When her partner fell ill, Geraldine took a career break to become a carer – break which lasted six years. After her partner sadly passed away, Geraldine knew she wanted to return to the workplace. With a wealth of experience and qualifications, she turned to agencies to look for opportunities, but only found difficulties.
“Agencies were telling me I had been out of the workplace too long and things had changed” Geraldine explains “I began to feel redundant and there was no place for me.”
Geraldine had qualified as a Psychotherapist while previously working in Change Management environments and decided to try working as a Counsellor but didn’t feel fully satisfied with this career change.
She then re-trained as a Handy Woman (painter and decorator, tiling, home maintenance) and set up her own business turning a hobby into a career – but it was lonely, and she missed her previous career as a self-employed Project Office Manager/consultant. One day, Radio 4 was playing in the background when the radio host opened a segment on a new initiative called Women Returners.
“Someone from Capgemini spoke on the show about their Returners programme, and it sounded like what I had been searching for,” says Geraldine. “I looked it up when I got home and found there were placements in Sale – just a mile from where I lived.”
Geraldine’s work experience and personal values made her the perfect fit for Capgemini. She was snapped up and now works as a PMO Lead at a large Public Sector client.
“I’m really happy to be back in the workplace doing what I enjoy. I’ve got a good, busy role with plenty of variety and I can see that there are opportunities to keep growing and developing with Capgemini,” Geraldine comments. “Management have been really helpful and I’m happy with the people I’ve been working with and being part of a team delivering innovative IT solutions.”
Would Geraldine recommend the Returner programme to others?
“I tell everyone I know about it – they might know someone sitting at home with qualifications and experience who feel like there’s no place for them in the workplace because they have been out of it for ‘too long’. Having the Returner programme really feels like a lifeline,” says Geraldine. “It shows that the door is not closed. People may tell you the workplace has changed, but really, project management hasn’t changed – just the tools you work with, and it doesn’t take long to get up to scratch with those through training.
“Having been back 6 months, but it really doesn’t feel like I’ve been away.”
You can find out more about Return@Capgemini here.