Imagine waking up one day after many years of marriage and raising kids to being blindsided by your husband asking you for a divorce.
That’s exactly what happened to Suzanne Ciardella, and her story is not uncommon.
Ciardella was born in Los Angeles, adopted at birth, and raised in Long Beach, California. She met her husband, fell in love, moved to San Diego, and had a successful career in sales. She and her husband started a family, and like many professional women, Ciardella paused her career to raise their two boys.
One day, her husband came home and asked her for a divorce, and she was faced with a devastating new reality.
Working moms who leave the workforce face unprecedented challenges if they want to reinvigorate their careers. According to the Harvard Business Review and the Center for Work-Life Policy, 93% of want to return to the workforce, but only 40% land full-time employment. And women who take over three years off lose one-third (30% to 37%) of their earning power.
In Ciardella’s case, she had been out of the workforce for years, with no job prospects in sight. Her kids had moved out of the house. She’d completely lost her sense of self. She was over 50, overwhelmed, and unsure which way to turn or what to do next.
The question for Ciardella became: How do I get back into the “game” without losing my freedom, generate a great income, and have fun again?
First, Ciardella took a long look in the mirror and asked herself three big questions:
- “Who am I?”
- “Who am I without my marriage?”
- “Who am I besides a mom?”
Asking herself these questions and doing a lot of inner work helped Ciardella reclaim her strength, power, and voice.
She determined that she wanted to create a business doing something that would light her up and give her passion and purpose. A business where she could give back, share her voice, and create a community of like-minded women who shared a lot of the same experiences.
After Ciardella did a lot of research, she found a business that had values compatible with hers that she felt comfortable representing and started connecting with some of the top 1% of the company. She watched, observed, built relationships, and, most importantly, found a mentor to guide her.
Fast forward to today, and Ciardella feels better than she did in her 20’s. She has a portfolio of businesses she works with, and is now mentoring other women to do the same. She’s developed a system that helps women optimize their self-care so they feel great about themselves and then identifies values-aligned companies selling products they would be excited to share with others. Ciardella then helps them earn their first $1,000 and build out their social media marketing. In the process, women figure out who they are, feel great and authentic, and build a business and life they love.
Ciardella also developed a genius system to get major discounts at five-star hotels. When she was getting back into the workforce, she realized how much she missed dressing in professional attire and knew that if she conducted client meetings in the lobby or poolside bar of places like the Ritz-Carlton, she’d be able to get discounts for herself and her clients on things like rooms, valet and the restaurant. By dressing like a professional and introducing herself to the concierge, she’s able to connect with clients, get them discounts, and in turn drive guests and revenue for the hotel. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
Ciardella recently assembled a free “Get Over It Guide to Reinvention after 50.” It’s a way for people to experience her system, get to know her better, and decide if she’s a right-fit mentor for them. She includes self-care optimization tips, ways to get back into the workforce after 50, and reinventing yourself to feel empowered, excited and authentic.