Have you recently returned to work, or are you planning to soon? Does the prospect of continuing in the same career you had before the kids came along fill you with joy or trepidation? Whilst many mothers relish the chance to jump back onto the same career track, perhaps you’re considering your options. What do you do if your old career isn’t entirely compatible with family commitments – such as hours that don’t work around childcare? Or, if you’ve been out of the market for a while perhaps the business or technological landscape makes the prospect of returning to your old profession either daunting or unappealing. Necessity is the mother of reinvention Working out what to do next can feel tricky. To help you Corinne Mills, a highly experienced career coach, has put together five ways to navigate this and get the right career for you. What needs to change? It was Einstein who supposedly said that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. It's important to think carefully about what you want to be different in the future, otherwise, there is a danger that you could replicate your situation. Make a list of your priorities, including practical considerations, such as pay and commute time, the type of work you want to focus on and the environment. Which are non-negotiable and which could you compromise on? Have this list to hand as you look at jobs. Think about whether a complete career change is needed. Sometimes this process can remind you of the things you like about your current job, so it may be worth exploring whether you can improve things where you are, rather than moving on. Take a wide view of your options There are always more options available to you than you think. Ask people you know for their ideas about what they think could be a good fit for you. Look at different job profiles on the National Careers Service website, consult a career coach and browse LinkedIn to find people who work in the types of roles you are interested in, and see how they describe their job, and the career path they took to get there. When it comes to searching for jobs keep your search options broad – on 2to3days.com you can select up to 10 industry sectors and 5 departments to ensure you’re not missing out on the perfect role. Close the skills gaps Be realistic about the gaps that separate you from those who are already working in the roles you are interested in, and close as many of them as you can by acquiring the relevant skills, knowledge and any qualifications you need. Think about whether a lateral move within your organisation or voluntary work experience could also take you closer to where you want to be. It's also worth considering temporary work as another route into organisations you are interested in. Professional associations are also helpful for those who are new to the field. Many offer training, speaker events and publications to keep you up to date with industry issues and encourage networking. Focus on your transferable skills A functional CV format, where you use the first page to highlight relevant skills and experience drawn from your entire career history, tends to work better for career changers as they enable you to focus on your transferable skills. This is useful for any prospective employers that are wary about career changers. Luckily, employers on 2to3days are open to all sorts of career paths, that’s why they’re drawn to the site. Avoid getting into lengthy personal justifications for your career change as these often raise more questions for the employer than they answer. Instead, position your career to date as one of natural progression as you discovered more about the things you were good at and enjoyed. Stand out from the crowd Typically, jobs advertised on 2to3days.com attract on average 12 applications but it can be as high as 50+, including some who may be a more obvious fit for the job than you. Stand out from the crowd by demonstrating that you are up to speed with the challenges and trends in the sector; how technology, impending regulation or even Brexit might impact on the role. Craft an original and enticing approach to a recruiter to avoid being put in the rejects pile with the other proforma cover letters. Whatever you do, don’t hold back from applying for jobs – you’ve got to be in it to win it. Worst case, the application and interview process will help you to refine your job search strategy. Best of luck. See what jobs are available on 2to3days now! Corinne Mills is Managing Director of Personal Career Management.
2018 has started with a flurry of new and returning recruiters joining us on our mission to help businesses thrive and to help working mothers fulfil their potential. Whilst companies busily swing into hiring mode there’s also a new year peak in candidates looking into career moves. Both of these trends can be bad news for business – there’s more competition out there for the best candidates and sifting high-calibre recruits from the mediocre masses is an excruciating task. The reason why 2to3days is here and thriving is that we have designed a new model which knocks many of these problems on the head by giving companies privileged access to a niche talent pool of skilled and professional jobseekers. Our thousands of talented working mothers looking for part-time work may be overlooked by traditional recruitment agencies or could have been dismissed as too hard to reach by hiring managers – that is until we arrived on the scene! In the two years since we set up we’ve found kindred spirits amongst hundreds of forward-thinking companies who are stealing a march on competitors by hiring experienced working mothers on reciprocally flexible terms. Together with Nationwide, Grant Thornton, Diageo and Hudson as well as the hundreds of smaller entrepreneurial companies like Mum & You and Black Sun, we are traversing the foothills of a radical recruitment revolution. 2to3days cares deeply about both businesses and the mothers in our community. Our economy, society and the next generation of impressionable minds are impoverished by the difficulty businesses have in connecting with, and filling roles from, our untapped demographic. We are a can-do community that detests those that whinge about the status quo. Our win-win model has been lovingly fashioned to help businesses better reflect real life through how and who they hire. Having a ready pool of candidates who aren’t tied to standard job patterns helps firms allocate the right skill and time required to do a job rather than trying to fit all roles into 5 day packages! Time and again businesses tell me four key reasons why the 2to3days service is needed more than ever. Meeting these business needs is why our community of businesses and mothers and the number of roles filled is growing at breathtaking speed: You want quality applicants not quantity. We have built a growing, niche community of 25,000 talented and experienced candidates so that typically our employers receive around 12 relevant applications from top notch people and usually tell us they’d be happy to hire several or all of them! A third of our community has Master’s degrees and over 4 in 5 have managerial experience. So you can say adios to ‘post and pray’ jobs boards that serve up quantity over quality. You worry that recruitment agencies’ commercial interests are not in line with your own. We don’t take a cut on your recruit’s salary which is why we have no vested interest in encouraging you to hire someone who’s less than perfect. The standard agency model has incentivised the placement of standard-fit applicants and withheld a wide pool of talent looking to break the five day mould (who also earn agents less commission). With us, you make the choice without being swamped with unsuitable candidates. You need to be cost-conscious. We never seek to make a fast buck but we’re also unapologetically commercial. So what’s our trick? We believe it takes a community to fill a role well and that’s where the magic of the ‘motherhood’ comes to the fore. This is truly novel when you consider that recruitment for key roles can be marred with secrecy. The motherhood is the digital, community-powered reinvention of the closed old boys’ network. Our community of mothers are bound by shared goals which leads them to proactively signpost colleagues and friends to jobs if they’re not right for themselves. Tapping into this immense goodwill and openness makes us effective and supremely cost-efficient. Approximately 70% of employers who advertise on our site hire one of our mothers and reaching our community costs only £300. You need a more diverse staff pool. If your business doesn’t reflect real life you’re less likely to understand and appeal to customers, prospective employees, clients, partners and other stakeholders. Harvard Business Review, amongst others, has published research to show that increased diversity within your business adds to your bottom line. The firms we work with are at the vanguard in overhauling Monday to Friday rigidity and presenteeism. Consciously stacking the odds against hiring someone who doesn’t fit the standard mould in today’s world is a hugely wasted opportunity, preventing employers from attracting highly capable, experienced working mothers. We don’t underestimate how tough it is to overcome over a century of ingrained work culture. Trusting staff to do a great job when they are working flexible hours, in evenings or from home requires an openness to doing business differently. However this trust delivers better results and committed colleagues. Almost every business leader seeks to manage outputs rather than inputs which is why they are joining our community in droves to enable them to fill bespoke roles or hire a portfolio of part-time specialists to meet their business needs with precision. The idea has been around for a while but they needed 2to3days to enable it. Trusting staff delivers better results. Tapping into an open and thoughtful community who will spread your job opportunities delivers better results. Adding diversity to your staff delivers better results. Families and society are better off too. Our community of employers and mothers will develop an increasingly loud voice which will make 2018 a game-changing year for recruiters. To learn more about advertising with us, click here.
Black Sun is a consultancy that delivers inspiring communications that reach, engage and influence stakeholders including investors, employees, customers and communities. Based in Fulham with an office in Singapore and a global client base, they want to hire three mothers from the 2to3days community to join their team across both locations. CEO, David Christopherson and 2to3days’ founder Juliet Turnbull had a meeting of minds whilst discussing why firms looking to achieve long term, sustainable value need to have a truly diverse and inclusive workforce. David Christopherson, CEO, Black Sun PLC I am a great fan of what 2to3days is doing and I am delighted to be working with them. Why is the work that Black Sun does so vital in today’s climate? The world today is faced with complex, systems-wide challenges - whether this be climate change or the fact that the world’s eight richest billionaires control the same wealth between them as the poorest half of the globe’s population. Disenfranchisement is off the ‘Richter scale’ and lack of trust both politically and within large organisations is rampant. With the advancement of technology, people like you and me now have the ability to call politicians and CEOs to account. Change is happening and it is happening fast. Organisations have a wonderful opportunity to play a significant and meaningful role in solving these problems whilst also generating value for investors. Business is moving beyond an outdated, singular focus on shareholder value to create meaningful, long term, sustainable value to all of their stakeholders including employees, clients, local and global communities. By 2020, half of the workforce will comprise the millennial generation who are driven by a higher purpose and don’t want to work (or buy from) companies that are solely driven by making money. Businesses need to reflect the way people want to work and live their lives. Why is hiring brilliant mothers to join Black Sun an integral part of your vision? I am incredibly proud of our team. We employ around 90 people from over 20 nationalities, and gender balance runs throughout our entire company. We recruit people who share our purpose, our values and our attitude towards looking after our clients. I get very frustrated when I see talented women have their careers cut short because they have chosen to take time out to raise their family but then can’t find a way back in. These mothers are too readily overlooked by companies and present a massive missed opportunity for companies. Businesses need to reflect the way people want to work and live their lives. It’s incredibly rewarding to work with a colleague who has real ambition and help them to unlock their potential by supporting them to do work they never imagined they would do. That’s why I am a great fan of what 2to3days is doing and I am delighted to be working with them. One of the biggest barriers to business growth is finding great talent. Digital advances allow any company to operate on a global playing field which, by its very nature, is rich in diversity in the broadest sense – along gender, generational and national lines. It’s difficult to identify and reach working mothers which is why a platform to connect employers with talented women looking for fulfilling work is so needed. It’s difficult to identify and reach working mothers which is why a platform to connect employers with talented women looking for fulfilling work is so needed. From your experience of working with a wide range of clients; what are the three most important qualities that women at a senior management level bring to a company both commercially and culturally? The value women bring to a business is vast but if you’re really pressing me to come up with the three great qualities I personally admire the most, typically female strengths include: A natural affinity with clients and an ability to nurture strong relationships An innate ability to multi-task An alternative perspective to many conversations that enables us to make better and more informed decisions that create additional value to our clients and to the growth of Black Sun. In your opinion, what is the value to your clients’ stakeholders of having a truly diverse and inclusive culture in the short, medium and long term? Companies need their work force to reflect the real world. The attraction and retention of talent is one of the biggest challenges all companies face and therefore to overlook tapping into this incredibly rich talent pool is a massive missed opportunity both commercially and culturally. What advice do you give your two sons about their role in the home and in the workplace? To value equally the role of running the home with working - both worlds would fall apart without the two working in unison. It was my wife’s choice to be at home full time and my sons have been brought up to support and value the role she plays and we all actively acknowledge that our lives are significantly enhanced by the work she does. With work I tell them to do a job that they are passionate about and what really interests them and to be open to wherever this takes them.