Heading Back To Corporate America After A Hiatus? Pam Perry Has A Strategy

June 24, 2014  |  

Welcome to our weekly column, Reset. Written by Karen Taylor Bass, this column, published each Tuesday, is about life lessons learned and mastered mentally, spiritually, and physically and how they contribute to a successful life and career.

Older moms unite! I had my first child at 40 and it was a blessing. What I did not account for, like most moms, is the extended maternity leave that results in a career break from corporate America.  According to recent reports, moms are taking time off after giving birth to raise children, save money on childcare, take a mental timeout and live their passion. The challenge is how to navigate the job market after an extended hiatus.

Pam Perry has been selected twice as one of the Top 50 Entrepreneurs by Black Business Women Online and featured on Brand Makers News as one of the Top 25 Urban Professionals to Follow on Twitter. The former public relations director for a major global nonprofit, she was known as the “message strategist,” a coach working with nonprofit organizations, churches, entrepreneurs, emerging and best-selling authors. Her life was good. She had it all and was only 37.

Pam decided to take time off after giving birth to her only child. She wanted to tap into her inner entrepreneur to spend more time with her bundle of joy.

She started her own public relations company handling ministries — churches and Christian authors. No one was targeting the black church as a marketable client. Then the industry got hip on the marketability of churches and competition became fierce with professionals low-balling one another to score the client. The business started to show signs of age after a solid run. Her only child was preparing for college and Pam was forced to press reset at the age of 54.

We spoke with Pam about how she was able to navigate the job market after a 15-year hiatus from corporate America.

MadameNoire: What was the turning point in your life when you decided to go back into the corporate world?
Pam Perry: When I realized that my daughter was graduating from high school and it was time for me to elevate my game; concentrate on my mission to live for Pam once again.

MN: How long did it take you to get a job once you decided you were ready?
PP:  The process of getting a job took almost a year. As my daughter was applying to colleges, I was networking, talking to my contacts leveraging my skills to get noticed, and writing the job description for my ideal gig.

MN: Tell me about your new job and how your mommy skills set you apart from the other candidates. What are the skill sets you have from being a successful mom-in-chief to corporate?
PP: I am now the Marketing and PR Manager of the world’s largest African-American museum, The Charles H. Wright Museum in Detroit. One of the perks of motherhood is that it keeps you sharp… I am a master negotiator, visionary, skilled communicator and well-versed in social media to keep up with my teenager. Also, I have exceptional skills in blogging, coding a website and writing engaging copy that I helped me land my current job.

…  As a successful mom-in-chief you learn to roll with things to get the job done and you know that there is no job too big or small that you can’t do.

MN: How did you press Reset?
PP: When you commit to your children it’s an act of love. However the day will come when you must reclaim and fight for you because children will grow and leave.

I had to empower myself, open my mouth and ask for help from my network of people familiar with my brand and let them know that I was ready for a change. The moment I talked up my talent, God sent the right people to me.

MN: How does it feel to be back in corporate America?
PP: I love my new job at the museum.  This chapter in my life is about new experiences and learning the in-depth history of African-American culture, films, and books. The time spent as an entrepreneur has afforded me the gift of living in the moment.

MN: What is your advice to moms taking a hiatus from corporate however hoping to go back to work after raising children?
PP: Although I worked for myself after being a director for  nonprofit, I stayed connected with my network and retained a business coach to help me navigate the terrain and keep me motivated. Most importantly, I stayed on top of trends, took courses/webinars on social media and attended conferences to promote business and get a break from my family.

MN: Any books you would recommend?
PP:  Yes. StrengthsFinder 2.0 by  Tom Rath. This book helps you own your talent and how to make it work for you.

Career Reset: As a mom, entrepreneur, and breathing person you must be brave and press reset when you get that feeling that there is more for you on the journey called life. Motherhood is an amazing gift however, it’s not enough to complete you. 

Karen Taylor Bass is a best-selling author, PR Expert and understands that life only gets better when you press RESET. Follow her @thebrandnewmom

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