Mary – Balancing Work and Childcare

Mother and daughter smiling. Daughter with glasses is wrapping her arms around her mother from behind.

Mary, aged 34 from Northumberland, joined the Making a Difference programme in October of 2021. At the time, she found it difficult to secure flexible work that fitted around her childcare commitments.

When asked why she had turned to the programme, Mary said she felt disheartened at the lack of flexibility the labour market offered. She had recently lost confidence in herself after attending an interview for a retail position. There, she was told she was “too helpful” and potentially “lacked commercial awareness”. Nonetheless, with her child as her biggest motivator, Mary was determined to keep going and find work suitable for her needs.

How Did We Help?

Together with her Employment Coach Connor, Mary reviewed her knowledge of different job-searching methods. They also evaluated the performance of her previous applications. Using the recourses and guidance provided by Connor, Mary carefully crafted her new and improved CV. While doing this, she identified transferable skills she had acquired in previous work experience which boosted the quality of her overall application.

Mary set goals for her progression and built her confidence by finding new ways of identifying suitable vacancies. This included her attendance of local job fairs and keeping a close eye on sector-specific job boards.

Gaining Confidence and Finding Flexible Work

Throughout her time working with Connor, Mary became highly proactive and independent in her search for flexible work opportunities. She often stated that she felt “more positive” and “hopeful” of her chances of finding employment.

After contacting a local employer signposted by her Coach, Mary submitted a bespoke application for a cleaning position available at a local bistro. She demonstrated her new confidence, determination and persistence by chasing up her application, and was invited to a trial shift.

For Mary, it was especially important to find a job that would let her support her family in the most flexible way possible. Following a successful trial shift, she accepted a part-time cleaning role! Mary was excited and explained the job is “perfect to fit around her lifestyle and childcare responsibilities”.

She feels a strong sense of victory, having triumphed over her initial interview rejection. As her Employment Coach, Connor adds: “Happy, clear-minded and focused, we both have no doubt Mary will excel in her new position!”

Career Guidance To Get You Where You Want To Be

Making a Difference is an initiative match-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF). We help people of all ages find their way into work or education by providing tailored one-to-one guidance and support. Whether you are returning to work after a career break, considering working for the first time or simply want to try something new. We can help you figure out the next step for you.

Contact our friendly team to learn more and start your journey today!

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