Back to work after 16 years!
Saeema Yusuf was planning to get back to work once her daughter had started full-time school. In preparation, she joined the GROW Programme 2 years ago, giving her time to boost her skills and try to build her confidence into the world of work. We spoke to Saeema about her journey with GRoW.
“Being a full-time mum to four children as well as a full-time carer can isolate you from the real world. I found it very difficult to engage in any outside activities and always felt that I couldn’t do anything for myself but thanks to GRoW I found a way out. GRoW was just what I needed, it helped to not only boost my confidence and conversational skills but made me realise that I can achieve anything I want to achieve.
GRoW brought me together with other women and we all helped each other in the course to talk about what we wanted to achieve and how to get there. This led to practical advice on job applications, CVs and interviews. It helped me to focus on taking the next steps.
By the end of the programme, I took the initiative by applying for a position at Brunel University as a Student Information Adviser but unfortunately was not selected – for me, completing the application was a positive first step after 16 years out of the job market!
This year, I saw an ideal opportunity – working on the GRoW programme itself! I saw the job advert on the GRoW website and thought it was a great chance to practice my job search and application skills – and if nothing else I would get some quality feedback. The application and interview was challenging but I used the techniques I learned on the programme, and I was delighted to be selected.
These days I am busier than ever. I’m still a full-time mum and full-time carer, but now also a part-time Engagement Adviser. My role involves networking with organisations in Hillingdon and making sure GRoW’s achievements are recognised. I get so much out of meeting amazing women who want to achieve more in their lives and helping them to choose training and skills that is right for them.
This job has also given me the opportunity to visit the Hillingdon Expo 2019 which was held at Brunel University and gave me the chance to put my skills to the test. It was an amazing day and I learnt so much.
Recently, I took GRoW to Hillingdon’s Carer’s Fair 2019 which was the first time GRoW was in view of the public in this way. We generated really good interest and made good connections with other organisations.
It’s been amazing not only taking part in the GRoW programme but working for GRoW and there’s lots of opportunities to come.
GROW is a rewarding programme to come on to and I’m so glad I took the chance to come on board. Thank you GRoW!!”