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Mums in Tech! Making it work for you…

Research released in December 2017 found that the number of women working in technology has barely increased in a decade.

Search Consultancy found that the percentage of female tech workers increased by a paltry 1.8 per cent since 2007 – with just 15.4 per cent of the nation’s technology workforce being women.

This news is disappointing on many levels, not least because technology provides some of the very best opportunities for flexible working and working from home – the holy grail for many mums.

Remote working is possible now in so many industries, from engineering to customer service, that work no longer means a nine-to-five day in the office. Additionally, many of the roles created by technology, such as web development or social media marketing, can be done remotely, at least some of the time.

Here at MummyJobs, we’re passionate about tech and the positive impact it can have for mums returning to work.

That’s why we’re loving the work of Digital Mums and Mums In Technology, which both provide training courses in various aspects of IT to give parents that flexibility.

“But I don’t know anything about technology,” we hear you cry. But that’s the thing – jobs in tech aren’t all about computing and coding. How often do you post pictures of your toddler looking adorable on Instagram? Or share the latest teenage meltdown on Facebook for your friends to sympathise with?

Then you’re already using tech – you just need to harness that knowledge.

For example, a social media manager has a lot in common with how you live your life on the net – choosing what content to put out there and when to best fit your brand. Digital Mums offers courses specifically aimed at busy mums, training them for a career in social media that can be done remotely and around childcare commitments.

Seven in ten mums who undertake the course find paid employment within three months of graduation, with the figure rising to nine in ten after a year.

For those more interested in working “behind the scenes”, Mums In Technology teaches basic coding to equip students with the tools they need to build websites and get a taste of everything to do with software engineering.

Courses are hosted by partner organisations, such as Three and the Ministry of Justice, on their sites, and, best of all, affordable childcare is available at all training venues. Once complete, the course can pave the way for further training to create a rewarding and flexible digital career.

Of course, there are already women working in the field – and if you’re one of that 15.4 per cent, you’re in a great position. With recruiters actively trying to address the inequality, there has never been a better time to search for a new job or apply for that promotion.

Many mums will find that the ultimate pay-off is a job that can be done at home and at a time that suits you – allowing you to fit in bedtimes and school runs, as well as dealing with any unexpected events that can throw even the most military of operations into chaos.

The possibilities are endless, and we want mums to take full advantage of the tech revolution, and to be rewarded with a work-life balance that works for everyone.

Visit our new Spotlight on Technology section launching Wednesday 17th January to access our latest courses and roles!

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Health(care) and happiness

Thinking of getting back into – or retraining in – healthcare? Great idea, because your life as a mummy means you already have a lot of the skills needed – although let’s not try any major medical procedures just yet.

You’re not squeamish – or, if you were, you’re not anymore
Let’s face it, the first year (or 18) of your precious bundle of joy’s life consists largely of dealing with bodily fluids. Whether it’s changing explosive nappies, dealing with bleeding knees or clearing up vomit after “just a shandy mum”, you’ve seen it all – and got the iron stomach to show for it.
And that’s without even mentioning childbirth…
A lot of healthcare work is similar – granted there’s a lot more skill involved (and frequently, a lot more at stake), but once you’ve got over the first hurdle it will be, to coin an appropriate phrase, a piece of piss.

You remain calm under pressure
A tantruming toddler kicking and screaming on the supermarket floor? The electricity has gone just as you wanted to start dinner? Stuck in traffic and nursery closes in ten minutes? No bother. You’re used to taking what life throws at you and dealing with it in a cool, calm and collected manner.
So, what could be better preparation for A&E at midnight on the last Friday before Christmas?

You are super organised
As a mummy, you need to know where everyone and everything is at any given time. Tom’s at football at six, but Emily needs picking up at quarter to? You’ve got it in hand, just call a mummy friend to wait with him until you get there. Jack needs his PE kit five minutes ago, but didn’t tell you it was filthy? That’s fine, you’ve already got a spare set ready to go.
With all these plate-spinning skills, remembering who needs their pills when, or which patients need blood tests, will be a walk in the park.

You have endless patience – and excellent listening skills
Despite being in a desperate hurry to get to the post office before it shuts, you will happily let your toddler splash in every puddle on the way. And later you’ll feign interest while your pre-teen goes through the Fifa statistics for every player in the English Premier League.
This level of patience and altruism will stand you in good stead should you go into healthcare. In fact, being able to listen is one of the key skills you’ll need, whether it’s letting an elderly care home resident tell you their life story, or deciphering the diagnosis from a half-hour long list of symptoms.

You can get on with anyone
You might hate spending time with your teenage daughter’s bitchy friends, or your pre-schooler’s best buddy (you know, the one who bites), but they’d never know from your behaviour. A warm welcome, a beaming smile and a tinkly little laugh as they gouge chunks from your beloved’s arm – that’s you. And this cheerful demeanour will see you right in the healthcare industry where, let’s face it, you’re often seeing people at their worst.

You are used to keeping strange hours
You’re already used to working through the night tending to someone else’s needs, and snatching sleep wherever you can, so working shifts will be no problem. Just think – those late nights waiting for your teen to come home and the 5am starts with an over-energetic three-year-old will come in useful after all!

Always remember to use these skills when getting back into the workplace – everything you’ve learnt from being a mummy can help support your return to work, and help you excel.

Thinking about healthcare as your next career move? Check out our great roles available now.

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More than hospitable…

Have you ever thought about how your skills as a mummy could mean that you’ll thrive in the hospitality industry?

You’re probably thinking that being a mummy isn’t in any way similar to working in hospitality, but many of the skills you’ve honed while raising your little cherubs actually make you the ultimate hospitality worker.

Here’s just a few reasons why…

You’ve played host to the masses
As a mummy, having guests (and lots of them) is a regular occurrence, and more often than not, they are rather demanding and not that easily pleased. Dealing with (for the most part) well behaved guests in a hotel or at a dinner event will seem a piece of cake when you’ve managed a 13 five year olds high on sugar at a birthday party or negotiated the minefield of a family Christmas!

You know how to cater for some picky customers
“Bring your friends for dinner!” you say, “it’ll be fun!” you say.
Ever regretted the second these words escape your lips? All of a sudden you have a house full of dietary requirements and picky eaters who all want a different dish at the same time, but who all leave happy at the end of the evening. Sound familiar?
Working in the restaurant industry is actually very similar, it’s all about how you manage your diners. You already have the skills there so why not consider a career in hospitality management? Our Hotel Management training course is only one of the e-learning courses we have onsite that could help get you started.

You can turn down a bed in no time
Making beds is second nature to all mummies, and it’ll seem a walk in the park when you’re not combining it with entertaining a rampaging two-year-old or trying to convince your dear darling not to eat any more of his Lego. Imagine how fast you’ll be able to get through a room, when all you have to focus on is stripping the bed and remaking it; you’ll be the speediest maid in the business!

You’re used to dealing with the odd tantrum

We love them, but our little bundles of joy can be pretty challenging at times. But if you can survive the terrible twos and face down a three-year-old who wants to stay up “just a bit longer”, you can handle a bride who wants caviar on a kiev budget or a charity ball that wants free champagne.
Start planning your future as an event manager or wedding planner with our diploma from the New Skills Academy.

You do it all with a smile on your face
Despite all the challenges you face on a daily basis as a mummy, you keep your composure, because the show must go on. This is the best skill you can have, and it’s one that not many people possess. Being able to balance all the competing demands motherhood throws at you, whilst keeping your composure means you’re equipped to take on anything that a job can throw at you, and you’ll do it with a smile.

If you’re looking to get back into work and think hospitality might be for you, remember to put your skills to good use!

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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.

Discount
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.

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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.

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Call of fate

Ever think about the similarities between being a mummy and working in sales or customer service sectors?

You’re probably wondering how being a mummy is in any way close to working in a call centre but, while you may not realise it, many of the skills you’ve honed whilst mothering your little bundles of joy can be applied to dealing with customers in contact centres.

Any of these sound familiar?

You’re already used to being called all the time
There is a high level of demand associated with being a parent, so you won’t find it difficult adjusting to the constantly ringing phone. At least in a contact centre you know the person calling won’t have tried to shove a jam sandwich in the DVD player or be in the middle of changing their own nappy.

Managing often difficult situations quickly and effectively is a vital skill that is very useful in the busy and bustling contact centre industry.

You’ll get to speak to actual grown ups
As mummies, it’s easy for us to feel we’re losing our communication skills, especially when most conversations are with those under 5 years old, or are endless circles of “Why?”.

Call centres give the opportunity to have adult conversations about a product or service you know well and feel passionately about, maintaining and developing those communication skills you felt were lost forever.

You’re used to dealing with difficult customers
While we all adore our children, there’s no denying that they aren’t always the easiest to deal with, think teeth brushing, breakfast eating, leaving the park. As a mummy you’re the master of dealing with difficult customers, so use those skills with callers!

You’re a negotiating master
Every day brings a new set of people for you to win over. GPs, teachers, people in the supermarket, hairdressers; not to mention the children themselves!

Whether in sales or customer service, the ability to bring people round to your way of thinking, especially over the phone, is vital as you’re purely relying on your voice. You might find getting people on your side of the fence is much easier when you tap into the skills you’ve gained after getting your child into bed after the fifth toilet visit.

If you’re looking for a route back into work, especially in sales or customer service, contact centres are a great place to start.

Not only do they offer great rates of pay and fantastic career progression, the shift patterns offered give the opportunity for flexible working and the ability to manage work around your family life – not the other way around.

If you’re thinking of heading back into work and think this would be a good way to do it, have a look at our new Spotlight on Contact Centres section for more information!