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Women In Construction…

Woman working in construction, hi vis jacket

Building your future

It’s fair to say that construction has long been thought of as a typical job for the boys. From Auf Weidersehen Pet to Bob The Builder, most representations of the industry have been very male-dominated – but, as Bob Dylan noted, the times they are a changing.

So if you’re looking for a change, what can a career in construction offer parents – and what can you offer it?

On the up
The sector is growing, which is great news for parents looking for job security as their children grow up (and more become expensive).
Secure site accommodation and storage container firm Mobile Mini saw record results last year, along with a number of other key players, which is a direct result of renewed confidence in the building industry.

Down with the kids
Kids love trucks, so imagine how impressed yours would be if you got to work with them all day long. Dawne McClelland is manager of Mobile Mini’s Teesside branch and has a six-year-old son. It’s a match made in heaven.
She explains: “He loves anything vehicular so he likes the fact that Mummy manages two loader cranes.
““He’s been to the branch and been given a full tour around the trucks by our brilliant drivers. I definitely earn ‘cool mum’ points when I can talk technical details about our fantastic vehicles!”

Feel inspired
There’s no danger of you being the only woman on site – latest figures show that 37 per cent of new entrants into the industry are female.
At Mobile Mini, a third (33%) of staff are female across all departments – and it’s easy to see why.
Georgina Arrand, a mother-of-two and branch manager at Mobile Mini’s Humberside site, says: “There are so many women in senior roles here and it’s great to have so many peers. We help and support one another through the challenges that we face.
“Misconceptions about gender specific roles are decreasing, with more and more women choosing careers in construction, from admin and sales, to drivers, yard workers and management.”

Share your skills
Both Dawne and Georgina recognise that there is a great deal of crossover in managing a team of staff and managing small people.
Georgina explains: “At work, we’ve had training in the Parent-Adult-Child model, which taught us more about emotional intelligence and how we bring out different facets of our personality in our interactions with different people.
“Obviously, that was something I learned at work, but I now use it at home too.
“It works both ways though – as parents we are great at multitasking and building relationships, which is crucial in this industry.”
Dawne agrees: “I feel I have more of a sense of perspective since becoming a parent – I’ve learnt not to sweat the small stuff, to just keep focussed on what is important and how it affects the bigger picture – and that’s something I put into practice at work too.”

Stay flexible
We know flexibility and support during maternity leave is important to parents – and our mums in construction know it too.
Dawne explains: “I had regular Keep In Touch days after I had my son, which was great to help me gradually get used to being back full-time.
“And now I’m back, work is really good at letting me make the time up if we need to leave for sports days and special assemblies, so I don’t feel I miss out on the important events in my son’s life.”

If you’re looking for a career with a difference, with incredible opportunities for career progression, why not visit us?

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Is a return to Marketing in your future?

Always liked the idea of marketing?

Can you communicate clearly, both in writing and speech? Are you a problem solver? Can you crunch numbers? Are you an ideas person?

If yes, then marketing could be the new career pathway you’ve been looking for.

But, what actually is marketing?

Many people throw the word around not really knowing what it means and often using it in the wrong context. According to CIM (Chartered Institute of Marketing) it’s all about; identifying, developing and working.
Identifying something that customers or businesses want to buy or a problem that they need solved.
Developing a solution for that need or problem. It could be a product or a service.
Working out how you charge the right price for the product or service. You need to price it so that people will buy, but you also need to make a profit.

It sounds simple?

The theory is but the realities are more complex – it’s a challenging career where no two days are the same. Within it, you’ve got what’s known as the 7 Ps of marketing. We’ve already covered product and price, but there’s also:

Promotion – how you tell your customers about your products or services and how you market and sell to them. This includes advertising, PR and digital.
Place – where your product is sold. So, building and retaining good relationships with your retailers is a key part of the role.
Packaging – this is about how your product is presented to your customer and first impressions really count. Small tweaks such as a slight colour change can completely change a customer’s perception and affect their decision to buy.
Positioning – this is all about where your brand sits in the hearts and minds of your existing and prospective customers. It’s how people think about your company and how they talk about it.
People – the right people, inside and outside of the business, are a hugely important part of the marketing mix.

It’s a rewarding career and opportunities are vast too. No business or industry can survive without it, so the world is your oyster when it comes to choosing your sector. Or you might be looking for a career switch within your chosen career field. Pre-kids, if you worked in sales and want to switch to marketing to avoid all those hours on the road then you’re in a great position. You already have an existing knowledge of the industry and sales and marketing work hand-in-hand, so it won’t be like starting from scratch.

So, how do you get into marketing?

The good news is, that you can get into marketing without a degree. You can train flexibly online around work and family life. Try the professionally accredited Combined Sales & Marketing Diploma or if you want to be an established member of the digital age, try the Digital Marketing Diploma or the Digital Retox from Digital Mums.

The CIM also offers a series of diplomas, depending on experience. The Foundation Certificate gives you the basics, but there are a host of other short courses.

If your financial situation allows it, it’s worth considering an entry-level position to get a foot in the door. If you’ve already got commercial experience and are keen to develop, chances are you’ll rise up the ladder quite quickly. Some employers may also support financially with formal qualifications whilst you’re working. You benefit, they benefit – it’s a win-win.

Check out our latest marketing roles HERE
For more information about marketing visit www.cim.co.uk

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Hospitality: A world of opportunity

Hospitality is the third largest employer in the UK, employing 2.9 million people and contributing a phenomenal £130bn to the UK economy. Surprised? Sadly, many of us associate hospitality jobs as stop-gaps with unsocial hours and no career opportunities. Think again. It’s a thriving industry, with a skills shortage, that’s crying out for good people.

And, don’t just think restaurants or hotels, the industry covers everything from pubs, bars, events, fine dining, visitor attractions, schools, universities and corporate dining. There’s a huge range of roles available within the sector too; bar manager, barista, supervisor, front of house manager, chef, events manager right through to roles in business development, HR and accountancy.

Amy-Lou Osborn, recruitment manager at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, will happily admit that she fell into hospitality, whilst studying for a Stage Management degree at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The flexibility of her role at HA!HA! Bar & Grill enabled her to work around her studies and take time out for filming contracts when she later graduated. Always returning to hospitality between film jobs, she later realised hospitality was where she wanted to be. She worked her way up the ladder, working for high street restaurant brands such as Browns, Frankie and Benny’s and Bill’s, where she also headed-up recruitment for new restaurant openings. Today, at GBK, she is responsible for recruiting and onboarding up to 1000 team members across 93 restaurants in the UK and Ireland.

She told us what it’s like working in the industry, what it has to offer and how you get a foot in the door.

What’s it like working in the hospitality?

It’s so diverse – every day is different. It might sound obvious, but it’s most definitely people-focused. I’m not just talking about the customers, but the team – I’ve actually made life-long friends through work. Everyone works together, pitches in and enjoys what they do, with a common goal of keeping the customer happy.
Unfortunately, the industry is often under-represented and most people aren’t aware of the vast range of opportunities and career progression that’s available. I think a lot of people assume they know what it’s like and discount it.

So, what are the opportunities?

The reality is, is that there’s a huge amount of opportunities and experiences available. And, for the right people, hospitality can enable fast career progression. At GBK, for example, you can go from a starting salary of £7.85 an hour to £30K a year as a restaurant manager, within two years. I don’t think there’s many other industries that can offer that? In most other sectors, you’d be in an entry level job for two years, before there was any hint of development opportunities.

What do you think the hospitality industry offers that other industries don’t?

I think our industry is much more creative in the way we recruit. We know there’s not enough talent out there, so the traditional head-hunting approach doesn’t work – we’d just be competing for and swapping the same people. Here at GBK, we create and invest in talent. For us, it’s about finding the right people with the right attitude and core values and giving them the training and opportunities to grow with us.

Is hospitality a good option for working parents?

By its very nature, working in hospitality is based around flexible working, so is ideally suited to people looking to work in a flexible way. Unlike a 9-5 office job, you can switch shifts to get to sports day or the school play and evening and weekend shifts enable parents who might have a partner with a 9-5 job, the opportunity to work without incurring huge childcare costs. Ten or 15 years ago, I think hospitality would have been a big no-no for parents, but it fits with today’s lifestyles where everyone is looking for flexibility.

What qualities and skills are employers looking for?

It really depends on the employer. Because the industry is so diverse, there really is no one size fits all. At GBK, we employ people who hospitality comes as second nature, people who genuinely want to make someone happy. I can’t speak for the industry at large; every employer is different. But, given the current shortage of skilled workers, now is a good time to enter the industry as more and more employers are training from within with some offering apprenticeships, so you don’t necessarily need to have lots, or any previous experience.

So, how do you get a foot in the door?

It’s worth doing some homework, if it’s a path you’re considering. There are so many roles available across many brands and companies and not every company is right for every person. You might not enjoy working in a fine dining restaurant, but you might be a fantastic Barista in a coffee shop. Contact the big brands to see what the opportunities are but keep an eye on your doorstep too. There may be somewhere local to you that is happy to offer some on the job training. Just get stuck in and if it’s right for you, you’ll fly.

To find out more about working in Hospitality, see a full list of our latest roles HERE

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Meet Gemma: A working mum at Hastings Direct

I chose to join Hastings Direct eight years ago because I knew how well they supported and looked after their colleagues, including their awareness of Colleague wellbeing. I’m currently an Academy Team Leader and seeing people develop, especially when they move on to new positions, is what I love most about my role.

Returning to work after being on maternity leave was extremely nerve racking especially because I had continuous employment for six years. So having a year out was completely out of the ordinary for me. I’ve been fortunate enough to have a really supportive manager, who not only kept me up to date whilst I was off and included me in team off-sites but made returning to work feel like I’d never been away.

My nerves of returning to work were also put at ease by moving from full time to part time hours. Since returning to work, I still have a great work life balance. The flexibility in my part time hours was exactly what I needed to support my family but still fulfil my role. My hours give me the right amount of time to spend with my daughter and be a Mum as well as focus on my career. My shifts also give me the flexibility to set myself and my daughter up for our day ahead, but without being rushed or short for time meaning I arrive happy and ready to start my day.

If you like what you have heard and would be interested in finding our more, please visit Hastings Direct Careers.

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Taking office…

Do you fancy a career in admin? Or maybe you’re looking to restart your career after time out to raise your kids. Whatever your motivation, we have hundreds of admin vacancies across the country here on MummyJobs, and we’d like to help you bag one of them.

Let’s face it – as a mummy, you’ve plenty of experience organising everyone’s calendars and thinking on your feet, so make sure you think outside the box and sell these skills.

You run a tight ship
Nothing goes on in your family without you knowing. You have everyone’s daily routines mapped out like a military exercise, and you’re the one they all count on to make sure everything runs smoothly.
You know where everybody is at any given time, how they’re getting there and what they’ll need. Parents’ evening, doctor’s appointment, football training – no matter the occasion, you’ve got it covered.
What’s more, you’re an expert at multi-tasking – organising everyone else’s lives while trying to live your own is no mean feat, and rare is the time when you’re focusing on one job and one job only.
And as for paperwork – surely no office can generate more letters that need immediate attention that one household with a couple of kids? Bills, bank statement, letters from school… you’ve seen it all and have the colour-coded filing system to prove it.

Communication is key
Any parent knows that dealing with children is all about communication – whether it’s homework, chores or persuading a reluctant toddler to put their shoes on, you are a mistress of talking people round.
You’re an excellent listener too and have become adept at filtering out the relevant pieces of information from the daily deluge of general wittering any parent is familiar with.
On top of this, all those mornings at toddler group and afternoons at the school gate mean you’re well equipped with the art of small talk – vital skills if you’re in a customer-facing admin role.

Timing is everything
Every second counts when you’re a mummy, and you can manage your workload like a pro. After all, there’s no better training than knowing you need to fit two lots of washing and a shower in before the baby wakes up, and there’s no procrastinating when the shopping needs to be done before the school run.
And if the unexpected happens? Well, you just work round it – ask any parent who’s received a text telling them school is shut five minutes before they leave the house.

All the mod cons
You might not describe yourself as such, but you’re probably pretty technologically-savvy. After all, it’s you who’s set up the parental controls on the iPad and knows how to disable the Wifi.
You can change the batteries in any given toy in under three minutes (less if you’re using a screwdriver as opposed to whichever piece of cutlery you have to hand) and you’ve become a prolific Facebook user – even if it is largely to stalk your kids.
What’s more, you’re a quick learner – when your toddler wants to play with that toy five minutes ago, there’s no time to fish out the instructions, you just have to wing it.

These are all amazing transferable skills that should impress any boss, so don’t sell yourself short – you may not feel you have the relevant experience, but it’s all about making the most of what you have. Make sure you check out our latest courses if you do need a refresh!

And once you’ve bagged that interview, check out our tips on giving it your best.

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Aviva : A return to work special…

Hi, my name is Gemma and I recently returned back to work from maternity leave.

My partner and I decided to take advantage of the shared maternity/ paternity scheme that Aviva offered last year. I took the first 6 months off, whilst then my husband took the following 4 months off on paternity leave to be with our daughter.

It was a great opportunity as we both got the chance to spend quality time with her as we knew we would never get this time back!

When I came back to work I mentioned that I wanted some flexibility with the hours I worked, as I wanted to spend at least one day every fortnight being actively present in the development of my daughter.

Aviva were very supportive of this request and with the support of my team and manager we made this happen.

I consider that having my husband off whilst I came back to work, took a considerable amount of worry and stress away from me, as I was able to fully focus on my job and get used to work life again.

Since the announcement last November from Aviva on the increase of time for the shared maternity/ paternity policy agreement, it has made me think how else could Aviva support staff in the transition back to work, as we should be able to offer so much more than just an amended policy.

I have since started a working group with the coaching and people function to try and set up a maternity/ paternity transition coaching service for staff going off and coming back to the workplace. Offering support and guidance back into the world of work.

This not allows us to support our people from a policy perspective but from a human/ family perspective too. The aim of the coaching program is to help employees handle the practical and emotional aspects of a parent transition, regardless if this is your first, second or third child in a way it also enables the parent to develop in their careers post maternity or paternity.

You can find out more about our roles and benefits by clicking HERE

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Mums in Tech! Making it work for you…

Woman flexing arm. Flexible Careers

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

Women in healthcare

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.