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Getting Back into Work after a Career Break

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Bushra Ali chaired a panel discussion exploring the issues faced by individuals needing to take a career break (whether or not by choice) and the obstacles they face in getting back into work.

Being a woman and being a mother and/or carer is not easy. We heard the story of a mother who had to leave her job as a lawyer for 9 years to care for her daughter diagnosed with diabetes and had to administer her daily insulin injections.

Like it or not, we are still facing a situation where some employers will give the job not to the person who is most qualified but who is not likely to take a career break i.e. is not near retirement or is not of childbearing age.

We spoke about the need for employers and recruiters to offer skills refresher courses and sessions to help restore self-confidence.  There is no magic course for topping up self-confidence but it would be helpful if employers would give people a chance that are very qualified and experienced but have just had that career break. My skills may need updating as I have been out of work but it would be much quicker are more ethical for you to help me refresh those skills rather than looking to replace me.  What a wonderful thought that being out of work now brings me back with more life experience.

A fabulous session last Thursday. Thank you to Yellow and Blue for looking after us. Thank you to the brilliant panel members for sharing their career stories.

Photographs of the session can be found here.

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Yellow and Blue (YaB Group Ltd) is a social enterprise non-profit. 

Underpinning community projects including positive pathways, food provision and social isolation beating events and activities.

With a digital vision within the community – we aim to support vulnerable groups whilst creating a vibrant, supportive and uplifting experience.

Creating moments, chances and smiles when people need it most.

I was delighted to have the opportunity to become the operations manager for the Bushra Ali Group Global CIC. You will find me looking after day-today operations for the CIC, communicating with speakers, panel members and members of the community and organising new events. I am a creative at heart and so I enjoy working on our graphic design and managing our social media accounts.

I am passionate about community work. It is very important to have a safe space to share conversations that would normally happen behind closed doors. By discussing issues that affect us, we realise that we are not alone in our experiences and feelings. By coming together to share, we can bring about positive and long-lasting change. We are providing the safe space for these conversations to happen and for learning to take place.

Our Be the Change Empowering You project is one that is very close to my heart as I have lived experience of domestic abuse. I understand how important help, support and education is to those trying to break the cycles of abuse. Many courses to help you understand and recover from that abuse are available after you are no longer with the abuser. Those courses are indeed life changing and I can testify to that. However, that knowledge would have made such a difference if it had been received earlier and I believe that sharing life skills to empower women to understand abuse behaviours, to see that those behaviours are not ‘normal’, to seek protection much earlier and to know that they are not alone are absolutely critical.

Please know that you are not alone and we are here with you.