Bhavna, QA Analyst – Product Systems, Next (9 year break)
I returned to the IT industry after a 9-year career break. Before that, I worked as an IT professional in India and the UK, where I obtained diverse experience ranging from providing bespoke software development solutions, implementation, maintenance and training to clients, network administration & maintenance, tutoring subjects like Autocad, MCSE, and programming languages.
Due to child care and family commitments, I decided to change my career in education. I re-trained as a teacher by taking a CertED (Certificate in Education) and started teaching in a secondary school as an ICT/computer science teacher, which I didn’t enjoy and wanted to come back to IT. In 2019, I decided that the time was right for me to return to my ‘professional’ career.
In the beginning, my attempts to apply for roles were unsuccessful. I came across the Next – Back to IT programme in October 2019. I applied for it and got an interview and luckily was selected.
Overall, the whole experience of the Back to IT programme starting from the assessment day to getting a permanent role as a developer has been an absolutely amazing journey.
The culture at Next is brilliant, my colleagues are always willing to help and answer any queries. I found that everyone I sought out to learn from made time to meet with me. The entire team is friendly and has given me a warm welcome. It has given me an opportunity to refresh my professional knowledge and build back my confidence.
One of the best things about the Back to IT programme has been the support provided with the periodic coaching meetings with Women Returners. By addressing my concerns and doubts, my coach empowered me to go through the adaptation process smoothly and confidently.
My advice to returners –
- Don’t give up. You don’t lose your core abilities or past experience and whatever the reason for your break, you will have grown as a person, all of which improves your potential value as an employee.
- Don’t wait for a perfect job, get your foot in the door and you can look around once inside.
- Don’t be afraid to steer yourself where you know you can work best