Ever think it’s not possible to get back in the work force again after a seven-year-break? Think again. Janet Simpson Benvenuti has, like most BA50s, had to juggle a lot. Her first career transition happened back in 1991 when she left a managerial position running the global quality program for the pharmaceutical division of Bristol-Myers Squibb — work that encompassed 36,000 employees — to establish a management consultancy with a network of business executives and educators.

As a wife and mother of two small children, life was busy, but Jan enjoyed the project nature of consulting. However, when her own mother and father became ill with Alzheimer’s disease and cancer, respectively, she decided it was time to step off the career path. She spent seven years in the “sandwich,” juggling the needs of her young family along with her dying parents. This led to another career: that of author. During those years she wrote a book, Don’t Give Up on Me! Supporting Aging Parents Successfully (http://www.dontgiveuponthem.com/). As Jan describes, “The book is a poignant case study of the end of life challenges all families face. Written from a list of 50 things I wished I had known before my parents entered the last decade of their lives, this fast-paced story helps readers reach a deeper understanding of how to protect the personal and financial well-being of their elderly loved ones.”

Indeed, writing about these challenges helped Jan recognize the need for a business like hers. She launched her company, Circle of Life Partners in 2008, with the mission to help boomers successfully support aging parents and maintain their financial health, after learning first-hand “how the sandwich stage of life can quickly overwhelm families, deplete resources, and derail careers.” For Jan, time off the corporate track helped her figure out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. As she shares, “The time spent away from the pressures of my early career was an opportunity to support my family and rethink how I want to spend the rest of my professional life. It was time well spent.”

It’s also a great resource for BA50s. Reach Jan at @colpartners, jsimpson@colpartners.com or 978-287-5600. For the record, it should be noted that we found Janet through our friends at iRelaunch (www.iRelaunch.com). For more return to work success stories, check out iRelaunch’s Relaunch Success Story Gallery at http://www.irelaunch.com/success-stories.

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