Career Insight

What is a Returnship?

What is a Returnship?

Returning to the workforce after some time away, for whatever reason, can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve been gone for one year or for a few, you may face insecurities or feel like your skills are out of date as you prepare for your comeback. Here’s where returnships can help. 

Returnships are programs designed to make the return to work simple and more efficient for both professionals and employers. Today we’ll explore the ins and outs of returnships, the companies offering them, and how they can benefit you. 

Here’s what we’ll get into: 

  • What is a returnship?
  • What are the benefits of returnships?
  • What companies offer returnships?
  • What is iRelaunch? 
  • Additional resources for individuals returning to work

What is a returnship? 

You can think of a returnship as an internship for someone returning to the workforce after some time away. People usually take on a returnship after completing military service, taking time off to raise children, or when coming out of retirement. Returnships are typically paid and usually run for 12-26 weeks. Individuals will work a standard 9-5, full-time schedule over the course of their returnship.  

Just like in internships, adults returning to the workforce are provided with mentors, guidance, and a chance to improve upon their skill sets in a returnship. Oftentimes, they’ll end up getting hired on at the company where they complete their returnship. This fact alone makes them an incredibly beneficial experience for adults looking to dust off their resumes and get back into the working world. 

What are the benefits of returnships? 

Returnships come with a variety of benefits for both organizations and workers. They can help you land a job, get up to date on the latest skills, create a more diverse workforce, and widen your support network. 

A returnship could help you land a job

Just like with internships, completing a return-to-work program at a company could help you land a new role. While a job is never a guarantee, it will definitely help to have contacts at the company and to have your returnship listed on your resume. When a position opens up, the hiring manager will see the company on your resume and it may be easier to make it to the next round and land an interview (fingers crossed). Some returnships come with the promise of full-time employment upon successful completion of the program. 

Returnships help create a more diverse workforce

Like we mentioned, returnship programs benefit both an organization and an employee. Employees are given a taste of workplace culture while rebuilding their careers, and employers are able to staff full-time positions from a more diverse talent pool. People making a return to the workforce often come back with a variety of life experiences and can create a rich and dynamic office environment through their unique perspectives. Read more about diversity in tech and why it matters on the Kenzie Academy blog

They can help you gain new skills 

Depending on how long you were out of the workforce, workplace tools and technology could’ve changed a lot. By doing a returnship, you’ll get caught up on the developments and technology skills that came to be while you were out. Returnships can be particularly beneficial to those interested in the tech industry as they can help employees get back up to speed on new workplace technologies, programming languages, and other technical tools. 

Returnships give you a new support network

Finally, returnships can help talent find a support network to lean on as they make their way back into the workforce. You’ll have access to mentors who will work alongside you to ensure you meet your career goals and gain experience over the course of the program. Mentors can give you career advice, recommend you for future roles with the organization, and help you hone in on your desired career path. You’ll also gain a new support group in the form of the many friends you can make out of the colleagues going through the program with you. They’ll understand the trials and tribulations of reentering the workforce because they’re doing it right alongside you. 

What companies offer returnships? 

It’s hard to say exactly how many returnship schemes exist at this point in time but iRelaunch, which we’ll discuss more below, offers a list of some of the top programs (of which there are close to 100). Top companies like Amazon Web Services, Deloitte, and LinkedIn all offer returnship programs. 

Another option is Goldman Sachs which offers a returnship program for professionals looking to restart their careers. Goldman Sachs’ program is 12-weeks long and paid, providing a guided exploration into various roles and opportunities at the company so participants can get a better idea of what they want their career to look like. 

One other organization known for helping professionals make returns to office life is JP Morgan Chase. The company aims to help people launch their full-time career with JP Morgan Chase after successful completion of the returnship. 

Additionally, organizations like Franklin Apprenticeship programs offer apprenticeship services to bring non-traditional applicants into the workforce, helping them earn while they learn on the job. 

What is iRelaunch? 

iRelaunch is helping make the process of finding a returnship easier. It’s an online community for relaunchers, employers, universities, and various other associations. The website is a treasure trove of resources and information ranging from success stories of relaunchers to lists of employers, conferences, and a podcast. 

Additional resources

Considering returning to your career after some time away? We encourage you to use the resources presented here to make your return a successful one. 

If you’d like to gain new skills or become certified in a new career field before coming back to work, look into certification programs, like Kenzie’s Software Engineering or UX Design courses.


Ready to jumpstart your career as a UX Designer or Coder? Learn more about our Software Engineering and UX Design programs, or check out our free beginner’s coding program Kenzie Free.

Alexa Goins

Alexa Goins

Alexa Goins is the Content Marketer at Kenzie Academy. Before she joined the field of higher education marketing, she worked as a journalist and taught English in the South of France. When she’s not writing, you can find her reading non-fiction works, doing embodiment yoga, or planning her next trip to Paris. You can find more of her work at www.alexagoins.com.

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  • Date
    April 7, 2021
  • Posted In
    Career Insight
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