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Jane Knight's Monthly Column - April 2018

Spring into action with Successful MumsSpring into action with Successful Mums

What pops into your head when you think of spring? For me, it’s fresh air with the kids, spring clothes and painted toes, sun on my face and, of course, that time-honored tradition: the spring clean.

Whilst getting our wardrobe and house shipshape for spring can fill us with positive energy, it shouldn’t stop at home.

This feel-good factor is a pretty good reason to spring clean your plans for the next three months.

If you’ve been away from work for a while and are looking to return, why not think about extending your spring clean to your job search? With a decent window between the school Easter holidays and the long summer break, April is the perfect time to get yourself 'work ready'.

The obvious place to start is by dusting down your CV. Declutter and remove outdated and irrelevant information, check your contact details are correct and make sure you’re using the latest industry jargon.

Whether you’ve been at home with your children for 12 months or 12 years, your CV should reflect the transferable parenting skills you’ve picked up along the way. Being in charge of a fractious toddler who will only eat foods beginning with the letter “c” might not sound relevant to your application for that fantastic HR job, but what might be are the communication, negotiation and problem-solving skills you use to deal with them.

Freshening up your CV will also give you the chance to identify any obvious gaps and take steps to fill them. This might involve 'upskilling' (for example, brushing up your IT skills with an online course) or gaining experience through volunteering or work placements. By reminding you of all you have to offer, spring cleaning your CV can help you feel more positive about your job hunt and give you the confidence to take the next steps. This was certainly true for Louise, whose inspiring story is on our website this week. Louise revamped her CV while on our Back to Work course and found the confidence to break out of her comfort zone and go for the job she really wanted.

We’re also delighted to catch up this month with Nicky, who found flexible work with our help and a bit of social media know-how. Nicky’s story illustrates why polishing your online profile can be just as important as sprucing up your CV. Sites such as LinkedIn can help you showcase your skills and experience, make connections, follow companies you’re interested in working for and – as Nicky discovered – let people know you’re in the market for a job.

Finally, think about giving yourself a 'work-over'! If you’ve not worked for a while, the chances are that your old work clothes will not feel comfortable. Reassess your outfits, try on and organise a capsule wardrobe and treat yourself to a haircut. As stylist Sarah – another of April’s Successful Mums superstars – can attest, you’ll be amazed at the confidence boost it can give you.

If you’re ready to roll up your sleeves and make some changes this month, we can help you with all this and more. Our April schedule is packed with workshops and courses, so book your place today and spring into action with Successful Mums.

Jane x

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