This ‘Returnship’ Eases People’s Transition Back to Agency Jobs After Years Away

SapientNitro’s program could serve as a model

Sue Vering was an associate creative director at DDB Chicago when she left in 1998, ultimately taking seven years off from the ad business to raise her daughter, get involved in community activities and write freelance features for the Chicago Tribune. By 2005, when circumstances dictated a return to agency life, she found herself at FCB Chicago, on the KFC account, and struggling to fit into a world that had grown unfamiliar during her absence. Many nuances of the business—from technology and workflow to the office jargon—seemed strange. "It was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be," said Vering. "Even coming physically to an office every day was disconcerting and disorientating. You put up this front that it's seamless. It's not."

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.