Adheli, Project Manager in Financial Services, 4 year break
My name is Adheli and my family and I moved from Mexico City to London 5 years ago because of my husband’s job. It was a really big challenge for me because suddenly I found myself as a full-time mum instead of having a full-time job. Before we moved to the UK I was working in IXE (a Mexican bank who had a joint venture with JPM Chase on their credit card division). I was the CRO business manager and successfully ran a number of projects, managed the business change strategy and integrated some of the systems. I loved my job and I’ve always loved been a “working mum”. When I realised that I needed to settle my family and myself in our new life in a new country it was very easy for me to “quit” my professional career and focus on doing whatever I needed to do to manage this change. What I never thought was how complicated it would be to re-start my career after a break (almost 4 years).
When I first started looking for a job it was frustrating as I wasn’t sure how the gap in my CV would look and if the recruiters would be interested in a CV that has no experience working in the UK plus a career gap.
One day my husband told me about Women Returners and I started to follow their LinkedIn profile and subscribed to the newsletter. I applied to the Fidelity New Horizons returning programme wishing this was the opportunity I was looking for.
I received an email from Fidelity inviting me to their assessment day; I didn’t know what to expect if I’m honest. First thing we had that morning was a session with our Women Returners coach, Anna. I’m convinced that this session we had before the interviews was the real game changer for my performance and confidence during the interview. A couple of weeks later I received a call from HR offering me a spot on their returning programme!
Once we started the programme, we had several coaching sessions with Anna from Women Returners. She helped me in a way that no one else has helped me in my career. The coaching was not empty sessions with tons of information to digest; all the session included introspective exercises to make our fears, insecurities and worries conscious. I had so many questions about everything “.. . Will I be really capable to do this?” “… What if I’m not as good as I use to be?” “… what if I don’t like this?” “… what will happen at home, my son, my husband?”. Returning to work after some time “out of the game” I was not the same person as before and my confidence was not where it used to be. I felt really worried about things that I didn’t use to worry about before, and I overthought every single thing that I did (it took me an hour to be ok with the first email I sent) and I judged myself A LOT! The coaching helped enormously so that I could overcome those fears and doubts and get back up to speed as a Project Manager. I’m now really enjoying being back at work and being part of Fidelity. My manager has also been very supportive and encouraging of me.
As a woman, as a mum and as a professional my advice for other women trying to get back to work would be: don’t think about it for too long because the longer you think about this, your mind will start playing tricks on you. Every single action you try is worthwhile as a step on your journey and eventually your opportunity will come.