Sajida Lands a School SMSA Job

Sajada came to GRoW in February 2023 looking for assistance in finding a part-time job that would fit around her two young children.  She found inspiration at our Preparing to Work in Schools Workshop and has now been offered a job in a school as a School Meals Supervisory Assistant.

Sajada said; “I am an experienced and fully trained hairdresser but the Hairdressing Salons I was enquiring about jobs at were only offering full-time and weekend-working positions which are not convenient for me due to having young children to look after.  I knew I needed a part-time job and was looking for jobs all the time but it was hard to find something suitable with the right hours and flexibility.

A friend told me about GRoW and I went along to the GRoW HQ in Hillingdon where I met Khatera, who became my Adviser, and told her what I needed help with.  Khatera’s first step was to get me started on the GRoW app which opened up a whole new world of opportunities for me.

The GRoW app gave me so many ideas of what I could do and how to start my journey into work.  There were events I could book myself on to such as the CV and Interview Workshops and One to Ones as well as weekly Coffee Mornings.  I immediately booked myself on to everything available and from that point on I felt I was part of a community.  The Coffee Mornings are fantastic, every week there is a different guest speaker from a local organisation talking about a range of things such as different job opportunities and how to get work in different sectors.  I always made sure to attend these events because they offer such a wealth of knowledge as well as an opportunity to meet with other women on the programme and share experiences.

At an Interview One to One with GRoW’s Sonia Puri she suggested I look into school jobs as an option as she felt it would be a good move for me due to the term-time working hours that schools offer.  It wasn’t something I had thought about before and I had no idea where to look for school jobs as they had never come up in any of my previous job searches.  I went back to Khatera for help and she enrolled me onto GRoW’s Preparing to Work in School Workshop.  It was a great opportunity to find out what I needed to know about getting a job in a school.  Khatera then supported me in registering on to a dedicated schools job site called Crinkle which had lots of school jobs vacancies in my area and I applied for quite a few SMSA positions.  When I went along to the GRoW Coffee Morning that week I was thrilled to see that a representative from the Eden Academy, a school I had applied to earlier that week, was speaking and so I asked Khatera to mention my application and I was really pleased to receive an email a few days later offering me an interview.

To help me prepare, Sonia did a last minute practice interview with me the day before and we ran through a few scenarios that were likely to come up, including issues such as safeguarding.  This was so beneficial as when I went along to the interview I felt very confident, well-prepared and ready to answer any questions.  I put all the techniques I’d learned into practice and I obviously did a good job because I was offered the job!

Being on the GRoW Programme has been life-changing for me.  As a mother and wife we know lots of things and do lots of things but we often lack inspiration and the support to say ‘yes I can do that’. The encouragement and inspiration I’ve received from all the other ladies on the programme was fantastic; it taught me to believe in myself and to do what I want to do.

The GRoW app is also such a great tool to have, there is information for you to see from morning until night and it is all so useful!  When you are a mum and are in the home you are busy working all the time and can be oblivious to what is going on outside. The GRoW app connects you to everything that is happening around you and lets you see what is going on. The events are brilliant and through the GRoW app you can join what you want, when you want, really easily. I have been to so many GRoW events and wish I had the time to go to all of them as you take away so much knowledge from each one.  On the app you also get inspirational and motivational messages that put you in good spirits for the day. I often spend time in the evenings reading the articles and commenting on people’s posts and it feels very much like a community.

I start my new job in April and will be working Monday to Friday 11.30am until 2.00pm and I also plan to continue with my hairdressing part-time which fits in perfectly around my family. I’m really grateful to GRoW for all their help and especially for giving me back my self-belief.”

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