In today’s dynamic job market, career breaks are increasingly common. Whether it’s for personal growth, family responsibilities, or health reasons, stepping away from the workforce doesn’t mean the end of your career. Enter returnships—a structured pathway back to professional life. But what exactly are returnships, and how can they help you relaunch your career? Let’s explore.

What is a Returnship?

A returnship, also known as a career re-entry program, is akin to an internship but designed specifically for experienced professionals who have taken a career break. These programs typically last from a few months to a year and provide participants with the opportunity to refresh their skills, gain new experiences, and rebuild professional networks.

The Growing Popularity of Returnships

Many top companies, including Goldman Sachs, IBM, and Intuit, have recognized the value of returnships. They offer these programs to tap into a pool of talented professionals eager to re-enter the workforce. The benefits are mutual: employers gain access to experienced candidates, while returnees get a chance to demonstrate their skills and potentially secure permanent positions.

Benefits of Returnships for Job Seekers

  1. Skill Refreshment: Returnships allow you to update your skills and get acquainted with the latest industry trends and technologies.
  2. Confidence Boost: Rejoining the workforce after a break can be daunting. Returnships provide a structured and supportive environment to ease this transition.
  3. Networking Opportunities: These programs offer a chance to reconnect with the professional world, making valuable contacts that can aid in your job search.
  4. Potential for Permanent Employment: Many returnship programs are designed with the intention of converting participants into full-time employees.

How to Find the Right Returnship

  1. Research Companies: Look for companies known for their returnship programs. Visit their careers page and explore any returnship opportunities.
  2. Use Professional Networks: Leverage platforms like LinkedIn to connect with others who have participated in returnships and can offer advice.
  3. Consult Career Coaches: Professionals who specialize in career transitions can provide valuable insights and help you prepare for your returnship application process.

Preparing for a Returnship

  1. Update Your Resume: Highlight your past experience and any relevant activities during your career break, such as volunteering or continuing education.
  2. Prepare for Interviews: Be ready to discuss your career break confidently and focus on what you’ve learned and how it can be an asset to the employer.
  3. Brush Up on Skills: Take online courses or attend workshops to update your skills and make yourself a more competitive candidate.

Real-Life Success Stories

Many have successfully transitioned back into their careers through returnships. For instance, Jane Smith, a former marketing executive, took a five-year break to raise her children. She joined a returnship program at a leading tech company, where she not only updated her skills but also secured a permanent position as a marketing manager. Her story, like many others, highlights the potential of returnships to transform lives and careers.


Returnships are an excellent pathway for professionals looking to re-enter the workforce after a break. They offer a unique blend of training, experience, and support that can bridge the gap between a career hiatus and a successful return to professional life. If you’re considering a career comeback, exploring returnships might be the key to unlocking your next career chapter.