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11 March 2020

Day 2: Bringing the best version of you back to work – DIARY OF A RETURNER

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Thank you Amandeep Turna, Emily Chow and Yasmina Falcone Memarian – Talking to Brunel University


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Day 2: Bringing the best version of you back to work

Today the Back2business delegates were asked to consider what they value in the workplace to help to determine what an ideal work life looks like and what is important to us. For most of us there will be sacrifices and compromises made to get back to work, and so taking time out to make sure our values are aligned with those of a potential work place is important.

The first presentation by Adrian Walcott (co founder of BAME2020) and Martin Leach of Brands with Values explained the importance of measuring and changing business cultures to sustain and promote an inclusive environment that enables commercial performance. What do industry leaders need to create an inclusive, profitable and engaging environment for employees? The session made delegates think more deeply about the importance of aligning individual values with the companies observed values and how to embrace the opportunities afforded to returners in today’s climate.  Whilst social responsibility is high on the agenda of most organizations, the Brands with Value’s report found that there is still a gap between an organization’s desired values and observed values. Find this report at

The morning continued with a self reflective session with Alison Green and Helen Sachdev from WOMBA. The delegates dug deep to identify what the best version of themselves would look like and what obstacles had to be removed to get us there – be it guilt, self-doubt, fear or the past. It was certainly an emotional, soul searching session for most of us.

Following lunch (which was a great opportunity to share experiences and meet some great and talented fellow delegates), Sara Horsfall, founder & MD of Ginibee made us question: Is there a talent shortage out there or do companies simply have an outdated recruitment outlook? To answer this question, Sara introduced us to talent partnering, a model for flexible working that has proven to deliver business benefits whilst allowing employees to fulfil other needs.

The day came to a close with a presentation on STAR interview techniques aimed at priming us for those daunting interviews. Most of us would agree that today was internally thought provoking and at the same time provided us with a good idea of the expectations of the current job market and the opportunities for those of us returning to work.