Category: Re-training

Create your Own Flexible Job - Be an Innovative Wealth Creator

Create your Own Flexible Job – Be an Innovative Wealth Creator

I recently experienced the frustration of missing a flight in France, thanks to 1,000 taxis blockading Toulouse airport to display their dissatisfaction of the threat brought to their profession by Uber. It made me think – not just about Uber, but Airbnb,, eBay, Elance, Amazon and other similar websites that are allowing individuals to generate revenue through means other than standard employment. Could these be a solution to all of those mothers and fathers out there, unable to find the perfect paid flexible employment?

Advice – Offer a Flexible Job

At Workpond, we are committed to helping businesses improve their resourcing. We do this by teaching them how to attract the best talent – and one of our key pieces of advice is to make it a more flexible job. But we know that for every job we create, we could fill 10 more. So what about the unsuccessful candidates? What can they do?

Be Innovative about Wealth Creation

We find that when we speak to our candidates, both men and women, we discover that they are becoming increasingly innovative about how they generate wealth. It’s rather like the modern portfolio career, but rather than offering their services to many businesses, they are using their assets or time to generate wealth. Perhaps they rent their house out while they are on holiday; they babysit; they do small pieces of freelance work for businesses when needed. They sell second hand clothes, unwanted presents or their own crafted goods online (for themselves or others) or trade stocks and shares through a platform. These are fantastic ways of ensuring that they are creating wealth while they are waiting for the right timing to commit to a more permanent role or for the perfect flexible position, with the benefit that they are all totally flexible and in their control.

Time to Grow and Explore

There is no doubt that the majority of us are already independent wealth creators to different degrees and life events will certainly impact our level of activity. When starting a family, we all have a huge range of choices – whether to generate wealth by returning to work – or by building an extension. As our children grow and enter school and childcare needs change, our career aspirations and demands may evolve and we may choose to increase or decrease our work hours or elect to take a different career path and retrain. Time away from work can allow us to remove the blinkers, explore options, get creative and pursue other wealth generating activities, all thanks to the web and the plethora of options out there. Time away from work gives us the opportunity to try on a new career, just like you would try a new pair of shoes before you buy.

Could a Micro-business be the First Step to your Future Career?

So, do look at your options – thanks to the Internet, three of our team at Workpond set up their own modern micro-businesses when their children were small. This gave them real pleasure, something to channel their creative energies and experience into and taught them how businesses worked. It has certainly stood them in good stead. The experience has been valuable, it has made their CVs far more interesting and they have a great innovative story to tell at interview. So why not explore and enjoy seeking out new ways to generate wealth. They may lead to better things….

Flexible WorkingAuthor: Amanda Seabrook. Amanda is the MD and Founder of Workpond, a resourcing consultancy helping experienced professionals find flexible opportunities.

Are You a Trailing Spouse? Why Teaching English Could be the Answer to Your Career Plans

Are You a Trailing Spouse? Why Teaching English Could be the Answer to Your Career Plans

Trailing spouses are known for making the ultimate sacrifice; they give up their careers and lives at home to follow their partners overseas. But rather than see it as a negative, we choose to see it as a wonderful opportunity. A chance to experience an unknown culture, see the kids thrive in a fresh environment and try out a new career.

TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) is a great option for women who want to make the most of their new life abroad. Here’s why:

The Job Market is Huge

Recent estimates suggest there are currently more than 1 billion people learning English around the world. The British Council predicts that number will double by 2020.

As you can imagine, with that many students there is huge demand for teachers. There are plenty of positions available, particularly in Asia, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Europe but even English-speaking countries have their share of vacancies too.

Finding vacancies is simply a matter of searching online job boards, contacting local language schools or advertising your services privately.

Hours to Suit the Kids

This is probably the most important factor for working mums. You want a career and a life outside of the home, but you also want to be there for the kids (and your spouse).

Teaching is the ideal solution, not least because you’ll get school holidays off! Whether you choose to work for yourself or work part or full-time in a school, you won’t be away from home for much longer than the kids. Working hours that complement their schedule saves massively on childcare costs too.

You Can Work for Yourself

If the thought of working in a school fills you with cold dread or you need really flexible hours there’s the option to teach privately instead.

Many experienced English Language teachers move onto private tutoring as they love the freedom it allows. It can also be very lucrative, with tutoring rates starting £15+ an hour. And don’t worry; you don’t necessarily need experience, just a willingness to work hard and promote yourself to prospective students.

You Can Work Anywhere in the World

Even back home! If you relocate to another country or move back home, you can bring your skills and experience with you.

As already mentioned, there are TEFL jobs all over the world and an abundance of vacancies for experienced teachers (and even inexperienced ones). There are very few jobs that travel as well as TEFL.

The Skills are Transferable

Teaching English abroad will boost your CV with a whole host of transferable skills. The skills and experience you’ll gain whilst teaching will be highly desirable to other employers. This is really useful if you return home or decide on a different career path.

So if you want to boost your confidence, improve your communication, IT and language skills, learn to become adaptable, creative and resourceful, teaching is for you.

You Can Train in a Matter of Weeks

Qualifications aren’t always necessary to get a job teaching English. If you’re a native (or very fluent) English speaker, most employers will consider you.

However you will increase your prospects – and your confidence – if you complete a TEFL qualification.

Fortunately, you don’t need to go back to university for 3 years. You can learn online. TEFL certification courses range from 120 – 150 hours, so if you’re in a pinch, you can gain your qualification in a matter of weeks.

It’s Really Rewarding

Teaching is one of the most rewarding things anyone can do. Whether you’re privately tutoring a young adult hoping to land that exciting overseas job or a group of young children in a school, you’re practically guaranteed job satisfaction.

Sure, it can be very hard work and frustrating at times, but teaching English as a foreign language is one of the best ways to kick-start a career abroad. Why not consider it today?

Author: Mark Johnson is an experience TEFL teacher which saw him visit Asia. Upon returning to the his home country he began working for ICAL TEFL in the hope of inspiring others to take a similar career choice. Find out more about ICAL TEFL.

Flexible Careers for Anyone Who Wants to Work in Finance

Flexible Careers for Anyone Who Wants to Work in Finance

Financial skills are highly sought after, however jobs often require long office hours. But what are the options if you are returning to work or are looking for flexible or part-time work? Here are some great initial ideas for working mothers who like some flexibility for their family.

Project manager

At first glance a director of a large-scale project or task might not seem the perfect fit for a part time roles, but actually many of these roles can be completed from home – and the pay is usually excellent. Writing in Forbes – 10 high-paying flexible jobs, Jacquelyn Smith said that a senior manager can bring in almost $100k a year. Strong mathematics, communications and IT skills are essential, as is adaptability and a willingness to work strange hours.

Female accountant checking financial documentsAccounts assistant

An ideal part-time role, that will probably involve preparing and monitoring time sheets and making sure invoices are paid and distributed. You’ll need training in Sage or a similar package, and also considerable people skills. But there are numerous advantages to this role, and you can easily progress back to full-time employment if the opportunity arises

Finance manager

One of the next logical steps up from an assistant role, not least because you may have a strong say in the direction of the company where you are working. Proficiency in macro and micro financial perspectives will be key, and you’ll probably also be responsible for preparing a regular report on performance and forecasts for coming months or years.
An important part of the team then – and one that can be lucrative.

Marketing and e-commerce

A different type of financial role; one which requires a good grasp of the digital world and strong commercial acumen. You’ll be looking at how you can make your company market itself better, assessing budgets and perhaps even clicks and ad impressions, or you’ll be giving your skills to external companies on a consultative basis. Click here to find out more about BGL a consumer insurance group that offers flexible jobs.


Reverting from a full time role to working from home on a case-by-case basis, taking a role as a part-time criminal or civil lawyer, or as a consultant, can be a rewarding experience. Financial law is a big business and the punishments for making incorrect payments or tax arrangements can be devastating – hence the need for good people to regulate a company’s legal obligations. There are some smaller legal practices that have started over the past 10 years that offer flexible (from home and/or part-time) legal work.

Economics lecturer

A slightly more off-beat idea, but one that can reap dividends. Let’s say that you have a degree and extensive financial knowledge national (and maybe international) markets. You’ve worked in the office and have good business sense, but you’re also a keen student of economics both now and in the past. You’re articulate and you like talking to people about your passion, and you foresee a time when you might only be able to work part-time. With a year of study towards a PhD a lecturing role could be an option. Not easy – but it could be a very lucrative sideline in the evenings or on certain days, at colleges and universities.


Author: Jessica Foreman. Jessica is a Durham University graduate specialising in business and lifestyle based writing. She has developed her skills on projects surrounding The British Broadcasting Company, and running a print and online based magazine whilst at university. She is currently looking towards starting her Masters in Mobile and Personal Communications as well as broadening her horizons through travelling. She wrote this article on behalf of BGL Group – consumer insurance.

11 Things Anyone Interested in Becoming a Primary School Teacher Needs to Know

11 Things Anyone Interested in Becoming a Primary School Teacher Needs to Know

It’s undoubtedly a rewarding career choice, but becoming a primary school teacher can be a confusing process. The qualifications, the regulations, the many responsibilities of the job itself… it can be hard to know where to begin and as a new Mum returning to work, starting on a new career path is hard enough as it is.

Some areas of the role won’t start to become clear until the bell sounds on your first morning, such as how quickly you can eat lunch while monitoring the hallways, or which coffee goes down the best in the staff room. But in the meantime, here are 11 points to get you on the way to your new career:

1 How do you become a primary school teacher?

To become a teacher you will need to obtain a Qualified Teacher Status, this can be achieved by completing Initial Teacher Education Training (ITET). These qualifications can be obtained at most Universities in the country, if you already have a degree under your belt, and take around a year to achieve – usually starting in September and finishing in May.

Before you embark on the training process, you must ensure you have the recommended GCSEs, at grades A to C in English, Maths and one science. You’ll also need passes in the professional skills tests, as well as a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

To start with, you could try and obtain work experience in a local school once or twice a week to get a feel for the industry, ring round and see if any establishments in the area need any extra hands in the classroom to help with reading or outdoor sessions.

2 What qualifications do you need?

All of the following qualifications are required: ITET, a DBS certificate, GCSEs at grades A to C in at least English, Maths and one science, passes in the professional skills tests, some prior experience of working in schools or with young children, a degree, and the appropriate medical fitness.

With the ITET under your belt, you’ll need to teach successfully for three full terms before gaining your Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) status, during this time you will work in a school but have a mentor to guide you through the best teaching practices.

3 Is a University degree required?

An undergraduate degree from a UK higher education establishment – or a recognised equivalent – is a necessary requirement before you can be accepted onto a teacher training course.

4 What other training can I undertake?

The Department for Education operates the National College for Teaching and Leadership, which helps teachers to expand their skillsets.

Other teacher development programmes include:

  • School-Centred Initial Teacher Training, a one-year course to train those with a degree, in the subject they’d like to teach.
  • Teach First, a programme for those with at least a 2:1 degree. This programme places you in an underprivileged area where you train on the job. It’s aimed at recent graduates, however 22% of successful applicants have had a previous career.
  • UCAS Teacher Training, a one-year course that usually leads to a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE).
  • Troops to Teachers, this programme is aimed at former service personnel looking to take up a career in teaching.

5 What would my responsibilities be?

You would be responsible for educational and social development of children in your care, as well as their emotional and pastoral needs. You will also:

  • Develop lesson plans and present them, making sure they adhere to Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 of the National Curriculum
  • Mark pupils’ work
  • Manage class behaviour
  • Organise school outings
  • Attend parents’ evenings
  • Stay abreast of changes to the National Curriculum

6 What are my average weekly working hours?

Around 37 hours per week, from around 8.30am to 4pm. You’ll be required to plan lessons and mark work outside of school hours. You’ll work 39 weeks out of 52 in the year, split over three terms. Especially the first 2-5 years you will be working after school hours and holidays to plan and prepare lessons. There are also many evening engagements and weekend engagements that you will be expected to attend such as parent evenings and school fairs. See more information on: Becoming a teacher, is it a viable option for returning to work

7 What is the average starting salary?

With your QTS successfully attained, you can expect a starting salary of approximately £22,000 to £27,500 per year, depending on where you work.

8 What age groups would I teach?

As a primary school teacher you’ll work with three age groups: three to five years (Foundation Stage), five to seven years (Key Stage 1), and seven to 11 years (Key Stage 2).

9 How do I choose which school to teach in?

Local Education Authorities and independent schools advertise through websites such as Why not try compiling a list of local schools and then see what methods each uses to recruit?

10 How do I prepare for the interviews?

The Guardian has a very useful top 10 of teacher’s interview questions.

11 Are there any online resources to help me?

Start with the following:

Author: Patrick Vernon. Patrick is a freelance writer, specialising in business and finance related content. Patrick has gained experience writing for a variety of magazines and websites, researching the latest money saving tips and offering his advice to the public. This post is written by Patrick and sponsored by education equipment supplier Hope Education.

It’s okay to be anxious about returning to nursing after maternity leave

It’s okay to be anxious about returning to nursing after maternity leave

If you’re feeling panicky about returning to nursing after maternity leave then you’re not alone. Feeling guilty and tearful after a bad night’s sleep doesn’t bode well for giving injections and administering medication but there’s no need to worry.

Here are a few pointers to make sure you’re back to work in no time:

Remember employers understand

The core values of the nursing industry are compassion and care. The NHS have a duty of care to you and when compared to some more male dominated industries your boss will hopefully be a lot more understanding about the emotional and practical complications returning to work may cause. Your employer will be so used to welcoming mothers back that they will be ready to deal with all of the concerns and issues you may have. They might even offer you flexible working hours or have a special training programme for new mums. Speak to management before your return and see what they can do.


If you’re thinking your old job may be too stressful or you’re looking for work closer to home there are many different hospitals and roles within nursing. You could consider doing agency work for a while – it’s best to have a look online for vacancies as there is a lot of well-paid temporary work out there until you’re ready to return to full-time work.

Before you return

There are lots of things you can do before your return to work to make the transition smoother. Nursing is ever changing, with budgets and targets to meet the NHS always having to evolve. Whilst you’re on maternity leave it’s a good idea to try keep up with the industry, you could do this by reading the Nursing Times. Making contact with your old colleagues in advance is also helpful, you can get the gossip and be filled in on important news so there isn’t too much to take in at first.

Childcare arrangements

Nursing can be quite physically tiring being on your feet all day and if your child isn’t sleeping very well this can make work quite exhausting. Make sure you plan with your partner who is going to get up in the night and take turns. Concrete childcare arrangements are essential; if you’re used to leaving your baby with a grandparent. for example. this should help you to feel less guilty and relaxed when at work.

Don’t feel guilty

Some mums are actually pleasantly surprised by how good returning to work can be. A lot of women miss having a laugh with the other nurses at work and enjoy being back in their normal environment. Even just getting ready for work, putting your makeup on and going somewhere without your child every day can make you feel like you’ve regained your independence. Also, as nursing is such a caring and rewarding profession it can make you feel extremely good about yourself again too.

Author:Brit Peacock is a journalism graduate who blogs on a variety of topics and takes a particular interest in writing about health-related issues. He has been published across a range of health websites, both in the UK and US, and is currently writing on behalf of UK nursing agency Nursing Personnel.

3 Careers That Fit Into School Hours

3 Careers That Fit Into School Hours

For many people it is hard when their children start school but for many mothers it is a time to think about re-starting work. But, with a little one to drop off at 8.30 and pick up at 3.00, it can be difficult to find a career that fits into school hours. That’s why I have hand-picked three of the top jobs that fit into school hours.

1. Teaching Assistant

Working in a school as a teaching assistant can allow you to have a rewarding workday that starts and begins at the same time as your children’s school day. In fact many parents who start jobs as teaching assistants do so in the same schools as their children. The great thing about being a teaching assistant is that you can have a fun, fulfilling job that does not come with the amount of stress and homework shouldered by a fully-fledged teacher. Then, when your kids have perhaps out-grown your supervision outside of school-hours, you may want to consider training as a teacher!

2. Carer

Working as a carer in your local community can offer you a profession that is just as variable and flexible as it is rewarding and fulfilling. Caring posts come in many different shapes and sizes from working in care homes, living in with patients or daily visits to local residents. Once you join a caring agency you undergo training in moving and handling, health and safety and food hygiene, and then you can start working whichever hours and in whichever areas you wish. Carers earn anywhere from minimum wage to £14.00 an hour depending on their experience.
To find out more about how you can get into a career in caring click here.

3. Librarian

Starting a career as a Librarian means you can work flexibly in your local community, universities, colleges or schools (including the ones your children attend) and have access to all the books you could want. Jobs like these are usually flexible shift-work, in a peaceful setting where you can earn a decent wage, especially if you happen to have a degree. Librarians can earn anything from £18K to £35K a year depending on experience. To learn more about working as a librarian in the education sector this article is a great place to start.

You can start searching for Librarian jobs here.

Author: Patrick Vernon is a free lance author who writes on behalf of other organisations, helping them share information and promote their products and services. This article was written on behalf of a UK jobsite. 

working mums jumping with joy

The two minute route to self-confidence

When I work with women feeling nervous before a major event, such as their first interview in ten years, I give them an instant self-assurance tip that is often met with a look of incredulity. I recommend that they find a quiet place just before the event and make a ‘Power Pose’ – taking a Wonder Woman stance or adopting the ‘starfish’ pose which Mick Jagger is modelling so effectively in the photo above. This sounds like the type of ‘too-good-to-be-true’ advice that could give psychologists a bad name, but in fact it is based on a convincing body of research evidence.

Amy Cuddy, a Harvard social psychologist, explained in a wonderful 2012 TED talk* how “making yourself big” for just two minutes changes the brain in ways that reduce anxiety, build courage and inspire self-expression and leadership. Changing our body language effectively changes the way we think and feel about ourselves. If you’re interested in the science, lab studies found that a two minute power pose increased the levels of the power chemical testosterone by around 20% and lowered the stress hormone cortisol by about 20%. What’s more, this has a knock-on effect on how we behave, how we are seen by others and the likelihood of positive outcomes. In another study Professor Cuddy reported that people who adopted high-power poses before interviews were overwhelmingly more likely to be offered the job by impartial interviewers.
This week I followed my own advice. My nerves kicked in before my first time on national radio, appearing on BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour to discuss returnships with Jenni Murray, Julie Thornton (Head of HR at Thames Tideway Tunnel) and Carmen Nuzzo, who joined Morgan Stanley in a permanent role following their 2014 Return to Work programme. So if you had walked into the ladies’ toilets in a cafe down the road from Broadcasting House at 9.18am on Wednesday, you might have been surprised to see a blonde middle-aged woman in a green jacket striking a full-on hands-on-hips legs-wide Wonder Woman pose … and now I can personally vouch for the benefits!

julianne&katerinaJulianne Miles, from the blog Women Returners: Back to Your Future aka Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, an occupational psychologist and an executive coach who support professional women to return to work after a long career break.

Changing Career - Is the Construction Industry for Me?

Changing Career – Is the Construction Industry for Me?

It’s no secret that the construction industry is heavily male centric. In fact, there are only around 275,000 women in the entire industry and furthermore, 50,000 of those women work in an office environment.

As there are 2.5 million workers in the British construction industry, this means that women make up for only 12.2 per cent of that figure. Although it has risen from 10.7 per cent in 2010, the UK is still far behind Sweden’s 25 per cent and Germany’s 15 per cent.

But are women interested in joining the industry?

Although there not might be a great rush of female applicants for jobs in construction, according to a 2005 study by the Equal Opportunities Commission, 80 per cent of school girls stated that they would like to train in a non-traditional job. A further 12 per cent of that figure said that they would be interested in learning within the construction industry.

But why are so few women interested in a career within an industry that has proven so lucrative for men?

Katie Metclaf, a senior associate at Gardiner & Theobald, a construction company based in Leeds, said in The Guardian that:

“I don’t know why so few women are attracted to a career in construction but I think it’s partly due to a lack of awareness about the interesting and varied career opportunities, and partly due to the perception of the industry being male dominated and muddy. That couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Aside from that, there is also another crises facing the construction industry and it is that of an ageing workforce alongside an already present skills shortage, something highlighted in a report by the Chartered Institute of Building last year.

The University of Reading has also looked into the issue in a separate report, stating that:

“Career sexism is an important issue for government, industry, employers and individuals. Occupational segregation is damaging the UK’s competitiveness by contributing to the gender pay gap and preventing it from benefiting from the talents of a balanced workforce. The under-utilisation of human resources dependent on gender patterns is of economic and social concern especially for an economy with an ageing workforce.”


For an industry that needs to hire more than 200,000 workers by 2020, is construction appealing enough to young women?

Indeed, builder2the industry is taking note, despite there still being a 22.8 per cent pay gap between the sexes. Nicky Morgan, speaking at the ‘Chicks with Bricks’ reception at the House of Commons said in January that:

“the gap is too high and I’m determined to see it come down further and faster – because it’s not just women who are missing out.”

According to The Guardian, employers are also taking note, with companies such as Bovis Lend Lease searching to recruit more women within the workplace via mentoring schemes and other programmes.

Speaking to the Jewson Tool Shed, Cara Palmer of Wates Construction Group, upon being asked what the greatest challenges within the industry were, she said that over the past couple of years, the weak economy was the biggest challenge, where:

“young people struggled to get employment and further training was halted for those within employment.” She continued, saying that “[the] sector is definitely picking up, both in terms of winning more work as well as the requirement to employ more people to resource the work.”

Things are picking up for women

The Construction builder3Youth Trust (CYT) has already said that it is “time to think differently” and organisations such as Women and Manual Trades (WAMT) and Women in Building Services Engineering (WiBSE) are pushing for change.

Educationally, institutions such as The Leeds College of Building is also making a stand, training more than 900 women a year, even going on to employ female tutors for all subjects in order to attract more young women into the industry.

In essence, the construction industry hasn’t always been the best place to work for women, but there is change afoot, and it is happening sooner rather than later.

For more information, the Women in Construction, Arts and Technology LTD has a great resource for women searching for courses within construction, arts & crafts and technology.

Author: Jane Wilson is the content executive at the Jewson Tool Shed,who works to help inspire young people into picking up a trade within the construction industry.