Gisela, Policy Implementation Advisor, Ofcom (6 year break)
I joined Ofcom through the Returners Programme after a six-year career break. I am eternally grateful to Julie from Women Returners, and fellow returners for their support during and around the sessions.
The programme involved regular group coaching sessions (though we were also offered the option of having individual sessions). Throughout the first six months, I received mentoring and buddying support from a senior manager and a fellow colleague with years of experience, which was part of the programme. After that, I continued to receive learning and development support through internal and external coaches and mentors, who have helped me greatly towards my academic pursuits, professional qualifications, soft skills and personal development.
There are many opportunities for development such as Mission INCLUDE, a global mentoring programme, which has allowed me to network with professionals from different backgrounds and organisations.
Returning to work after years away was really daunting. I couldn’t quite believe that I have finally been successful with a job application, let alone a programme so fitting to my personal circumstances. My master’s degree in Public Policy and years of experience in the public sector prior to leaving the job market really (still) meant something. Prepared with examples from previous roles in central and local government as well as regional bodies, I was able to demonstrate my potential to make real and positive impacts toward the work that Ofcom does. Best of all, I would (most likely) have risen to the same level at which I would have, had I not had a career break.
Within Ofcom, I have integrated well into the working philosophy and I play a pivotal role in various areas. Aside from my role, I am one of the co-chairs of the Raising Awareness of Culture and Ethnicity (RACE) Network, which works towards promoting a positive and inclusive working environment.
I truly recommend the Returners Programme at Ofcom. Everyone works towards demonstrating Ofcom’s values of respect, excellence, agility, empowerment and collaboration. Ofcom colleagues are dedicated to working together, and to making positive improvements to service standards. Joining an organisation with such a supportive and vibrant environment has been vital for me, as someone raising young children. I look forward to work every day and have a great sense of purpose and accomplishment.
The Ofcom Returners Programme 2021 is open for applications: see here for details