The Career Retrainer, Melissa’s Story

The Career Retrainer, Melissa

I stopped work in Banking because I had my third child. The combination of that with long travel time to and from work and having a job that didn’t allow flexi hours proved too much with such young children.

I had two years at home and thoroughly enjoyed being off as I caught my breath! It also allowed me to find a job that fitted in with my children and family.

Two years at home was long enough and I needed more mental and social stimulation, not to mention the independence of earning my own money.

Fortunately, during my career break, I was approached by the owner of Gina Conway Aveda Salons to assist with Recruitment part time. I’ve been doing this role for 4 years now and it has grown to a full time position as HR and Recruitment Manager.

While I had no formal qualifications in relation to my new position — I have a lot of work and life experience. Gina Conway encouraged me to take on this new role and was fully supportive of my situation as a mum of three.

When I started back at work I was not confident at all, however I feel I learnt the basics pretty smoothly and quickly. My initial nerves about the job were calmed by regular positive feedback from staff members and seeing different aspects of the business improve as a result of my input.

Since going back to work, I have been self training, learning on the job and from friends who are qualified HR Managers. I have just enrolled to study for my mid level CIPD qualification as a cost to myself of £ 3,200.

I now feel ready to take another step up since going back to work 4 years ago and I feel I need to gain the qualifications related to this role and to fulfill the obligations that the role demands.

My advice for any women returners, stay at home mums or career changers would be this.

Go For It! As Mothers we always have to take our families into consideration when thinking about work. However it is extremely important to continue working if at all possible for your own self-development. The skills you learn as a parent are transferable and can be used in managing people, as it all relates back to human nature, so you have additional skills that can’t be taught.

Having the courage to change career and go back to work after a hiatus can seem daunting, my advice when being interviewed by any would-be employer would be Be Honest! Ask for a trial or work experience to see if it is the role you want to commit to, as you aren’t just trialing the job, it’s the organization. Good Luck!