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Insights: How to Return to an Industry After a Long Time Away

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Ask the Expert! Through WISE Insights,Connect with knowledgeable experts to receive honest and thoughtful answers to your career-related questions, or read about challenges your peers are facing.


Submitted by: WISE NYC Metro member | 15+ years professional experience

I want to get back into an industry I worked in 15 years ago. Is it reasonable to go back to colleagues/bosses or has too much time passed?


If you had good relationships with the people you worked for, and they're still there, you can go back and  say, "I know we haven't connected in a long time, but I'm rethinking the next step in my career and I really loved it when I was working with you. I'd love to catch up with you and get some sense of what's different, what's happened in the industry, and what kind of people are working there now."

If you haven't connected with them, or are uncomfortable, or they're not around anymore, do some research with those in the industry. For example, what's changed, what are the positions like now, what kinds of skill sets are required, and who is being hired into that industry.

It's also a great way to ask for expertise and advice. People like to talk about themselves and they may also connect you to an opportunity or something that may be appropriate for you.

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Bobbie LaPorte

About Bobbie LaPorte

Roberta (Bobbie) LaPorte is founder and principal of RAL & Associates, a consulting firm providing career and leadership development services to technology, financial services and healthcare organizations. Bobbie previously served in GM, COO and CMO roles in several Fortune 50 companies, including IBM and GE. A certified career coach, she has an MBA from Harvard and is a nationally-recognized expert on the powerful relationship between physical fitness and career success, as well as an accomplished triathlete and multi-sport coach.

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