Meenu returns to work after a 5 year career break

Meenu took a five year break from work to be a stay at home mum to her young daughter but when she heard about GRoW it sparked her interest in returning to the workplace.  Meena has now secured a job working as a GP’s Receptionist for the NHS.

Meenu said “My work background has been in frontline roles and administration which is something I’ve always enjoyed.  I left my last job in 2016 so had been out of the workplace for quite a while and was feeling like I needed to get back out there.  It can be quite lonely being at home all the time, particularly if you are used to working full time.  In my last job I was working through an agency for the Home Office as a Visa Officer and previously at the Indian Embassy so I have strong communication, administration and customer-facing experience.  Despite this I was feeling apprehensive about returning to work as being out of the workplace for so long really hits your confidence.

In June 2021 I found out about GRoW when Liz Sewell visited my daughter’s school in Hillingdon.  I was immediately interested as Liz explained that GRoW specialise in helping mums into work.  I was already thinking about getting a job as I was missing being out in the world and felt it was the right time.  I had spent five years fully focusing on my family but now my daughter was in school I had some time during the day that I could focus on me again. I was interested in finding out about part-time work that would fit around my family and so I contacted GRoW and Khatera was assigned as my Adviser.

Straight away Khatera booked me on to the weekly Coffee Morning which was a great introduction to GRoW as I met so many other women who were just like me.  Being out of the workplace for 5 years had left me feeling like I had no clue about anything but I very quickly realised that other women felt exactly the same at first. It was a great confidence booster and helped me to motivate myself and it was also really useful to meet guest speakers such as Giles Strachan from HCUC.  Giles signed me up to an employability course at the College which I did with a view to applying for an immigration job that was being advertised at Heathrow Airport and have since found out I was successful for!

I went on the GRoW CV Workshop and then the Interview Workshop with Sonia which were really great as they pointed out the areas where I was lacking and helped me see how I could address them.  I started applying for a range of jobs that looked interesting and sent my CV out to local GP surgeries.  I was really pleased when I was offered a job at a GP Surgery in Southall as a Doctor’s Receptionist.  The job involves lots of administrative duties which is perfect for me and is on a 20 hour contract working 8.00am to 1.00pm, 4 days a week.  I started the job in November and it really suits me. There is no stress, I finish my job and pick up my daughter from school and can then spend all afternoon and evening with her.

Many jobs being advertised at the moment are for working from home but I really wanted a job where I could go out, dress nicely and meet people again.  I was really pleased to be offered the Immigration job but I chose the GP Receptionist job as the hours suit me better and the NHS is a great employer.  There are so many opportunities for career progression.

Being part of the GRoW team has been really beneficial to me.  Even though my communication skills were already good and I have a strong work background, it was still difficult to know how and where to start when looking to return to work.  I felt I had lost my spark but being part of GRoW has given me that spark back and I am feeling so confident now about my future work opportunities.”

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