Flexible Industries Mums Returning To Work

Destination Retail

We bet that many of you, when you were children, loved playing at shops. We also bet that it’s something your children do and love too.

So why not take the ‘playing’ back into the real world?

We’ve given it some thought and here are our top reasons why a career in retail is a great idea.

As shopaholics, this is of course the biggest advantage in our eyes! With fashion retailers offering up to 75 per cent discount for uniform purchases and on average 20 per cent staff discount, if nothing else, it’s a great way to refresh your wardrobe.

Although keeping your wardrobe updated is a perk, working in a supermarket, electrical store or even a furniture retailer can all help make a dent in those large family expenses, from the weekly shop to a new oven or sofa.

Variety is the spice of life
The world of retail is varied and exciting. From large, multi-national retailers to bijou independent boutiques, there’s something for everyone – so don’t be scared!

If you’re looking for opportunities that mean progression, the larger stores are for you. Want to feel part of a family? Why not look for positions within smaller chains or independent shops?

The skills that you develop through working in a big store can help if you fancy a change to a smaller one, so add a bit of variety to find where you fit best.

It’s not all about selling!
We all know, the ultimate aim of a shop is to sell. But they do a lot more than just that!

While sales roles are notorious for their targets and the particular set of personal characteristics needed, they need supporting. Positions such as cashiers, back office staff and customer service team members – plus many more – all work hard to keep the retail machine turning.

It’s not always about the customers
While the customer may always be right, the roles that involve them might not always be right for you.

Shelf stacking, delivery and warehouse management and maintenance roles are all retail based but very rarely involve interaction with customers – something to consider if you’re of a slightly shyer disposition!

Retail offers everything you could need; progression, stability, friendship, responsibility and variety. Not only for those starting out at 16, this is an industry for every age and gender to really flourish.

Find our latest RETAIL roles HERE.

Flexible Industries Mums Returning To Work

Temporary work, permanent Wonderwoman

Routines are hard to break. Sometimes, we just need a little help getting back to the reality of work after a break to have our little angels, but it can be a horrifying prospect.

With Christmas just around the corner (sorry, we went there), there are ample temporary positions out there that could help you get back in the swing of working life. Here’s how…

Habit forming
Being away from the workplace can mean your routine has gone completely. Not getting up at the same time, staying up late, skipping meals – even eating too often! This can all make it difficult to get back into the swing of things.
By having an employer relying on your punctuality, dedication and hard work, there is an incentive to get back to a schedule without too much of a shock to the system.

Trying to push yourself straight into a full-time job may over-exert your potential, remember to look after yourself, too!

Skill developing
If you’ve been away from work for a number of years, we hate to tell you this but technology has moved on. With add-ons, social media and even CRM systems changing seemingly overnight, what you once knew could be obsolete.
But worry not! A temporary position – whether in an office, shop or café – requires your use of technology throughout the day which will see you brushing up on your IT skills in no time.

Adult talking
Mummies, we all know what happens when we don’t interact with other adults (away from our children) regularly. Not only do we adopt a permanent baby voice, the thought of being around adults without the comfort-blanket topic of our offspring can be incredibly daunting.
If you’re thinking of going back to work, this can be a major cause of anxiety, but don’t run before you can walk.
Taking part-time, temporary work can help you reintegrate into a workforce. Maybe the talk won’t be about projections or spreadsheets, but being around a team with common goals can help you reidentify yourself; the non-child version. Plus, it gives you a new set of friends to hit the town with…IF you can get a babysitter!

Smiling service
Imagine a world with people asking things of your without screaming bloody murder when it’s not available or hanging on to your trouser leg until you give in. It exists!
A temporary role within retail gives you the opportunity to brush up on your service with a smile. Although it might not always be easy (we’re thinking 5:30am at the Next sale!), it will force you to deal with situations that you find you can solve with a smile and those negotiation skills you’ve been working on since your children could feed themselves.

High Profile Returners

Jane Nicholson : The Home Office, the 1st share from our High Profile Returning Women series.

Budget day fell on International Women’s Day this year. And the Government used the opportunity to announce £5m to support people wanting to return to work after long breaks, especially to women who often “find the route back into employment closed off – the doors shut to them”. Let me tell you my story and how my journey helped me play a part in this decision.

So who takes a career break when they are the main wage earner? Who takes a career break when their children are 10 and 14? And who would take a career break when they have no easy return to work route? Well I did! I probably sound like I some reckless fool but for me at that point in time it was the right thing to do.

I had spent my life working up the career ladder in demanding international HR roles, commuting across Europe. Then my father died. And I looked at my two beautiful children and knew if I didn’t take some time now with them, it would be too late. Don’t get me wrong – I loved my career but I loved my family too and I wanted to balance the scales in their favour for a while.

So I did it! I spent 18 months doing what other parents do: school runs, chasing lost uniform, watching rounders’ matches and taking far too much interest in their school results. I joined the school PA, a book club, finally used the gym and had endless coffees with friends. And I loved it!

Then 12 months later, feeling refreshed and reinvigorated, I decided to come back to work. Having enjoyed looking for new jobs before, I was faced with a real shock. Suddenly, by not following a traditional career path I felt I wasn’t treated seriously any more. Why did I have a break on my cv? Could I not get another job? Could I not hack life in a senior role? Jobs I knew I could do easily I wasn’t even shortlisted for. I lost track of the number of excuses I heard. “We need someone with more recent experience” was always a good one.

Eventually, through hard work and perseverance, I did get three job offers – interestingly all from female leaders. So thank you to those enlightened women who trusted me enough to offer me a job! I could only take one offer and chose the Home Office because the scale and challenge of a role in Government was so different to anything I had done before.

One of the highlights of my role at the Home Office role has been the responsibility for Talent Attraction and Career Programmes. This gave me the opportunity to do something for people wanting to return to work – for those people facing the same experiences as I had. So one of my achievements has been setting up our Returners’ Programme. This was the first programme in Government aimed at anyone wanting to return to work after a career break.

The Home Office now offers 6 months flexible project work in selected departments. And guess what? We have found the quality of applicants for this programme has far exceeded other recruitment methods. All that talent, waiting to be appreciated!

So what has this to do with Budget Day announcements?

Well, following the launch of our Home Office programme, I was excited to be invited to join a small working party looking at how we could support Returners’ Programmes across the Government. I remember sitting in 10 Downing Street thinking it was incredible that a few years ago my experience was discarded. Yet I was, able to use this experience to positively influence the cross-government agenda.

So my advice to those wanting to return to work, is not to give up. Look for these Programmes, which give you a way back into your careers. To employers, I ask that you take a career returner seriously next time their cvs come across your desk. Embrace their different life choices, otherwise, you could be missing out on some hidden talent.