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Returning To Work: Clare Taylor

Case Study: Clare Taylor, Training and Competency Coordinator, M&G Investments

What was the reason for your career break, and how long was your break?

There was restructuring in the company where I previously worked and as a result my role was made redundant when I was eight months pregnant with my second son. I decided to take time out to look after my new baby and my elder son who was 2 ½ years old when his brother arrived. I took eighteen months off and enjoyed this time with my sons immensely.

Returning from a career break, what was important to you when considering a new role / company?

I loved my previous role working in Training and Competence for an asset management company and I was keen to continue working in this field. I was also seeking a work / life balance. I didn’t feel I could work long hours or travel extensively as I wanted to be home for breakfast and bedtime with my sons.

How did you search for a new role, and how would you describe this experience?

My experience has been brilliant. I was lucky as I found my role at M&G through an advert on LinkedIn very quickly after I commenced my search. The interview process with M&G lasted just over a month and consisted of three interviews. I thought the timescale was fast and I met with a range of individuals which gave me a good insight into life at M&G. I was thrilled to be offered the role.

I did also seek the expertise of a recruitment agent who found me my last role as she really strives to find her candidates the right role for them. I signed up with a second recruitment agent who was experienced, professional and helpful. I took the time to find the right recruitment agents to suit my requirements.

I signed up for two sessions with a business coach in order to discuss what I was looking for and work on my interview skills as I hadn’t interviewed for nine years. Even though I knew the answers already, it was good to talk things through.

What attracted you to M&G Investments / the investment management industry?

Investment Management is an area that I’ve worked in since university and overall it has been interesting, rewarding and fun. I was really attracted to the role at M&G as Training and Competence is an area that I’m passionate about. The role profile was almost identical to my previous role which I loved. Training and Competence roles rarely come up. M&G has a great reputation. I didn’t think twice about applying. When I was interviewed, I met individuals who really enjoyed their roles and they described a culture which I thought would suit me. I also felt that I could add value to the role and make a difference.

How would you describe the support you received when you returned?

I have received wonderful support. I was offered four coaching sessions with Women Returners and I found these sessions very helpful. It was good to talk about my goals, how things were going at home and work. The coach was really professional, experienced and gave me helpful practical advice which I could use day to day. My coaching sessions are now coming to an end and I’ve been offered the chance to work with a mentor which I’m really excited about.

Has your career developed since?

I have been working at M&G for twelve weeks so it’s early days. However I feel that I have the support to develop my career into any way I choose and I also have the support with life / work balance.

What advice would you give to individuals considering returning to work?

Returning to work after time out can be daunting but the thought is actually worse than what it actually is.

Reconnect with the people that you valued in your previous roles. Sign up for seminars, training sessions in your field.Try and think about what kind of roles that you are looking for. Be flexible but true to yourself.

Think about your skill set and how you articulate yourself. Sell your skills and ask for feedback on your CV from friends / ex colleagues. Practice your interview technique.

Try a variety of job searching approaches. For example online, recruitment agents, ex colleagues and friends, job sites.

In an ideal world try and find a role that you are passionate about.
 

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