A Week in Path Forward: Connection in the Time of Coronavirus

There’s no use sugar coating it. The last few weeks have been hard. As we all struggle to adapt to this new “normal,” our list of worries seems to grow longer than our grocery lists. Yet, amid the many reminders for “social distancing,” Executive Director Tami Forman’s 10-year-old son opts for a modification of the phrase: this is a time of physical distancing, and social connection. For the Path Forward team, this has meant connection to our people: our alumni, our current returnees, our partner companies and every returner wondering what this means for their plans to return to work. 

Last Thursday, we hosted an open catch-up session for our program alumni to see how everyone was coping with their new work-from-home realities. Despite a major shift in routine and a need to reset professional and personal expectations, our alumni have proven themselves to be as adaptable as they come. And as always, they were amazingly supportive and encouraging of one another. We were recharged by their positivity, resilience, and gratitude.

On Friday, we held the first virtual workshop for our Spring 2020 cohort. Yes, despite the pandemic, our amazing partner companies, including Amazon, EMD Serono, NBCUniversal and Blend have all hired returnees in Q1. Each returnee is eager to contribute to these vital industries, such as supply chain, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications and mortgage accessibility. It was incredible to hear these new returnees’ stories and learn how their companies are supporting their career re-entry during these unusual times. 

In fact, amid the increasing employment uncertainty happening across the country, some of our partner companies are still working closely with us to continue hiring. Aside from our already existing open positions, two more incredible partners, Cloudflare and Motorola Solutions, just posted new return to work opportunities in Austin, New Jersey and Baltimore, respectively. Though the world isn’t returning to “normal” as quickly as we’d all like, we are heartened by our partner’s commitment to helping us connect returnees to new opportunities and providing resources to help navigate the return to work journey.

We’ve gained so much strength from connecting with our community this past week–from our returnees’ exemplary resilience to our partners’ passion for inclusion. With role models like this, we’re encouraged to keep going, and finding opportunities to connect with you – starting with our upcoming ‘Ask Me Anything’ style career restart webinar. It’s the first of many more virtual events in the works. From the Path Forward family to yours, we wish everyone a safe and healthy week.