Anna, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Aberdeen Asset Management via Lloyds Returners Programme.
After a five year career break from banking, I had the privilege of being accepted on the Lloyds Returners Programme in 2015. “Returnships” was something I had not previously heard of. I had been trying to get back on the career ladder for a while but found it extremely challenging. I realised quickly that the chances of finding employment using the ‘conventional’ routes – speaking to recruiters and applying for jobs – were inversely proportional to the numbers of years I had spent out of the industry. I felt those in current roles looking to switch jobs were favoured over those looking to re-enter the jobs markets.
The number of people I met who were in a similar position to me and who have since contacted me for advice on the Rungway advice and mentoring App, have made me understand the value of such returnship programmes. They are an excellent way to access an untapped and unreachable market: highly skilled and highly motivated individuals who are under the radar of traditional headhunters, but who once given a chance, are able to shine and bring huge value to the table, because only they know how hard it is to make it!
I am very grateful for the opportunity I was given at Lloyds. I was given a chance, a great role and they helped me believe in myself and in my abilities again. I was able to demonstrate that no matter how long I had been out, with the right attitude and support, I could pick up from where I left. Thanks to this experience, I was able to develop further in my career and pursue my long term goal, which was to work in asset management. If someone had told me back in early 2015 that today I would be working for Aberdeen Asset Management, in a team of highly skilled and award winning investment managers, I wouldn’t have believed it!
During the interview process at Aberdeen I felt like I was being treated as a professional looking to move up in my career. I was being interviewed based on my skillset and experiences. My career gap was mentioned only once. The returnship experience certainly helped me believe in myself and this has transpired in my ability to move up the career ladder shortly after being on the programme.
Working at Aberdeen is a very natural next step. The Fixed Income team have been extremely supportive of me working part-time and around my young family. I feel like they are interested in what I have to offer to the team rather than the number of hours I spend on the desk. That is a decisive factor for me.
I am extremely proud to work for Aberdeen Asset Management – a company which values flexible working and is now offering the opportunity to more women like me, to return to work.