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Terrified of going back

(7 Posts)
Pinkballoongirl Wed 05-Oct-16 08:15:26

Hello, I've got two dcs and I've been a full time mum for about 12 years. It hasn't always been through choice, DS has ASD and when he was small childcare that could cope with him was difficult to find, plus my mum died so I had no support.

Anyway, he's at secondary school now so I really feel it's time I did something, and I really want to. I've applied for a job as a school receptionist, coincidentally at his school, quite unexpectedly, I've got an interview next week. Tbh, I'm scared. The letter says it will also involve a short admin task, my computer skills are rusty to say the least. blush I've got no confidence anyway but it really is at an all time low. I know I could do the job but I'm going cold just thinking about it. It would be ideal as it fits with with my dcs but I just don't think I've got the confidence to go to the interview. sad

Please don't tell me I'm a fool, I feel stupid anyway sad

SherryRB Wed 05-Oct-16 08:25:37

Yes go to the interview. It might be scary but sometimes to get what you want you have to feel the fear and do it anyway (a quote from Susan Jeffers book). Even if you don't get this job, you've got the first interview done and dusted, and the next interview won't be so bad.

Your computer skills probably aren't that rusty ... after all you came online to post here! Perhaps practice typing a couple of letters, looking at how letters are structured. It's a receptionist role so think about what the receptionist at your school might do and think about how you might tackle those tasks. I would imagine attention to detail is important and understanding the importance of confidentiality.

Good luck for the interview.

NightNightBadger19962 Wed 05-Oct-16 08:41:53

Yes to the practice - don't worry about things you can't do yet, just remember to mention all the admin skills you do have (make a list so you reemember everything and use professional but clear words for them (say, Word, managing mailshots (for stuffing envelopes), publishing notices (for designing the layout for a letter or poster), answering the telephone promptly and with a professional manner). And then say that you're a quick learner, or keen to develop your skills by learning from others or training courses on systems that are involved in the job - this can be your answer if you are asked about something you don't know how to do yet. Practice answering questions in front of the mirror or with a friend, to get used to the sound of your voice, and talking yourself up, which feels cringey at first.
Eg 'can you tell us why you applied for this post?' 'Can you tell us about something you consider an important professional/personal achievement?' 'Can you tell us about a situation you encountered which did not go well, and what you would do differently in future?' 'What do you think is important to remember in interactions with parents at the school?' 'Can you tell us about your career highlights so far?' Remember they ask everyone the same questions, so will be varied.
Also practice talking about your career as a SAHM, with no apology or minimising your achievements, skills you have gained by caring for a child with additional needs, interacting with professionals etc. Try to indicate that you have some ambition to learn and develop in a good organisation in the coming years. Honestly, you sound in a great position to have got this interview you must have impressed, so just go in there with the attitude that you can get this job, and would do it well. Give yourself the best chance, and if there is a better candidate on the day, well so be it, but you will have had a great practice interview and can learn from it. Good luck!

hutchblue Wed 05-Oct-16 11:52:36

You are not a fool. You are very courageous and clearly a wonderful Mum to two very loved children.

You've given everything of yourself it sounds like over the last decade and more, to raise them and give them the best future you can.

Now suddenly the spotlight can return to you. And you're not used to it. It's scary as hell because suddenly you can see a chance to be something other than just a Mum and to have value in a different way outside the family setting.

As Mums we get used to always putting other people first and taking a back seat. Now you get to sit in the driving seat for a bit - woo hoo! Like anything that you haven't done for a while, you're out of practice - but it will quickly come back. I promise!

What is the worst that could happen if you go to the interview? The worst outcome would be not getting the job.

But if you don't even go, you'll never know if you could have actually got it and changed your life forever.

It's a really big step to go back to work after being out for so long.

I was a SAHM for 8 years before landing a part-time local job just like you.

I went to 5 interviews before I got the job I wanted. I didn't get it first time around. So try not to put too much pressure on yourself.

Can you think in terms of 10 interviews for other jobs and that this one is practice and to get back into the swing of things.

If you mount it up into some kind of 'do or die' kind of thing it's going to make it really hard to go and turn up and just be who you are.

Could you look at it as practice? For the next one?

With regards to fear and not showing up, this is a normal reaction from your brain. In the end, we are still animals and when you present change in your life, your brain goes into a cascade of fear as to what might go wrong.

It rarely ever tells you what might go right. That's because despite life being pretty settled these days, only a few thousand years ago, we would be hunting prey in the woods and would be in danger of being hunted ourselves.

Our brains haven't caught up in with our modern day setting of peace and the moment the brain spots change it sends you into a panic. Is it a tiger? Is it a lion? No it's an interview. Anything that equals change equals panic for the brain.

So what you are feeling is normal.

But that doesn't mean to say you should listen to your brain. It's not doing you any favours!! It wants you to stay safe and not go for it because it just doesn't like change.

For getting up to date on word etc, check out youtube for tutorials. Loads of stuff on there to quickly find out what the latest techniques are for doing things.

You could even try and download a free trial of the latest version of word and excel. Not sure, you might have to pay though so -

check out Libre Office which is very similar to word and excel but free. Or even Google Docs. Same basic stuff as word etc but free too. Not as much functionality but still very good.

Honestly, I'm sure you are so capable. And you said you know you could do the job.

You have bambi legs right now but they'll get so much stronger - with practice!

Good luck!

Pinkballoongirl Wed 05-Oct-16 13:46:58

Thanks everyone.

I'm worried about the 'short admin task', as the job specification asked for competency in Microsoft Office? I can type but not very fast, I can use a computer, I'm ok with word, Internet, email etc so I'm trying to do a quick idiots guide to office on YouTube.

I suppose I'm afraid I'll make a fool of myself, it's DS's school after all blush

hutchblue Wed 05-Oct-16 17:30:36

Well they know from your CV you've been out for 12 years or so. They're not going to ask for heaven and earth on day one smile

Just take it one step at a time.

Microsoft Office usually refers to the full suite of Office products/applications - so for starters that would be:


and sometimes some other applications but I wouldn't worry too much about those.

I don't think a school office would need things like MS Access and stuff like that. So just focus on those three and it should be fine.

You'll be great! Just go for it!

JustDanceAddict Fri 07-Oct-16 09:24:28

Do it! I've gone back to proper work now - 4 days a week also in a school. I was very nervous the first month, but am getting into my stride now. Was hard as I had to hit the ground running and systems were changing so no-one is quite sure what to do. People are great though which makes a big difference and I'm getting more confident now.
Interviews are nerve-wracking - I absolutely hate them - but make sure you know the safeguarding measures (look up on website) as they will 100% ask you that (someone told me pre-interview they would so I was prepared). Brush up on Word & Excel. I had an Excel test, typing test on an internet 'speed test' & scenario one (I thought I'd written a load of shite but they said it was good!!). Good luck!!

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