An 11-year career break knocked Solicitor, Lulu’s confidence. After attending a Successful Mum’s Taster Session the mum-of-three decided it was time she was given an opportunity to prove herself…
Could you please tell me a little about your work background?
I had a busy job as a solicitor where a good day, which was rare, was getting home by 9pm and into bed by 10pm. I loved the challenge of understanding and dealing with complex transactional work with tight deadlines. However, the downside to the role was the expectation to be on call – ready to turn around a document within a day or less; in essence, it was not expected that you’d have family commitments.
How long had you been away from work when you attended the Successful Mums course?
I’d had almost an 11-year career break when I decided that it was time to take the first step to return to work. I was missing intellectual stimulation and adult interaction. It was time to add some structure to my day!
What did you feel were the biggest challenges for you, returning to work after time away?
11 years out of the profession and self-confidence can take a hit. Not only was I worried about how much of my knowledge had lapsed, but also would I be given a chance to prove myself?
How did you hear about Successful Mums?
I typed in the phrase “back to work” in the search bar – the term ‘successful mums’ really resonated with me – I want to be a mum but wanted career success too.
I’d been toying with the idea of running my own business so I signed up for a Taster Session to see how to take those scary first steps! It was there Jane mentioned the Back to Work course.
“The course helped me clearly identify my transferable skills and helped me see value in myself, as a mum and a qualified professional, I went away with a feeling of worth that I hadn’t felt in a long time.“
After a bit of soul searching and trying to run my own consultancy business, I realised I DID want to go back to work. I can’t lie, the fact the course was fully funded presented the ideal opportunity coming from a home just about surviving on one salary.
What was your experience of the course? What were the main things you took away from it?
I loved it. The main thing for me was that it helped me clearly identify my transferrable skills and helped me see value in myself, as a mum and a qualified professional (despite not working); I went away with a feeling of worth that I hadn’t felt in a long time.
What was the most useful tip?
The resources were fantastic, helping me write/communicate my professional story to include/explain my transferrable skills within an interview setting.
What did you find most valuable about the 1 to 1 coaching?
The strategy and support my coach gave me to help me cope with the stress and anxiety that comes with job application was invaluable, preparation and the actual interviews – this was so critical given my mental health issues. Simple strategies worked, like pinning notes on my fridge with key skills and STAR stories and asking my husband to go through my STAR stories with me.
I gained so much confidence – my coach’s encouragement and belief in me really spurred me on.
Accountability – knowing I had scheduled calls with my coach made me ensure I kept up with my job search and agreed tasks.
Did you find it helpful to be part of a group of women all in a similar boat and why?
Yes. It’s important to know that you’re not alone and that what you’re feeling – all the anxiety, lack of confidence, etc. are all normal. I made some good friends who I’ve kept in touch with, not only for support but also in rebuilding my network.
What would you say to a woman who’s reading your story and thinking of getting in touch with Successful Mums?
Do it! It was the best kick start in my journey to getting back to work. I had made several attempts in the past, but with Successful Mums, the experience and effect have been and continues to be intrinsically motivating and long-lasting.
Anything else you’d like to add?
The knowledge and support are amazing – it’s changed my life because for the first time in a very, very long time, I believe in the value of ALL of my experiences and I have a real drive to get back to work.”
If like Lulu, you’d love to get back into work, Successful Mums can help you, too. Find out more courses HERE.