Returning To Work After Children Post 50 Part 2

When I decided to put my career on hold eleven years ago so I could stay home and raise my children, I didn’t give a moment’s thought to how things would change.

Sixteen years of building a career and the social media platforms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube, Slideshare and Pinterest did not even exist when I last worked in an office. I came from a time when marketing campaigns took time to execute and they usually took the form of TV ads, radio and press campaigns.  Planning was done months in advance and every element of a campaign scrutinised and debated before it went live.

Eleven years on and just considering a return, in any capacity, to the Marketing arena left me feeling completely and utterly overwhelmed.  How could I use platforms like Pinterest or Vyou in business? How do people actually utilise Facebook or any of the other platforms?  How has the use of smartphone video cams replaced the punchy little messages of yesterday? 
My CV was out of date, my skills were out of date and even my wardrobe was out of date.  I could not for the life of me see what I had to offer.  I thought long and hard for days, breaking down what it was I wanted to do.  How much did I really want to work? What were my childcare responsibilities? What support did I have available to me from my partner, family and friends?
I contacted various recruitment agencies, armed with my CV and faced rejection after rejection.  I trawled the online sites for any job that I thought I might be able to do and I sent off countless numbers of job applications.  Time and time again I received yet another ‘thank you, we have received applications from candidates with more recent experience’ and my already fragile self-confidence plummeted further.  My skills were not current, my need for flexible hours was against me, my past work experience just seemed to have happened too long ago.  Most of the companies I had worked for overseas and here in the UK were no longer operating so even references were unavailable.  It was an uphill battle to stay optimistic and my enthusiasm began to waver. 
I received a call one morning from KHM Recruitment who had seen my CV on a job board and I agreed to meet them for a coffee.  One coffee turned into three as we reviewed my CV, thought about my skills and how they should be presented and discussed ideas for renewing my job search.  Two hours later I returned home with a fresh understanding of what I needed to do. 
I had to start by regaining my confidence in myself.  I began by looking at my interests and my skills and I knew that I needed to begin by updating them.  I applied for and completed a course in Digital Marketing and I used the Internet for further research.  With renewed enthusiasm, I began to practice my career pitch.  I sat down and explained to my children that my decision to go back to work was not a rejection of them in any way and I involved them in the excitement of wanting to make the most of a part of myself that I had put on hold for a long time. 
I worked closely with KHM Recruitment as I researched my preferred jobs and industries familiarising myself with what the job required.  I reviewed relevant publications, started connecting with other people in the industry and acquainting myself with industry speak and new buzz words.  With the help of KHM Recruitment, I prepared for interviews that would question my career break by linking how this experience would support me going forward and highlighting my desire to take on new challenges.  I began to see that it was perfectly okay to take a career break.  There was no need to apologise or to make excuses for it.  I learned how to turn it into a positive and use it to my advantage. 
No longer overwhelmed or suffering from a fragile sense of self worth, I was once again the same capable person I was before my career break.  Just a little out of practice that’s all.

Published by Julie Jones