Impact of a career break

Oct 3, 2019 14 Comments

I was an Engineering manager at Amazon (AWS) and my schedule was chaotic. With both my spouse and me being in large organizations (i.e. jobs with high expectations), WLB has always been a juggle that we have managed to balance well so far. Let me also indicate that I am highly career oriented woman and did not see a break coming my way.

I have a 3 year old and we are planning on a second one. My org at AWS went through a restructuring and I was provided the option of pursuing something elsewhere. I decided to quit on my own terms and not go through the process of switching groups, getting settled in the new environment and establishing myself as a seasoned manager with the new group etc - all of which would have easily taken another 6 months to 1 year.

If our plans to extend the family do materialize, I will not be returning to a new workplace in my pregnant state, but would rather prefer pursuing something new after the baby is here. I am worried that this would mean a break of 1-1.5 years before I join the new company. While I am happy to be in a less stressful state today, I am concerned if this would hamper my progress or my ability to get into an equally promising job in the near future. I would love to hear any advice from women in tech who went through a similar situation or have seen someone up close?

Note: I am using my free time by staying up to date on my tech skills & plan on taking up additional courses online (strategy, management, tech etc)



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TOP 14 Comments
  • Virtustream mkCC28
    Hi, fellow career woman here with 2 kids under 3 years old. You mentioned that you are planning for a second child, and I’m assuming you are not pregnant yet. Why don’t you just apply to other positions and see if anything materializes between now and the time you get pregnant? There are a few companies that are very understanding and will hire you knowing that you are pregnant. Personally I would want the mat leave benefits and wouldn’t want the stress of trying to find a new job when I’ve been out of the workforce for 1-2 years. But if you would prefer not to get a new job while pregnant, check out Facebook’s “Back to Work” program which is specifically designed for this situation.
    Oct 3, 2019 4
    • General Assembly / Product Jdec75
      General Assembly is one, and I've heard good things on power to fly as well as in her sight! They regularly update benefits/and their programs for working parents that companies have.
      Oct 4, 2019
    • Amazon dwdpal
      Thanks all for the suggestions! I wasnt aware of the sites recommended here along with the FB return to work program. I will check it out. Doing something part-time and/or trying my hands at a new idea are both promising.
      Oct 4, 2019
  • Amazon Biggles
    Lie. “I took a few months off, and was then exploring a startup idea. Didn’t pan out, and I missed the office.”

    Have something vaguely plausible. Like “Uber, but for Labradoodles — people could drop off their dog for a paid play date, to someone who wants an afternoon with a dog. The big problem ends up being insurance.”
    Oct 3, 2019 2
    • Juniper / Design Ynckfb
      Is this a thing? I want this, but for corgis.
      Oct 3, 2019
    • PayPal locuspocus
      Want this for goldendoodles
      Nov 6, 2019
  • Microsoft slumshady
    While you might get some good advice here, might i suggest joining groups like "women in tech" in FB?
    Oct 3, 2019 1
    • Amazon dwdpal
      Thanks. Good to learn of these groups. I'll consider those.
      Oct 3, 2019
  • Salesforce dgk7488
    I'm not a mom but if I was in your place I would use it as an opportunity to try out some crazy entrepreneurship idea around parenting. Companies love that kind of stuff.
    Oct 3, 2019 0
  • Apply for new jobs. With AWS on your resume, you should be easily able to find comparable positions. If you are about to deliver in next 3 months, I would have suggested you to wait until the baby is here and settled.
    Oct 3, 2019 0
  • Cisco unit-test
    Oct 3, 2019 0
  • Cisco unit-test
    I think you’ll be ok
    Oct 3, 2019 0


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