Returning to work after a career break can be a daunting prospect, especially if you’ve have had a significant time away from the workplace. In my case, I returned after a five year break to raise a family, but before my return, I spent countless occasions asking myself questions like:
“How will employers see past the gap in my CV and value what I know?”
“How will I find a flexible solution to make it work for my family?”
“How will I juggle school routines whilst maintaining work commitments?
“Have I forgotten everything?”
“It’s too much – can it really be done?”
Being a mum of 3, every day is a tricky juggling act, but I’m pleased to say – it can be done and I’m living proof! It does, however, require a supportive environment to overcome the barriers and keep those troublesome fears at bay.
One of the biggest barriers I faced was that my confidence had taken a complete dive. My previous role was relatively senior where I felt I could influence change and was part of something big. When I first started looking for work after my break, I knew exactly what I wanted but I was astonished at how many employers reacted negatively to the request for flexible working at interviews, even with a solid explanation. This was back in November 2017, before Covid, when remote and flexible working “wasn’t really a thing”. It never ceases to amaze me at how Covid has changed the world’s outlook on this. Luckily for me, however, I met Issured in January 2018 who were already ahead of the game.
Issured immediately boosted my confidence, supporting my transition back to work, by placing me directly on client site and providing me with the ability to work flexibly and remotely, whilst putting in place a supportive framework to help and guide me. I was given full autonomy and trust to do the right thing to deliver the contract. It’s exactly what I needed to make my comeback.
Upon joining the organisation, Issured were fully understanding towards my situation and worked closely with me to agree a tailored plan that would work. I was able to openly share my concerns. I wanted a part time role that worked with my nursery availabilities and Issured needed someone with experience who could deliver in a role. A plan was agreed for 4 days per week, which was flexible depending on both my clients and my own needs.
Issured helped me to quickly identify key training opportunities to ease my transition back to work and provide me with the refreshed knowledge and tools I needed to use on a daily basis. Diversity and Workforce inclusion is the foundation upon which Issured has grown and there are a range of programmes spanning from adhoc training modules to formalised CMI accredited training which Issured offers to staff and external individuals/organisations. A tailored programme was designed for me to instil a deeper level of understanding and confidence in areas that had moved on whilst I’d been off.
Mentoring and Coaching
No matter where I was, talented and skilled colleagues were always there to help provide me with guidance and coaching if I needed it. At Issured, we operate in a collaborative, engaging and nurturing environment, where their integrity and professionalism is used to deliver value to all our clients. We use the power of the team to challenge and guide, striving to go that extra mile, whilst supporting each other along the way.
Corporate Social Responsibilities
At Issured, one of the ways we ensure our values stay constant, is by involving employees in Corporate Social Responsibilities. We have a socially-conscious ethos and proudly advocates a fair and safe world for all by being involved in many initiatives including The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) (www.tnmoc.org), Café Track (https://www.track.org.uk/cafe), the Cambridge Cancer Help Centre (https://www.cambridgecancerhelp.org/) and Inside Justice (https://www.insidejustice.co.uk/). Upon joining, I quickly got involved in areas that interest me and that I am passionate about.
Issured’s most valuable asset is their staff
Whatever your circumstances for returning to work, I’ve come to realise that overcoming the emotional and physical challenges is about returning to a supportive environment with tailored mechanisms right for you. An environment which whole-heartedly embraces a diverse, inclusive set of values makes it possible to return seamlessly and thrive. That’s why I chose to join Issured. They helped me get back to work and provided me with exciting opportunities to progress my career.
At Issured, we recognise that attraction, retention and the progression of diverse talent are vital. Thought, care and planning must be taken when understanding the needs of employees returning to work. We are a company who recognise their staff as their most valuable asset.
More information on Issured and their values can be found: https://www.issured.com/who-are-we.