Jade's Story: 'Going back to work after having my son'

Shortly after my son turned a year old I was invited to attend a “back to work” meeting at my local job centre.  At the time I was claiming income support and desperate to get back to work and start bringing in a wage again. My mum had offered to help with any child care needs I had and I felt it was the right time to go back to work. During my meeting I explained that I was looking to embark on a career with room to grow, so I could provide the best possible future for me and my family. I was then told about the work experience placements on offer within the job centre. It sounded like a good way to ease me back into work while being able to find out about all the latest job vacancies Norwich had to offer first hand. The person I had the meeting with then introduced me to a lady called Jo who then became my mentor. Jo and I agreed I’d start coming in 2- 3 days a week, between times that suited me. When I started I was introduced to the whole team, all the people I met were friendly, very helpful and made me feel really welcome.

 I found that this made the transition to going back to work a lot easier as I had time to get used to being back in a working environment whilst looking for a job.  While I was there I was told about the various different workshops they had to offer to maximise people’s chances in getting back to work. One of the workshops I thought was a great idea and found very useful was a mock interview session run by Justin Harris from Tarmac. During the mock interview I was also given advice on how to structure and word my CV to improve it from an employer’s point of view. While at the job centre I also attended a local jobs fair within the building, which provided a great chance to meet employers first hand and talk to them about the type of work I was looking for. Volunteering to do work experience at the job centre, also helped to give a good impression to employers that I was keen to work.

 I was given access to computers, so after taking on board the advice I was given I uploaded my CV to various recruitment websites. This was great for me as I do not have a computer at home and I was unable to upload my CV from my mobile phone in the correct layout. Retyping and structuring my CV through Microsoft word enabled me to send it in the correct layout therefore giving it much more professional and clearer appearance making it easier for employers to digest.

Other opportunities the job centre offer are taster days at local businesses. While on work experience there I attended a taster day at Archant along with other people interested in getting back to work. The day involved learning some background information on the company itself but most importantly we were given tips on how to come across your best in interviews and had our CVS critiqued from an employer’s point of view.  I really enjoyed the day which actually in turn led me to me searching for vacancies on their website the next day. I found a job vacancy which was of interest to me and applied. To my surprise I was invited to attend an interview the next week which led to a four part interviewing process due to the high volume of applicants. Over 150 people applied and to my amazement I was offered the job.  I am in no doubt that without the help and the guidance I received in the weeks prior I wouldn’t have got as far.

Before I accepted the job at Archant My mentor Jo contacted me to let me know that Justin Harris who I met through the mock interview session would like me to send my CV in for a post that had just come up within Tarmac. I sent my CV across and was invited for an interview which resulted in me being offered the job. I decided to accept the job offer for the Tarmac position and started a couple of weeks later. I am now happily back in employment and am grateful for the help and support I received from everyone involved in the process. 

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