“The role that excites you is around the corner”, with Melissa Janvier

Melissa Janvier is an experienced US lawyer with a background in financial services and public law. After relocating with her family to the UK in 2014 for her husband’s work, Melissa took a career break to settle her 3 young children into their new life. When her youngest started school, she decided the time was right to return to work but found the route back to law far more challenging than she initially imagined. 

After a friend told her about Women Returners, Melissa was excited to discover that the Bank of England was advertising opportunities to return to law as part of their wider returnship programme. She describes the joy of finding an opportunity that valued the skills and experiences she had gained during her career with an employer that recognised that her career break didn’t make her “any less of a lawyer”.

She joined the 2019 programme and in March 2020, just as the UK went into its 1st lockdown, Melissa successfully completed her returnship and was offered a permanent role as Legal Counsel. Hear how Melissa navigated her return to work, in a new country with few networks and little support, and brought her transferable legal skills to the Bank of England.

“I’ve settled into work in a way where, professionally, I feel like I am constantly learning and stretching and building my professional knowledge in a way that I hadn’t envisioned before my career break.”

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3v9INYz

Follow on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/30rZZL6

For advice, support, opportunities and connection, see our Women Returners website: https://bit.ly/3eAhKQH 

 

“Don’t apologise for your time out” with Sarah McKelvie

Sarah McKelvie enjoyed a fulfilling career as a doctor, and her work in hospital medicine and general practice took her all over the world. When her 1st child was born in 2007, she thought she’d be back at work in 6 months, but 2 more children later and her 6 month career break turned into 12 years.

During her career break, Sarah became immersed in various charity projects from fundraising to setting up football teams for children with cerebral palsy, for which she won a FA Grassroots Volunteers Award.

Contemplating returning to medicine for a number of years, Sarah set up a Facebook Group to help build a community of support for doctors in a similar position. And then, galvanised by the call for doctors to return to work during the pandemic, Sarah found her way back, and now works full-time as a clinical fellow in geriatric medicine at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Hear how Sarah found the courage to return to medicine in one of the most challenging public health times of our generation and the journey she’s been on since, updating her skills, rebuilding her professional confidence and helping others navigate their way back too.

“I was really under confident about working and as I even thought about going back to being a doctor, I just had this knot of anxiety in my stomach, thinking, ‘Oh.. it’s too big. I can’t, I’ve forgotten everything’. I just couldn’t see myself in that role. I couldn’t see myself how I used to be. But very quickly by doing something, I felt more confident. Only by trying it did that confidence come back.”

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3v9INYz

Follow on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/30rZZL6

For advice, support, opportunities and connection, see our Women Returners website: https://bit.ly/3eAhKQH 

 

“A career break is a positive life growth experience” with Rachel Tomkins

An early career in the military prepared Rachel well for the negotiations that lay ahead as a mum to 3 young boys! After 9 years at home with them, a little nudge from some former military friends encouraged Rachel to find her way back to work in 2015 through Tideway’s Returner Programme.  As an integral part of Tideway’s ground-breaking engineering project to clean up the Thames, Rachel found that the skills she’d developed before and during her career break served her very well back in the workplace. Five years on, and Rachel now heads up HSEQ, leading on health, safety, environment and quality assurance for Tideway. 

Find out how Rachel adjusted to taking on a new role after a long break, how she feels about being back at work and how her career has gone from strength to strength. Karen and Anna will highlight some key takeaways and tips from Rachel’s story to help and inspire you with your own return to work. 

“I think an important thing that I’ve learned is that it’s okay to be just me. I was just myself in interviews and I had nothing to hide and it obviously paid off. I think just being authentic is key to going back into a career.”

Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/3v9INYz

Follow on Spotify: https://spoti.fi/30rZZL6

For advice, support, opportunities and connection, see our Women Returners website: https://bit.ly/3eAhKQH 

Career Returners: Trailer

Take a listen to this trailer to find out more about the Career Returners Podcast. Karen and Anna from the Women Returners coaching team will be chatting to a wide range of women who are happily back at work after taking long career breaks. From a doctor to a lawyer to a nuclear physicist, these fantastic women share the ups and downs of their return to work stories and give practical advice to inspire other career returners.