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Returning to work full-time?

(7 Posts)
ParanoidAnnie Thu 27-Feb-14 10:38:35

Long time lurker and occasional poster.

I need some career advice. I currently work as a part time administrator (5 years in this job) which is great as it fits round school hours and it's only 4 days a week (20 hours). I am over qualified for this role and there are no promotion prospects.

Before having DD's (2 DD's age 10 and 8) I was a Finance and Administration Manager for a large national charity. I loved the job. I was made redundant whilst pregnant which enables me to be a SAHM, which I also loved

I'm now ready to go back to work full time. I have no idea what I can do and with no experience for 10 years I'm not getting anywhere with my job applications. I feel like I'm banging my head against a wall. I have a lot to give a future employer. I'm reliable, honest, hard working and very quick to learn.

Has taken the last 10 years of from full-time employment been a bad decision for my future prospects? It feels like it. I don't regret for it one minute as I have loved the time with DD's. It does seem however that this comes at a price.

Has anyone been in this situation? Can you offer any advice?

Longsuffering2 Thu 27-Feb-14 10:58:55

Hi Paranoid - why don't go back to the charity(s) - you could take a look at parenting charities or organisations which are going to be sympathetic or receptive to your career break status. I think Aurora is an organisation which promotes women in the workplace - see which firms have a presence on their site and are family friendly.
Get a friend to look over your CV... Do you have a personal statement, does this convey your commitment to returning to work for good? Research companies which employ a more mature profile...can be hard if you are up against 20 something singletons and that is what the company is after. Stick with it & good luck!
Ps when you get to interview, make sure your childcare arrangements come across as watertight.

ParanoidAnnie Thu 27-Feb-14 11:04:51

Thanks longsuffering2 I will certainly have a look at Aurora. My sister has had a look at my CV and thinks it was great with a strong personal statement.

Getting to interview stage would be great! I haven't even got that far yet. The last job I applied for was ideal for me and I knew I could do a really good job. I spent a full day on the application and matched the person specification 100%. I didn't even get an interview due to 'the large number of applicants'.

It's hard when you are drawing on experience that is almost 10 years ago.

I'm 45 btw and have much more to give now than I did when I was 25!!

flowery Thu 27-Feb-14 12:07:32

It's not the hours you've been working that are the issue. You've not been out of the workplace for 10 years or anything, you've been back at work for 5 years. It's the fact that for the past 5 years you've been working at a much lower level and are now looking for a promotion, and are perhaps competing against people who are already working at the level of the jobs you are applying for.

Don't have a personal statement or anything in a letter that talks about returning to work or hints at anything along those lines. Your career break finished 5 years ago.

Longsuffering2 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:26:55

Rather than just submitting your CV on its own (I'm guessing that you already tailor it to each potential employer).... How about adding to it a covering letter showing that you have really researched the business, what it is that you specifically admire about that business and how you feel that you personally would fit and benefit that business.....I just think it will show that you have really given that individual company some thought rather than just doing a blanket application. If you feel that the career break might be your Achilles Heal why not face into that and turn it on its head.....? So, without over-labouring the point on motherhood, you might like to add a brief positive that motherhood has brought you (I'm thinking along the lines of mentioning multi-tasking, daily trouble-shooting, clarity of communication, patience etc) - I think you should keep the point brief and add an exclamation mark!

Longsuffering2 Thu 27-Feb-14 13:30:49

You could also call them shortly after submitting, to "check they've received" - any questions, I could quickly pop in etc........
I think you've got to quickly try and emotionally shelve the rejection you've experienced, forget that's happened, their loss and anticipate only possible success in the confidence of your approach, language, tone etc.

ParanoidAnnie Thu 27-Feb-14 14:17:59

Thanks flowery. Of course you are right and phrased it better than me. I've been working at a lower level as that is what was available to me at the time and fitted in with family life. I've no family nearby and my husband works irregular hours so I've put the children first. I don't regret that. I now want to go back where I was 10 years ago and that is what's difficult.

Thanks for your great advice longsiffering. I will definitely take it on board. I do think it's best to be honest with employers and explain why I've been working at a lower level for 5 years.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is convincing myself that I am capable of more smile

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