Think staying home is saving you money… think again!

One of the reasons often given for why women choose to leave the workforce is the high cost of childcare. It’s become such a hot topic that both presidential candidates have created platforms to address the issue. Why? Because, according to a new study, in some states infant care is higher than the cost of college tuition. In most of the country the cost of full-time childcare is 85% of the monthly U.S. median cost of rent.

For many families weighing the choice between paying the high cost of care vs having one parent stay home and take care of the kids is a no brainer… or is it. This same study shows that:

the average American woman taking a five-year break from her career starting at age 26 will lose out on $467,000 in income, wage growth, and retirement assets and benefits over her lifetime. (The average American man of the same age will lose $596,000.) Considering that the average cost of care is a little under $10,000, the career break ends up being about 10 times more expensive.

With the number of women in the workforce declining to a 27 year low in 2015, it is remarkable to think about the lost earning potential. Obviously, this study doesn’t take into account many factors that face families from the cost of care for an ill child, lack of access to well paying jobs, single parents etc… but in general this is a striking example of why it is so important for women to stay in the workforce.

The Second Shift is a solution for women to be able to continue working when it is may seem like it is not worth it. We are a safety net to bridge the tough times so that you don’t have to choose one path or another. We help you make work work for you!

We Won!

“Working mothers, take note: You have won the culture war.” That is the first line of a recent NY Times Op-Ed that focuses on how historic this election is for working parents: This is the first election where the topic of paid parental leave has entered the discussion. This is the first time a Republican candidate has put forward a proposal to help working parents. 

“This presidential race has become, at least in part, a debate over how best to help you balance work and home, not whether you should be working at all.” 

Regardless of how you feel about the candidates and their proposals– the very fact that we are in this dialogue is a huge step for working parents and one that we applaud! Read the article here:  

LA Entrepreneur Event

Gina and Jenny hosted a luncheon in LA last week with local business women and entrepreneurs to introduce them The Second Shift and our member experts. It was wonderful event filled with inspiring women. Many thanks to Tara Parker Tait and all the companies we worked with who helped make it such a magical day– Soleil Toujours, Beyond Yoga, Moon Juice, Ten Over Ten, Heirloom LA, Docuvitae.



The amazing women at W By Worth featured Jenny, Gina and Kemp from The Second Shift as women who inspire them. We are so honored! Thank you! Check us out and check out W By Worth– they have such great business and casual clothing sold by stylists all over the country. They are always looking for women interested in becoming stylists in their community. Reach out if you want to learn more

We love you Sallie Krawcheck! Read her Linkedin story about how “bro” culture on Wall Street is harmful to women climbing the ladder of success. This is an issue that is not particular to Wall Street; Being inhospitable to women is not only about “bro talk,” it is about unnecessary 6pm meetings, weekend deadlines and pervasive desk check culture. When companies don’t make work work for women, they lose women, and then they complain about diversity. The real issue here is, if companies don’t change women flee, then fewer women rise to the top, and without women at the top nobody is taking our needs and thoughts into account; and the world remains a place that has no cup holders in cars, life rafts or caller I.D. (all invented by and for women.)

So why is it so hard for businesses to get it? They talk about it a lot… they hold a lot of meetings at 6pm to discuss it, they have conferences about it, and speak on panels about it… here is what Sallie has to say.

“To the CEOs: Wall Street simply needs to bring more women and diverse individuals into the business. Just friggin’ do it. I promise you, the solution isn’t more training sessions on unconscious bias or a new diversity group, though they are nice. It’s not another speech at the annual townhall on how important diversity is. It’s to just hire more women.”

The Second Shift was founded to provide flexible opportunities for women who leave the traditional workforce so they can continue along their professional career paths. Our vetted network of members are women who recently left the workforce at the top of their game; by hiring them companies increase gender diversity in their workplace and create a nimble and progressive work force. It’s a win/win for everyone. It is not a mystery why women leave and it is not a mystery how to retain them… so stop talking about it and just do it!

Summer Time Rules!

Think nobody is paying attention in the summer? Think again! Jobs are posted, interviews are happening and hiring managers are paying attention.  Instead of focusing on pictures of fabulous vacations and kids in sprinklers, social media can be a great way to push yourself and your job search forward; it can also be a hazardous time for your personal brand message… so beware and keep reading: 

The Second Shift Social Media Dos and Don’ts for the Summer

Do use the quiet time in Summer as a time to reach out to your network and set up lunch or coffee to line up work for the Fall.

Don’t post too many pictures of your Summer fun. It looks pretty but might send the wrong message about your serious intentions to people looking to hire you.

Do use the down time for Summer clean-up and get fresh references and testimonials for your Linkedin page.

Don’t post anything without first proofreading. Humor can be taken out of context and grammar mistakes make you look sloppy and lazy.

Do be mindful of when and how you use social media; if you are posting pictures of your kids on a beach on a Tuesday morning, you are giving the impression that is where you are at that moment, even if it was something that happened over the weekend.

Do stay on brand. All social media is an exercise in branding yourself and your life. Make sure the message you are creating about yourself is consistent across your social media, both professionally and personally.

Meet our new featured member Nishea Clark.


Nishea Clark is a Second Shift member who truly understands what it means to take a leap and bet on yourself. She holds an MBA from Kellogg and has worked as a marketing consultant for companies such as Pfizer, XM Satellite Radio and Johnson & Johnson, as well as advertising agencies and the US Army. Nishea is our featured member because she exemplifies many of the attributes that make up our incredible network of women– she is smart, ambitious, a go-getter who knows her worth, and isn’t afraid to capitalize on her strength and determination.

–What inspired you to choose to go freelance?

It was actually an accident of sorts. I was at a job I detested and was miserable. A friend called and asked for help,  he said, “don’t quit your day job, just take a couple of days off, make some good money consulting.“ I quit anyway, I thought to myself,  this will give me enough money, plus my savings, to have a fun summer while looking for a new job. I sent an email to some old colleagues and friends saying I was taking the summer off but if anyone needed any help or knew of interesting projects, let me know. I was completely booked 24 hours later, never took my big summer vacation and that was 14 years ago this May.

–You recently completed a job through the Second Shift– how did you find the process?

The process was incredibly simple– I responded to the request while in line at the super market from my iPhone, I heard back the next day, took the interview while on vacation at Disney World with my kids and started a few days later when I got back to NY. My client was nice, smart, flexible and gave me the autonomy and trust that I love, so I had the freedom to deliver a great end product.

–What is your schedule– are you "on” certain hours or days or months and then “off” at other times? What is your personal balance?

Work-life balance has been a work in progress for me. I tend to always be “on”. I check my phone constantly and I am very nocturnal, which has given me an edge on international projects when I may respond to RFPs while my competitors are still asleep. I am good at working wherever I am, so it is not unusual for me to be writing emails or drafting report outlines while waiting in the car to pick up my daughter from school. I have put hard stops on deliverables when I know I will be away with the kids or they have important events like the Holiday concert and kindergarten graduation.

– Any tips for women in full-time careers looking to downshift to a more flexible Second Shift schedule?

Know your limits and expectations for yourself. Understand your motivations for working and imbed those within your freelance career.  Then sell them to your client as an asset. For me personally, I work best when I can spend the majority of my time in my own environment. I found that I got little done in the typical office environment.  When I was able to set up my home office to my own needs, set up my own hours (my most inspired thinking is late at night) and utilize technology to still be “everywhere” and extremely accessible, I can deliver great work. I sell that to my clients. I remind them that they don’t have to waste office space and resources on me, that because I am self-motivated, they don’t have to waste their own precious time checking-up on me. I tell them how great they will feel when they walk into their office in the morning and find that their deliverables and updates are already sitting in their email first thing because I likely sent them at 2am. No spending half the day anxious about your report coming in. And I make sure to deliver on my process to be accessible and flexible.

–You have your own consulting business– what sorts of jobs do you take on and why?

I specialize in market research, planning and strategy. New product launches are especially interesting for me. I love the thought process of investigating a marketplace, looking for new angles or untapped opportunities and a unique niche. I greatly enjoy interviewing (both business customers and consumers) to try and delve into motivations and expectations. I have worked domestically and internationally in a wide variety of category areas including pharmaceuticals, consumer packaged goods, tourism, financial services, media and entertainment. My engagements have been as short as one week and as long as four years. I pride myself on making it as easy as possible for the client to work with me and get great results.

Listen up!

Thank you Kim Dawson of the Sassy Strategist podcast for featuring us and letting us share our personal and professional tips for starting a business. Kim’s podcast is an outgrowth of her business K. Dawson Company where she helps women take their business to the next level. 

“My goal is to help women become entrepreneurs and profitable business owners, in an effort to boost their financial independence, improve communities, advance women’s rights and create a more passion-driven life.”

Check her out on Twitter at @sassyStrategist

Here’s the link to the interview: