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The Next Step

So after falling without style and the terror of taking a leap into the unknown (mascara or no), there’s no way forward – unless you have a plan.

I wanted to work again. Paid work. I was fired up from my Women Returners course and I had started to work out the structure of My Plan.

The little giants were getting older and were at school all day. I knew I had no support system to cover childcare (sickness and school holidays) but I refused to make that a barrier. I thought I’d tackle that if and when I had to. I knew a huge barrier was the fact that IT had moved so far from the spot it had been in when I had given up paid employment to look after the boys. So the answer to that was to re-train.

Let me tell you, I had not liked senior school and the thought of having to go back to the classroom again was not appealing, but that was tough and it had to be done. I fitted my re-education around the children's school hours and then the next step was getting experience.

I was going into a completely different sector. I couldn’t work the long and unsociable hours of my previous career and I had to prove that I could do the work for my chosen RTW. So, the next step was signing on with some agencies and taking their excruciating tests. I intended to work around the school day and terms, to build up some experience and have the prospect of getting good references.

I was lucky. My first placement was in a school. As I was coming to the end of my placement, they asked me if I wanted to consider a new job. The position would make fantastic use of my existing experience AND my new qualifications.

Problem: It was full time. I couldn’t do that, I loved the sound of the job and I really wanted to take it but I didn’t want to put the little giants into childcare so soon. I told my prospective employer that I believed I would have the ability to have a damn good tackle at doing and excellent job in the reduced hours. I knew I had the experience and competence (and the cheek to suggest it).

I got the job! And I have to say it was one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. But there are a few things I want to highlight here:

I could have given up at the first hurdle, ie. my lack of childcare (which may well be a hurdle for you too)

Try to take an objective view of what you might have to do to take the next step. And do it! (eg. getting re-educated)

Consider work options that would work for you. Mine was working in a school and you may be able to pick up those vacancies on your council’s website, like this one from Cumbria.

Go on, why not give it a try?



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