Return to Work After 3 Children: A Case Study
Returning to work can be fraught with emotional and practical difficulties.
The Career Advisor’s CasebookThis was certainly the case for Linda Baker, 46, who was keen to return to work after taking fifteen years off to bring up her three young children. Now her youngest was starting full time school, Linda was determined to get back into her previous career as a nurse. However, Linda’s plans were not coming together easily!
Linda told us, “Before I had my children I had worked in a private nursing home as a staff nurse, looking after people of all ages. I loved my job and regularly had very positive appraisals – I would pride myself on making sure we all treated the patients as individuals. We would give medical care as well as emotional care, so we would sit and talk to patients and make sure they were comfortable.”
Linda was obviously very good at her job and always planned to go back to work as soon as her youngest child was of school age. She was aware that the job market and nursing in general may have changed, but she wasn’t expecting to find it quite such a challenge.
Professional AdviceLinda explained, “I decided to get some professional careers advice as I wasn’t exactly sure what I wanted to do. I knew that I wanted to go back to nursing in a private hospital but I was also concerned about how my break from employment would be seen, so I asked a career consultant to give me some advice on rewriting my CV before I applied for work.”
Linda was surprised with the advice she received. She thought that her break from the work place would somehow need to be ‘covered up’ or ‘excused’, but what she found was that she was actively encouraged to think about her time as a mother and include it in her CV.
She continued, “We talked about the skills I gained while I was bringing up my children. At first, I couldn’t really think of anything except ‘wiping noses and making sandwiches’, but I realised I had honed my time management and organisational skills. We updated my CV so that there wasn’t just a great big hole of time and it was more skills based.”
A Boost in ConfidenceThis upgraded CV gave Linda the confidence to apply for a few roles in her local area. She sent off her new CV and was asked to come in for an interview at a local private nursing home.
Linda told us, “As soon as I walked into the nursing home I knew that I wanted to work there. I had heard so many stories from friends that had returned to nursing in large hospitals that didn’t have time for the personal care that helps people feel better that I knew I wanted a small, private hospital. The atmosphere was friendly but still professional and the nurses wore quite old fashioned uniforms – which I liked, I wasn’t quite ready to move away from my traditional experience!”
Linda was offered the job on the strength of her experience and was pleased to start work again after a long break.