Wednesday 19 June 2013

Mumsnet Workfest - advice for women returners

For those of you who were not at the Mumsnet Workfest last Saturday, these are some of the advice highlights we picked out for women returning after a career break.

Developing your confidence

Businesses value you for what you give to them. Be clear what you can offer and know your value and your USP. Fake the confidence if you don't have it yet. Lorraine Candy, ELLE Magazine

Have confidence in yourself and believe that you have something to offer in the workplace. Know your skills and know what you bring. Karen Mattison, Timewise

Organisations to target

SME's are more likely to be open to flexible working than the largest companies which use this option mostly to retain someone they don't want to lose. Karen Mattison 

Some of the larger financial institutions and consultancies are leading the way in designing programmes for returners.  A recent example is Bank of America. Others include RBS, UBS, Citi, HSBC as well as KPMG and Centrica

Making contacts

Surround yourself with people who want to help you. Articulate what you want help with. Be specific. Nothing is stronger than personal recommendation. Karen Lynch CEO Belu Water

Applying for jobs

Don't be put off applying for an advertised role because it states that it is full time.  If the employer wants you, you have an opportunity to negotiate for flexibility which can come in many forms.  Before you launch into negotiation, check out the culture of the firm and how it views flexible working and develop the business case. Karen Mattison

In your covering letter directly address any concerns about your career break, including how you have kept your skills and knowledge up-to-date and are the perfect candidate. Justine Roberts, Mumsnet

Testimonials are powerful - include with your CV. Amanda Mackenzie, Aviva

And generally ...

Focus on your thing, the thing you are best at, and don't get distracted by what others are doing. Thomasina Myers, Founder Wahaca

Posted by Katerina & Julianne


  1. Hi Julianne, were you at Mumsnet? Sorry didn't get to see you. Wasn't it a really good event?


  2. Hi Helen. Sorry I missed you too. Great event, and such an impressive group of women attending. Julianne


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