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Back2businessship – Day 3 – diary of a returner

15 March 2019

Another hugely inspiring third day on the 2019 Back2businessship Programme. The day kicked off with an informative presentation on the benefits of a successful job share from Hannah Essex Co-Executive Director (Communications) at the British Chamber of Commerce.
Followed by an inspiring and encouraging session from Juliet Turnbull – Founder & CEO of 2 to 3 days a week.
The final session before breaking for lunch was an interactive Q&A session with previous Back2businessship alumni. This panel were highly motivating with success stories on how they achieved their desired work terms.
After lunch we engaged in a Power Mentoring workshop. We learnt insightful tips from this hugely positive team Lavinia Brown- Transition Coach educated us on the importance of Self Care.
Our final session of the day from SmartWorks awed us all with the offer of a free styling service and interview coaching on confirmation of a job interview.
The day resulted in us feeling highly optimistic about the exciting opportunities out there for women returners

Power Mentoring Workshop
As returners we were lucky to be a part of a power mentoring workshop where the delegates were split into 6 groups and could spend around 15 minutes with each mentor to ask questions around specific topic and receive their insightful advice. Below are the key takeaways from each mentor.

1. Laura Line, HR Business Partner, EMEA, Oracle: Working mums- Can you have it all?
We are not superwomen, we should not even attempt to pressurise ourselves because the stress for perfection, comes not from your boss or colleagues or husband but our own desire to be the best at everything. As a mum and professional we need to prioritise on what is not negotiable and where we should be willing to make compromises.

2. Joanna Perrin, Director Corporate Communications, Verizon: 15 lessons from leaders
Notes the importance of ‘being yourself’ and ‘believe in yourself’, setting boundaries to look after yourself and treating others with respect. We learnt the importance of building a support network and more importantly not to wait for good things to come to you – go out and get it!

3. Laura Weston, Executive Director, Marketing and New Business, Golin: Making a successful return, the first 90 days
We were advised to speak about our career gap with positivity and confidence. She educated us on a simple rule that people don’t recruit you on the basis of your CV alone, they want professionals who have the energy, attitude, maturity and life skills which comes from experience.

4. Paul De Lara, Corporate Communications Director, EMEA, Oracle: The returner reality check, how to tackle employer concerns
As returners we have the added advantage of important life and social skills which is perhaps lacking in a new graduate but stressed not being complacent and the importance of always being proactive and curious.

5. Lavinia Brown, Transition Coach and Gender Equality Consultant, Bobomama: The key to balancing work and home life
She encouraged us to go back to into the workforce but stresses the importance to do something that brings us joy and happiness, because only if you can look after yourself can you look after others.

6. Emily Luscombe, Deputy Managing Director, Golin: Imposter Syndrome & how to fight it
She reminds us that if we take the time to sit down and think hard then we will be surprised to find we have a list of skills and qualities we have learned during our time away from the workspace. During interviews you need to speak with passion about these new skills you have learned and how it can add value to their business.

Quotes of the Day

Hannah Essex co-executive Director, British Chamber of Commerce on jobshare
“Many organisations didn’t know what to do with us. Not all organisations are progressive. You need to understand the barriers. A lot of this is challenging perceptions about leadership. If more men jobshare, it’ll make it easier for women.”

Juliet Turnbull, Founder & CEO of 2to3 Days
“I’m just a mum on a mission to solve a social and economic problem”

Padma Knowles, Smartworks on CV & skills strategy
“You can’t change what you haven’t got, but you can make the most of what you have got!”

Laura Weston, marketing Director, Golin
“You have the energy of a graduate with the experience of a senior employee”

Top Links for further info

She’s Back – Facebook group
Women’s Equality Party
Google Digital Leadership Course
Twitter Course
Our shared shelf by Emma Watson