Maimoona joined GRoW in February 2022 when she was thinking about returning to work after a 15 year career break to raise her family. She has been an active and engaged participant on the programme and now feels ready to get back to work.
Maimoona said; “I had heard a lot about GRoW over the years as they are very active at my child’s school where they have been enrolling mums onto their GRoW Programme to help support them into work. I didn’t really think their programme would be for me as I had assumed they could only help people who had good work experience and a particular level of skills and qualifications but after a conversation with GRoW Adviser Kaneez I found out I couldn’t be more wrong.
When I joined I was so impressed with Liz and her team, especially Mercedes who I thought was amazing on the first day I did GRoW Bootcamp. The programme gave me so much confidence and it was just so relaxed and enjoyable, I felt really comfortable to talk to the the other ladies on the programme in the same way I would talk to other ladies I meet through school or in the community.
I had worked in a store 15 years ago but stopped work when I had my children. Being out of work for such a long period of time was quite a concern for me and I wasn’t sure of how to even get back to work – did I need to do training or go for higher education? The GRoW team really helped me understand what I should do and they showed me the way and where to go. I attended the Preparing to Work in Schools course and the online GRoW Coffee Mornings. I also went to a face to face Coffee Morning that was celebrating International Women’s Day and it was lovely to meet everyone in person and I just thought “Wow! This is really good!”. Since then I have really increased my interest in getting back to work and I have attended the GRoW Childcare Sessions, CV and Interview Workshops. The One to One Interview session with Sonia was fantastic and really improved my confidence.
For many years now I have been at home, looking after my family and hadn’t had an actual interview in 14 years! Doing the One to One Interview session really opened my eyes up and made me feel I have abilities and can go forward with new goals. Being asked about my ideas and having the chance to to say what I think about things, what my views are and how to present myself – this was really wonderful as it has made me see who I am and what I have to offer.
I have three children, two who are teenagers and my youngest is six years old so it is much easier for me to be working now. I believe in taking small steps and building up slowly so I’m thinking more about part-time work at the moment although I wouldn’t rule out full-time work if I am offered it. I always liked the idea of working in a school and I did an introduction to Teaching Course at Harrow College around 9 or 10 years ago but I am also interested in an admin or clerical position. GRoW offered me the chance to do a Level 2 Food and Hygiene Course recently and so I have completed that and am thinking about working in catering now too. The course taught me so many things and was so worthwhile for me. Although I already knew some of what it covered there were many new things I learned which has made me feel so much more confident and able should I apply for a job in a kitchen or a similar position.
GRoW has really helped me with my confidence and motivation as it has shown me what I am capable of and what my abilities are. I now have a very clear idea of what I need to do to get a job and I am really looking forward to going out in the world and starting work. GRoW has so many resources available, whether from the Advisers giving their knowledge and advice during the events they run, or on the GRoW app which is a great place to find information. If you take part in the events you can jot information down while the Advisers talk but they also add all the resources such as presentations and articles to the app so you can always check there for anything you need. It makes it so much quicker to access. They also tailor information to you depending on what you want, for example, if you want to be a carer or you want to work in a school, they let you know what sort of training you should be doing to help you reach your goal.
After meeting the other ladies on the programme I realised that so many of us feel the same way. When you are out of work and haven’t worked in a long time you can feel so confused about getting back to work and it makes you feel hesitant about taking the first steps. GRoW help with everything, even helping you to understand how you should speak in a professional environment. These are the types of things you worry about if you haven’t done it in a long time but they explain all of this to you so you feel more prepared.
GRow has opened up a community to me, I can share ideas and get ideas from them, it all feels very natural and relaxed. I have explored many jobs now and listed the ones I want to go for. I am ready now to really commit to giving time to applying for jobs every day and make it my goal.”