Skip To Content

    This Woman Returned To Work After 8 Years, And Is Helping Other Moms Do The Same

    Resume gaps ain't no thang.

    Parenting + working at the same time is damn hard, which is why some people take time off to raise their kids.

    But many of those looking to return to their careers after several years have an incredibly tough time, because of competition from millennials and others who *don't* have gaps on their resumes.

    Enter: Jennifer Gefsky, a former lawyer who decided to become a full-time mom at age 37.

    Jennifer Gefsky

    When Gefsky and her family moved to the suburbs from New York City, she was Major League Baseball's deputy general counsel (the organization's highest ranking woman), which meant commuting 2.5 hours a day.

    "That really hurt," Gefsky told BuzzFeed. "I would leave by 7:15 a.m. and wouldn't get home until 7 p.m. From my kid's point of view, they never saw me, and from my employer's, that was the bare minimum."

    "It was a difficult decision for me to 'retire,'" the mom of three explained. "[But] I was so exhausted at the time, and was so happy to exhale."

    When Gefsky was ready to return to the workforce after eight years, she had a hard time getting back in, despite her credentials and experience.

    "I didn't know where to begin," she said, "and that's when I realized there were a lot of women like me."

    So Gefsky and co-founder Niccole Kroll started Après, a LinkedIn-type platform built specifically to help women with gaps in their resume.

    Après

    Jennifer and Kroll, who was a researcher at NYU before also putting her career on pause, officially launched the site on May 4.

    According to one study published by the Harvard Business Review, 37% of highly-qualified women leave their jobs for extended periods and, of those women, only 40% find full-time jobs again.

    Just 23% find part-time work, 7% are self-employed, and 30% don't return to the workforce at all.

    Based on graduation rates, the % of women that opt out, and the % of those women that opt back in, Jennifer estimates that there could be over 3 million women with college or advanced degrees trying to find jobs.

    The ultimate goal of Après is to remind employers of the value of women who are overlooked because of their resume gaps.

    Après

    "We want to educate companies on the value of this demographic," Gefsky said.

    After hundreds of interviews, the cofounders have evidence that not only are these women energized about working again, they're also more loyal than other demographics because they're not looking to change roles every couple of years.

    Gefsky also thinks that corporations can benefit in another way: "You're sending a message to the female millennials in your workforce, that you believe in family values and gender diversity. [These experienced women] can also be role models, mentors, and show younger women that there's a path for them."

    In addition to social networking, Après wants to help these job seekers get up to speed with resume and interview coaches, skill polishing curriculums, and stories of success.

    Après

    General membership, which includes joining the community and viewing job opportunities, is free. While hiring a coach for private consultations (coming soon to the site) and premium membership (making your profile searchable by a prospective company), is not.

    Premium membership is $250 per year or $21 per month. Coaching services are TBD.

    Most importantly, they'll have access to job listings at companies that are aligned with the website's mission.

    Viyet
    Viyet

    The website isn't perfect. You can't filter the positions by location, job type, or experience requirement, but an Après rep said more advanced search features will be available soon.

    And what about dads? Après is targeted to women, but all are welcome to join – and some men have already signed up.

    Après isn't for everyone – and there are plenty of other female-minded sites that can help you get to the next stage in your career.

    Levo League is aimed at supporting millennials in the workplace.

    Career Contessa is a job site that also facilitates honest conversations about work/life balance, as does Penelope Trunk.

    Fairgodboss features company reviews by women.

    PowerToFly connects female tech talent with roles that are flexible, remote, or both.

    Dress For Success supplies job training and professional interview attire, as well as guidance for upcoming interviews.

    Ultimately, if you're looking for work, there's one very important thing to remember: be confident.

    Apres

    "Just about every woman we talked to expressed a lack of confidence," Grefsky said, "and it's difficult getting over that hump, which is why it's one of our goals to instill that confidence!"

    WERK, GIRL!

    CBS / Via leanin.tumblr.com

    Want awesome DIY tips in your inbox three times a week? Sign up for the BuzzFeed DIY newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form