Life at Deloitte

Reentering the workforce

One professional’s story, and some tips for your job search

January 25, 2023

Smitha Vargheese is a consultant in Deloitte Consulting LLP’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications (TMT) industry practice. She joined Deloitte through the Encore program. Below she shares her story.

I am an independent soul and am paving my own way. I believe this made me distinct from the crowd, yet interesting in nature. I thrive on authenticity which is paramount for my passion, commitment, and success.

Tell us about yourself and your role at Deloitte.

I joined Deloitte in March 2022 through the Encore program. Encore is a Deloitte program that helps people return to the workforce after a gap in employment. Today, I am a technical program manager working with a global team to accelerate and improve our client’s operations.

What were some challenges you faced when re-entering the workforce?

I began my career in 2003 but decided to take a break in 2014 for five years to care for my young child and focus on my family. Upon deciding to re-enter the industry in 2019, I faced many challenges before coming to Deloitte, such as having to compromise on job levels, struggling to find roles that matched my skill set, and feeling outdated due to rapid changes in the market. I upskilled in many digital transformation areas to align myself to the industry, however, I still felt stressed at the thought of pitching myself to the corporate world.

How was the onboarding experience for Deloitte and the Encore program?

The Encore program helped me relaunch my career and gain momentum toward my aspirations. Deloitte provided four weeks of training, and an opportunity to find a work that inspired me and put my strengths forward. I am thankful that I was given the opportunity to challenge myself and bring the best in me to the program and in turn, I was rewarded with self-esteem and satisfaction. I am proud to work for an organization that breaks the stigma of career breaks and recognizes that fundamental skills and experiences never fade away. My background in ITSM and project management was seen as a fit for this role with our client. Being engaged with the client that I support is a privilege. Moreover, it's a client-facing role where I get the opportunity to represent the Deloitte brand and share our values with them.

What do you enjoy most about working at Deloitte?

The impact Deloitte is making consistently on society and the opportunity to be part of that mission motivates me the most in my work at Deloitte. I enjoy working for an organization that is vested in nourishing the well-being of its people by giving choices that enable them to deliver value.

What advice can you share with those looking to re-enter the workforce?

Believe you can, and you are halfway there! Be bold in your pursuit, take chances and be open to new experiences.

Thank you Smitha!

Learn more

Here are some additional tips from our recruiting team to help you succeed in re-entering the workforce.

1. Consider what success means to you and what you really want.

This is the time to ask yourself important questions. What did you love about your past career? What did you dislike? Is there something you want to learn more about? Become better at? This could be an opportunity for big changes.

2. Network effectively.

Use professional networking and social media platforms to connect with friends, former colleagues, and even former classmates. Follow up regularly, and take note of details from your conversations for future chats (e.g. children, pets, hobbies, etc.) in order to demonstrate your attention to detail and desire to connect.

3. Be upfront about the employment gap.

Prior to the pandemic, people feared the stigma around breaks in employment. However, due to the number of people who were forced to leave their jobs over the past two years, employers are likely to appreciate authenticity and this conversation can be an opportunity to highlight unique experiences as well as what you learned during your time away from the workforce.

4. Stay “in the know. “

Explore insights and thought leadership to become familiar with the latest news and information in your industry. You can stay “in the know” by visiting our Business Insights.

Deloitte’s Encore program can help you obtain the training, experience, and coaching that you may need to rejoin the workforce with confidence. The program helps enable a smooth transition through accelerated learning to refresh skills and provide mentoring, coaching, and a personalized development plan. Those hired through the Encore program have the opportunity to enhance their skills, rebuild their professional networks, and work in a client service environment. Our cohort-based approach allows us to create a supportive environment of peers for returning professionals. The program has been successfully onboarding professionals in various business areas, with new opportunities opening multiple times each year.

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