The role of a full-time Mom was a tough but rewarding career path for Lauren Markman Ritchie. She shares with us her decision for leaving the workforce and how, when she was ready, she carved out a career she was passionate on her own terms.
I grew up in South Africa and attended the University of Cape Town where I obtained a Business and Finance Honours Degree. My career began in the banking sector at HSBC Bank in the UK, followed by a move to Toronto where I joined Scotiabank as a Client Relationship Manager. After 5 years, my entrepreneurial spirit led me to spearhead the introduction of a US-based lender into the Canadian commercial mortgage market.
One year later, as a result of the 2008 financial crisis, the lender pulled out of Canada and I was left unemployed. I was forced to ask myself some important questions about my life and career. What do I want out of my career? Was I truly fulfilled?
One thing I knew was that I couldn’t go back to banking. Then children came into the picture and the joy of being a mom is like nothing else but it does come with challenges.
While I had a new focus, those career questions were left lingering.
“I also felt judged in so many ways. The role of a full-time mom is a really tough career path and it always amazed me how society in general would brush it off.”
When I was ready, I started networking. I even went back to the Bank to discuss possible opportunities just to be sure. They presented me with an offer but I still declined.
I wanted a role that resonated with my authentic self and while I had that feeling before I started my family, the feeling was magnified thereafter. So I started my own recruiting and coaching business called Samurai Solutions, named after my two children, Samantha and Ryan.
Can you please share with us why you decided to go back to work when you did?
I decided to return to work because I wanted balance in my life and I wanted to feel like I was developing myself and contributing to the world beyond that of my kids and household.
I built my confidence through networking. I started speaking to everybody, everywhere. I was listening to other people’s stories, learning about their jobs and industries and using this information to gain clarity on what I wanted for my next steps.
What advice would you offer to women who are looking to return to the workforce but aren’t sure where to start?
Network!! You never know what could emerge from a coffee. It is a platform to learn from other people and to create relationships.
Think outside the box when applying for any position. Contact HR or the Hiring Manager directly via linkedin or email to introduce yourself and make the connection to ensure your resume is actually reviewed.
“Be kind to yourself, move away from judgement and make sure that your new path resonates with your authentic self.”
Lauren Markman Ritchie is now a Recruitment Consultant and Owner at Samurai Solutions. She has offered to meet with women in the tellent community who are looking to re-enter the workforce after a career break.
You can connect with Lauren on LinkedIn.