Tracey came to GRoW in November 2019 looking for support to get a part-time job but when the pandemic hit, she was forced to change her focus to homeschooling her three children. With GRoW’s support, she has now re-entered the workforce in an admin position where she is developing her skills for the future.
Tracey said “I had worked previously for some prestigious companies including Glaxo SmithKline and Heathrow Airport where I had worked my way up from an admin role to Internal Communications, for which I studied for a CIM Certificate in Marketing. I was unfortunately made redundant from Heathrow a year after having my first two children, who are twins. I did work from home for a while for a recruitment firm, doing social media before my youngest was born but following that, hadn’t worked for five years before joining GRoW. Even though I had good work experience, I now needed a job with part time hours that would fit around my children and provide me with the opportunity to work my way back up again, after being out of the workplace for so long.
When I contacted GRoW, I was assigned Tosin as my adviser and she was so helpful. She was really good at checking in on me and finding out what supported I needed. I wanted to start applying for jobs but my CV, although fairly good, needed some modernising and refreshing and so Tosin put me in touch with Sonia who was extremely helpful and patient. I really valued her help. I started looking on different job sites and was being very specific in terms of the hours I was able to work as I had to get the balance right. I crafted cover letters for specific jobs and Sonia looked over them to check if I had missed anything and to ensure the important points would stand out, which she’s so good at. One of the jobs I was particularly interested in was at Brunel University which was a full-time position, unfortunately I didn’t get an interview which was disappointing, especially as I had taken part in the Interview Coaching group workshop and One to One Mock Interview with Sonia which really helped get me into the mindset of what I needed to do at an interview.
In November 21 I found a different admin job at Brunel University that I was interested in applying for. They were looking for more than one part time position in different departments and although the job role requested quite a lot of PA elements and I didn’t really have those skills, I felt I had nothing to lose and decided to give it a go. Sonia’s help with the cover letter and mock interview was invaluable and when I applied and was offered an interview, I felt really confident. Before I had the interview, Sonia and I had a chat on the telephone beforehand and she helped me feel more prepared. The interview went really well and I was offered the job.
Brunel University is a great place to work and I am really enjoying it. I started in January and work 17.5 hours per week. I have found some things like minute-taking quite tricky but I have received a lot of support and feel I am learning new skills all the time. Even though I have a certain skillset in Communications that I could be using right now, I am more interested in just being part of the workforce, being around people and learning new things until my youngest child is a bit older. I really want to thank the GRoW team for understanding this and for supporting me in my journey back to work. Tosin was regularly sending me messages to see how she could support me and checking how I was. She was great at looking after my emotional health and Sonia was so patient and supportive with all the practical elements. Eventually, when I am ready I will look for positions that will stretch me more but in the meantime I am really happy gaining new skills and being back in the world of work.”