Reignite your career, return to work

Last Updated on : 25th April 2022

Inclusivity is a recruitment agency with a difference. They’re looking for bright, multi-tasking women who, during their career breaks, have become adept at more than just their original, professional skillset. While staying at home with the children and managing all that family life has to offer, they are now efficient project managers of life. For those starting to consider reigniting careers, be that part-time or full time, from home or in the office, Inclusivity is poised and ready to guide you.

It’s a common theme in life, still predominantly among women. We press pause on our careers to have a family. We say farewell to our work colleagues and walk away from that busy, buzzy, challenging environment. Let’s face it, you swapped one highly-charged, pressurised environment for another – just minus the sleep and with the untold worries that come with parenting.

And now the years have passed. For some that may be just a handful, for others a decade or more. In some cases, you may never have intended to return to work, but life has taken an unplanned turn, and this is now something you have to consider.

Inclusivity focuses on just this, working with corporations to tap into this huge market of under-used and often under-valued female talent which has great tenacity, brainpower, intuition, skillsets and empathy. Previous work and career experience can be melded with newfound life experience, which counts for so much, and can be finely tuned with the right coaching to turn you into someone you may have thought was tucked away at the back of your wardrobe with your old workwear.

At the top of Inclusivity’s agenda is their corporate partners’ six-month Returners’ Programme. At the start, they will meet you, get to know you and your skills and understand what it is you’re looking for in a role. The all-female team will then look for opportunities to suit you amongst their corporates who have signed up to find this great untapped talent.

Set up five years ago, Inclusivity has always been an online company, so when the rest of us turned to Zoom for interviews and meetings, they were already adept at the art of online face-to-face.

So your interviews will be online and once a position has been found, they will help you finely tune your CV, they will give you interview practice and coaching so that you are ready for that corporate world, which may feel so far from your current world that it seems too much of a mountain to climb. With Inclusivity at your side though, you are supported all the way.

Founder Stephanie Dillon explains, “What we see in people is amazing. Once placed in a Returner Programme and with some additional training from us, it only takes a matter of weeks before someone is back up and running.”

The ambition with each placement is a six-month fixed term contract within a Returner Programme. “The goal is that at the end of the six months, you would be retained and that is typically what happens,” says Stephanie. “With our pre-commencement training and lots of wraparound support in place while you learn the ropes, including three coaching sessions during the six months, the scene is set for a successful placement. And if not – for whatever reason – then you’ve got a fantastic six months under your belt, your CV is current and we move on to the next opportunity,” she adds.

“My real ambition,” explains Stephanie, “is to close the gender pension gap. Women typically retire on such small pensions and it’s time to turn that around. Our passion is helping women return to work when they’re ready, or more to the point, to reignite their careers.”

Most Returner Programmes offer four-day or five-day roles. “Three-day roles are less common,” explains Stephanie, “but Covid has been a game-changer. What the pandemic has done for flexible working has been phenomenal. We can place people in four-day-a-week roles with the flexibility of working from home on two of those days, so the school-run or wraparound childcare for half of your working days just isn’t an issue. Employers are now incredibly flexible with employees and appreciate all that goes on in family life. If there was any silver lining to the experiences of the last two years, this is it.”

First steps?

Take a look at the Inclusivity website to have a look at the current opportunities, but don’t discount yourself if you don’t see the right thing. “Make yourself known to us,” says Stephanie. “We’re a small team of women, just like you, so we understand. We’ve all had time out. We’ve been there and we’d love to hear from you. We’ll get you up and running so we can then be actively looking for you.”

There is no cost involved as it’s all sponsored by the corporations with whom Inclusivity have forged links. Better still, they run a free one-hour online bootcamp every couple of months on job searching – how to go about it, how to pitch flexible working, how to update your CV.

While 96% of placements are women, the service is also offered for men who may have taken time out of a career themselves while their partners continued to work. And, of course, there are those – male and female – who may have had a career break due to having to care for a loved one or for their own illness.

“There’s no such thing as too long a break,” Stephanie adds. “We’ve placed women who haven’t worked for 12 years; someone recently hadn’t worked for 20. We often see those who thought they’d never go back to work.

“People often ask, what’s the average length of a career and I say, how long’s a piece of string? We’re all individual, we all have different ambitions, and we all want different things out of our working life. We’re here to help you find it.”

To sign up for Inclusivity’s next free bootcamp on job searching, visit here

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