Where have I been? Well, I have good news!
After quite a few long months of trying to finally return to full time work, I achieved it! I’m booted and suited into a role that makes full use of my skills and experience AND I’m finally bringing a salary that’s allowing me to have a few more ‘me-treats’ than I felt comfortable with when working part time.
I can’t tell you how I've delighted in having a few guilt free and non-window shopping perusals on my favourite on-line shopping sites. Parcels have been delivered; work clothes unpacked, tried on and hung up, in readiness for their trip to the office.
On top of that, I enjoyed a first weekend clear out of clothes and had the joy of packing up bags and bags of very vintage non-vintage clothes, which will benefit a worthy charity.
Ladies, it’s a win/win situation, surely?
So why did I go so quiet though? You can probably tell that I've been bubbling with excitement. Well, truth be told, I was exhausted. Not in the way that you feel when, all of a sudden, you lose the benefit of part time hours for completing household chores. No, I was completely emotionally drained of all the energy involved in trying to find full time employment.
I've spoken about the issues of returning to work before. I still hold my opinion that there is a whole sea of women who, if they take a child caring break, will probably never achieve the career heights they had before their break. Alternatively, I wonder how many returners struggle with the stretch of a human’s capabilities even though it’s absolutely their right to have that choice.
For me, as regular readers will know, I was able to take a career break. However, having had a challenging job, I discovered I had loads of great experience, but none that was deemed as relevant as that of prospective employees who were stepping straight from one role to another. The step being only a short one over the weekend, compared to my seven furlong Jack and the Beanstalk giant type career break boots.
Plus, there is another problem: Multi-skilled = multi-which-job-will-I-apply-for?
After a confident statement to a friend - ‘I will have a new job by Christmas’ - although I think that was more of a motivational demand to myself and I found myself in the throes of a disbelieving head squash that, months later, I was no farther forward.
Apart from the fact that I’d gone through reams of printer paper, printer ink, re-writes of CVs and cover letters, it’s so hard to live up to buzz words like passionate, energised and forward thinking when the job search has left you demotivated, hungry and utterly shattered.
But here’s the point and the reason I’m sharing my thoughts with you, once again. I didn’t know that there were so many varieties of assistants, administrators and co-ordinator roles on the planet, let alone in the UK. After being rejected (or worse, ignored) for so many times, you start wondering if you’ll ever get a new job and, moreover, if you even deserve one.
So, imagine my surprise when one of the agencies that I’d signed on with called me about a role that I was a perfect fit for. Can you also believe that I had a fur-lined slipper moment when I was offered this role and discovered the egalitarian nature of the office meant that EVERYONE took their turn in doing the tea round?
Hey, it’s the little things that mean so much! Plus, although we put the work in, what a laugh and what an amazing experience to hear a team really respect and value their customers, as well as their work colleagues. Pinch me, pinch me quick!
Recently, I read a friend’s Facebook post. It was an anguished plea, to an HR department (that would never read it), asking them not to ignore her job application. Unfortunately, they never responded, they certainly weren’t a friend of hers.
But my message to her, and all you job seeking return to work mothers is, ‘please don’t give up’, because you just don’t know what’s ‘round the corner and actually, what I know is that RTWMs are a pretty damned amazing asset for any prospective employer.
It’s good to be back!