The jobs market has become challenging for a growing number of us over the last year or so. For some groups, the pandemic has made the task of finding a job even more complex. For single parents, balancing childcare and work may have already been a difficult juggling act. Add a pandemic into the mix, and these potential barriers may have grown seemingly overwhelming. However, there is hope!
The pandemic has been a tricky time for me. I had a job I liked, but after a period of furlough, I was unfortunately made redundant. I was devastated! As a single Mum with two small children, working part-time is a really important part of my life. I want my children to see me working and show them that providing for yourself is the best way to look after yourself and your family.
I applied for a role at Calico, but unfortunately, I was unsuccessful. However, the lady who interviewed me told me about the employability support available through Calico Enterprise. I was put in touch with a lovely lady called Julie who works with a project called More Positive Together.
Julie told me about some ways I could improve my chances – like childcare support. She looked at my CV and covering letters and helped me realise that I wasn’t putting my best foot forward.
I had worked for a coffee shop and kept saying to her, ‘I just make coffee!’ but Julie helped me unpick the role and figure out all the other things I was responsible for. I went from being ‘just a coffee maker’ to a stock controller, a health and safety advisor, a staffing rota specialist and lots, lots more. I hadn’t realised how many skills I actually had, but Julie helped me see that I know and am good at many different things.
Julie also helped me see where I had been going wrong when applying for roles. We worked together on my confidence and, she even pointed me in the right direction in terms of support that’s out there as a single Mum needing childcare solutions.
We worked on interview techniques and, she helped me adapt so that I stood out as a candidate. All those core skills I didn’t realise I had, I could now evidence in job applications and interviews. Julie helped me understand that these skills were things that employers had been asking about and I just hadn’t realised I had them!
I went for an interview in March and I’m proud to say that I’m now a working Mum again! Not only do I earn, but I can be proud of what I have achieved! I just needed someone to help me see what I had been missing – that I am a valuable employee.
If you are looking for work, you need a Julie! Everyone does. Believing in yourself and understanding your worth, not only as an employee but as a person, a Mum and a human being, is what we all need in these tough times!
If you’re facing barriers to employment or need support balancing childcare and work, contact Calico Enterprise today for an informal chat.