Is returnship right for you

Many women today need to take a career break due to childbearing and rearing when they are at the peak of their careers. However, when they do decide to come back to the corporate world they are seen differently. In order to address such a situation and attract talent, Goldman Sachs in 2008 coined the term “Returnship”. So let’s find out if returnship is the right thing for you.

What is Returnship?

It is an internship program for senior professionals who would like to explore, brush-up their skills and return to the workplace more equipped. It lasts from eight weeks to about a few months where the qualified candidates get an opportunity to be trained, upskilled and be able to network at the workplace while getting paid and a good prospect for employment. Returnship is a good starting point for women with a career break to get back into the game. Only a few large organizations have the facility and infrastructure to run a returnship program.

Why may returnship be good for you?

Opportunity to upgrade your skills:

Returnship is built on the assumption that the candidate has some level of required skills. They only focus on upskilling them on new technology or new aspects of the job, concentrating mainly on filling the skill gap. These are usually paid returnships with decent compensation structures. Even if you don’t land up with a job, you will leave learning new skills.

Opportunity to network with other industry professionals:

Returnships allows you to meet and interact with people from different backgrounds, experience, and industries, coming from a similar situation as yours. The real-time sharing of experiences, feedbacks, and networking with professionals from the industry, goes a long way toward building your career path.

Opportunity to explore different options:

Some organizations in their returnship program give a more holistic training. Hence, it enables you to explore your new interest and find a new career as it gives you insight into various roles in the organization.

Why may returnship not be right for you?

A possibility of not getting hired:

Returnship in an organization does not guarantee you a job. Hence, you must consider this as a part of the bigger plan that is, getting hired and continue to apply to other positions in the job market during the returnship period.

Low compensation:

Although some returnships pay well, most don’t. So if one of the reasons to get back into the workforce is financial stability, this may not be your best option.

Limited industry options:

Over 200 large organizations are offering returnships. They are mostly fintech, IT and Consulting organizations. This limits the option for those whose skill-sets don’t match the need of these industries. There is a high demand for qualified professionals there but the competition is high too.

Weighing the pros and cons, I still feel that returnship is an excellent opportunity for those who are considering a long-term professional career after a break. Companies today have realized that a percentage of potential women professionals are left untapped due to the stigma attached to a career break and have come up with an excellent solution in Returnship.

You may also want to read other article written by the same author ‘Career tracking while on a career break‘, ‘Career restarting for a woman on a career break‘.

About the author:

The first time Susan Kutar (Tamang) realized that words could touch lives, she wanted to be a writer and blogger. She has 7 years of experience in Human Resources and Talent Acquisition. She likes to write about topics that impact people, which is educational and leaves the reader with something to mull over.


(The author is a guest blogger at Her Second Innings. The opinions expressed are those of the author.)

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