Returning to work after a career break
Launched in 2013, Goldman Sachs’ Returnship program is a 12-week program that serves as a springboard for professionals rejoining the workforce after a break of two or more years. It provides comprehensive access to firm’s robust resources, offering training, networking opportunities and mentorship from senior leaders.
In this article we speak to Vidya Veeraraghavan, a Vice President in our Global Banking team based in Bengaluru, who returned to work after taking a two-year break when relocating from the US to India.
Why was taking a career break important to you and how did you find out about the Returnship program at the firm?
After spending over a decade living and working in the US, I chose to take a take a career break to prioritize supporting my 5-year-old daughter who needed a lot of help in acclimatizing to a new way of living in India.
I was ready to return to work after two years which is when I heard about the Returnship program. Having worked at GS previously, it was a former colleague that introduced me to the program, which seemed to be the perfect avenue for me to ease back into my corporate career.
What challenges did you face when returning to work after a career break?
One of my earliest memories when reigniting my corporate career was being back to working across multiple projects with tight schedules. Although challenging, it was something I enjoyed as I was already used to working in a fast-paced environment from my earlier years in the US.
How did you find the adaption to life at Goldman Sachs and returning to a corporate environment?
I was part of the first Returnship batch launched in India, and that made me feel special. We were a tight knit community who motivated and supported each other, and that relationship has remained to this day. The jump start we received through resources and support through the Returnship program was unparalleled, helping me to instantly hit the ground running. It truly felt like I had never been away as it was such an incredibly smooth transition!
What support did the firm provided you during your Returnship program and when returning to full time work?
Mentors, buddies, workshops, trainings, checkpoints on performance, real-time feedback, and networking sessions with senior leaders were some of the many resources the firm provided as a part of the program. I truly appreciated my managers and colleagues for their commitment in supporting me through my journey.
What advice would you share with someone returning to work after taking a break in their career?
Taking a break from work is an important decision and phase for many people. For me it was to enable me to commit to supporting my family and young daughter when moving countries. My family was my priority, but during that time I continued to freelance and attend relevant conferences to ensure I did not completely detach myself from my career. Using the time to either learn new skills or keep your existing experience relevant is an important piece for anyone taking a break that is committed to returning to work one day.
My family and my colleagues were a great support for me and I’d strongly advise anyone looking to return to work to build that strong support system at home to enable you to fully commit to returning to work when you choose to do so.
Finally, when you take that career break, commit to it and do not regret . People take breaks for a variety of personal reasons and it’s important to accept and embrace the path you have chosen for yourself.
Learn more about our India Returnship program including information on eligibility, timelines and participating offices.