18 July 2020

Open For Opportunities

Looking for a job after maternity leave is as awkward, unnatural and unpredictable as blind dating. I personally never dated much and even married my best friend, so when I started looking for a job in 2018 after a 2 year maternity ‘break’, I was shocked to find myself in a kind of warped dating reality.

It’s like a cat and mouse chase as you need to look appealing without appearing desperate. Leveraging your network, your network’s network and the endless features of LinkedIn; it’s a tiring hunt to be at the right place and right time. The irony is that once you’re ‘taken’, suddenly your appeal on the market goes up. It must be human nature; we like people who are hard to get. So suffice to say that being a mom on leave, ranks low on the attractive candidate barometer. Then when you finally get an interview, why is it that talking about your kids is taboo, however being asked whether you want to have more kids seems a sad interview reality? NB. Legally you do not have to answer that question in an interview.

You’re more attractive once you’re taken
They say it takes six to nine months to find a job in Switzerland. Finding a good match, I experienced, takes longer. Without realizing it, I met mine when I sent a spontaneous application to Isobar Switzerland. Within three days I had an interview and two months later, I had my first day as Head of Marketing & Communications. 

I finally changed my status to “In A Relationship”. As with dating irony, I received several top quality job offers after that. I turned them all down though; I was happy where I was. From day one Isobar has given me the flexibility I need as a mom so that I don’t need to choose between work and family. This combined with stimulating work, an incredible range of clients and a hunger for creative and experience-led ideas makes working at Isobar a real pleasure. 
Over the last year, I have been humbled by my colleagues’ generosity and patience to share their incredible digital and tech knowledge with me. I genuinely learn every day. I have also been honoured by the trust my manager Pierre-Alexandre Riera the CCO and the rest of the Board have put in me to drive impact within the organization and on the business.

Be proactive, Ladies! 
If Isobar is my new partner, then Salesforce is my new family-in-law. The community and support for people, ideas and achievement, is unparalleled. Like any good family-in-law, Salesforce is there to support you when needed whilst giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn and flourish on your own. That is why when Salesforce’s Vanessa Kammermann-Gentile told me about her idea to help mom’s get back to work with a career shift into digital, I was all in to support. 

Finding a job is not easy, finding a job after extended maternity is even harder and doing a career or change at the same time, well let’s say just say that no dating app algorithm could make that happen. So that is why Bring Women Back To Work exists. We want to create the opportunity for moms to get back in the game. They say opposites attract, and in the case of Isobar and I, that’s what happened. I am professionally fulfilled, challenged and supported in ways I didn’t even hope for. So come on ladies, get out there to find your match.

The Author
Gail Junoy works as Head of Marketing & Communications at the leading digital agency Isobar. Prior to that, she served as Global Marketing Director at Coty and held various manage-ment positions at Procter &  Gamble. Junoy is married and has one child. With her family, she lives in Geneva.

The article was published in the M&K magazine dedicated to women and career (July 2020, german language): https://fal.cn/395hi