn't in a form professional role
"I went in feeling really nervous and a little overwhelmed, having not worked outside of the home for almost seven years."
Thankfully for Stephanie, this thought was much more in her head than anyone else's.
"From the recruiter, all the way to the president at my current company - not one person cared that I hadn’t worked in over six years - they flat out said that. They were looking at my skill set and me as a person. So having already heard that message from Her Allies made me confident in those interviews."
Plus, Stephanie thought her mentor was priceless. From moral support to technical advice, she prepared Stephanie for her interviews and upcoming re-entry into the workforce.
"I had a wonderful mentor. She was very encouraging. It was great to talk to someone about my professional goals and worries and have her say, 'You can do this!'"
Most important, though, was the sense of community and know-how from others who had been in similar positions.
"Knowing there exists an organization focused on women in this challenging position to re-enter the workforce is great. It let me know I wasn’t alone, and there were women that had been through it, and we're put on the other side in the workforce was inspiring."
Many of the mentors and professionals involved in Her Allies had taken a break, and we're now back in their chosen professions. Knowing the difficulty of this, they volunteer their time to give back to others who need encouragement and professional support to get back into the workforce.
You don't have to do it alone - join Her Allies to get the support you need to reenter the workforce, or if you are in the workforce, consider donating your time to help empower other women!