After a 10-year break from mainstream employment Patsy wanted to re-start her career in software engineering, a skill that she had kept current in her break. As a degree qualified engineer with a successful previous career she was confident as she started her search. She very soon found that her career gap seemed to be significantly holding her back and her prior experience was being overlooked. Here is her story:
Why did you approach STEM Returners?
I had been looking for work in my field (Software Engineer) for a few months without success. I suppose this was understandable, in a way, as I was away from full-time software development work for about 10 years, only doing part-time development to support my self-employment business during those years. After some frustratingly unsuccessful interviews. I decided to look online for return opportunities. That’s when I noticed ‘STEM Returners’.
How did STEM Returners help?
STEM Returners approached me with a company which was one of my company goals, BAE Systems. STEM Returners acted as mediator between me and BAE and got me over the barriers of having had a career break. The hiring manager was interested in and recognised my prior skills and my break wasn’t viewed as an issue.
What was the end result?
I was offered the opportunity to join BAE Systems in New Malden under their paid STEM Returners programme for 13 weeks to understand the role and brush up my skills. I was delighted to be offered permanent employment afterwards.
How has this changed your career?
It has been great to get back to my old job (and truly my vocation), I started to believe that this wasn’t going to be possible for me. It is very much like riding a bicycle. You never forget, a bit wobbly in the beginning, but soon enough you are riding away.
Would you recommend the programme?
Definitely! It is a fantastic way for those who have taken a career break and want to return to navigate round the barriers and use their skills!