Skip to main content
The contents of these pages have been automatically translated into the selected language. Deviations from the contents of the original page are therefore possible.

Interview: Re-entry into professional life

Susanne Möcks-Carone about the new start after a career break


"A decisive factor is the right attitude and culture in the company"

Returning to work after a long break is an exciting and challenging process. Conditions both in private life and at work have often changed decisively. How can employers benefit from people returning to work and make it easier for them to get started? A conversation with Susanne Möcks-Carone, Chief Transformation Officer (interim executive with a focus on corporate restructuring and transformation) and mentor for career change and re-entry.

Mrs. Möcks-Carone, which potentials do re-entrants bring with them?

Re-entry is not the same as re-entry. Some come back from a parental or nursing leave, others have taken time off, for example, to travel. Others have been out for an extended period of time due to illness or are coming back from retirement. Re-entry can mean that the person returns to their old job or starts at a new company. All possibilities have in common that a new professional phase begins.

Re-entrants are specifically looking for renewed employment and therefore usually bring a lot of determination and motivation. This happens in particular if they have a self-chosen reflection period behind them or can decide without economic pressure. Those who return from parental leave or a period of illness are also often much better organized than before - because he or she has to be. The task now is to balance professional and private demands well. The mother or father then has to leave on time at 5 p.m. to pick up the child, for example. Fortunately, I have often experienced that these employees work much more effectively in the given time.

How has the attitude towards returners in companies changed in recent years?

In the past, there was often a lack of understanding for individual time and work models in companies and among colleagues. If someone had to leave on time or wanted to work remotely to do care work or take on private tasks, this was sometimes met with incomprehension; especially in conflict-prone work environments. This particularly affected those re-entering the workforce because they may be more likely to be the ones with other roles and commitments in addition to work. Nowadays, companies are much more open-minded and willing to compromise. There has definitely been a development.

Despite this, the topic of re-entry in companies still falls far too often under the table today, instead of being a natural part of personnel development or recruiting. Employers who make re-entry an important part of personnel development, communicate accordingly and explicitly demand support from the management teams are acting in an exemplary and motivating manner. Best practice in a company can become a role model for other companies and have a positive impact on its reputation.

What is still important from your point of view on the part of employers, so that the re-entry succeeds?

This starts with an open, benevolent conversation with the re-entry or the re-entry to clarify expectations and possibilities of both sides. This openness helps avoid nasty surprises down the road.If both parties decide to work together, the employer or the employer should ensure a good accompaniment and the appropriate framework conditions.

Where can we find help and advice?

The Employment Agency offers a comprehensive range of information and advice for a successful re-entry. Here you can also book a personal meeting to discuss the options for your personal situation:

The interview was conducted in 2021 with Susanne Möcks-Carone.

More informationLinks for further reading

Worth knowing information for employees and enterprises offers the federal agency for work:



Valuable tips and recommendations for a good re-entry can be found in the report of the ESF- Federal program


In the guide "So sag ich's meinen Vorgesetzten" (How to tell your superiors), employees receive tips on how to prepare for the personnel interview and which of their own ideas and suggestions they can contribute in order to successfully shape parental leave and re-entry: