Support and Services
Here we have a help, advice, businesses and services aimed at supporting working parents. Please do get in touch if you need more advice or information.
Read more on
5 factors you need to consider when looking for a career change
A career change is an exciting move. And, it needn’t matter whether you are in your 20s or in your 50s: you can always make the move to bigger and better things! However, before you make that big change, consider these five factors of changing career first:
1. Are you changing careers for the right reason?
If your current career is affecting your health negatively, not providing any stimulation, is a dead end in terms of progression or you dread going into the office, then these are valid reasons for moving jobs. However, simply changing careers for the money and moving a career or industry that perhaps isn’t your passion isn’t a good enough reason. Money is important, but it shouldn’t be the sole factor for moving careers. Find something you want to get out of bed for.
2. Are any qualifications required?
Before you hand in your notice it’s a good idea to check if any qualifications are required for your new desired career path. Let’s say you intend to apply for caterer jobs: do you need training in kitchen work or food preparation before you can start? Is this something you will need to pay for out of your own pocket or is training offered on the job? It would be nice to obtain a new position on enthusiasm alone, but some industries require the right qualifications to get started.
3. Will you need to move to a new location?
Perhaps the positions you want are only available in London or even abroad. Are you prepared to make the move for your dream career? If you are comfortable where you are currently or can’t move for whatever reason, it might impact on any opportunities available. However, it may also prevent you from making any rash decisions, so take stock of what’s important to you and whether or not you’re prepared to move away to to make your new career work.
4. Are you ready to start from scratch?
Embarking on a new career means you might loose all reputability and contacts you had in your previous role. In fact, you’ll have to start again when it comes to making a name for yourself, as well making the effort to network with key people within the industry. Some careers can overlap when it comes to contacts and your experience, but be prepared to work your way up from the bottom again.
5. Do you understand what will be expected of you?
In your current position, perhaps you have got used to driving into work in half an hour, sitting at your desk and not moving much all day. In a new career you could be in meetings all day, visiting clients in their offices, picking up the phone all the time, driving around the country – are you prepared for the big changes that come with a career move and can you keep up? Humans are creatures of habit and sometimes it can be hard to break the habits we’re used to.
Before you change career consider these factors and then make an informed decision. Discuss your options with friends and family, ensure you are making the move for the right decision and then get out there with your CVs to embark on an exciting new path!
Redundancy is no longer the devastating news from previous years; in fact, it can now be a beneficial experience. Here are six ways to turn it into a positive experience.
The most immediate positive, and potentially a very lucrative one, especially if you’re leaving with an enhanced redundancy package after several years’ service. You’ll need to have worked for at least two years (and not opted for early retirement), but for each year you’ve worked you should get 1.5 weeks’ pay if over the age of 41, a week’s pay if over 22, and half a week if under.
What you do with the money is up to you – it might simply be used to pay bills or the mortgage, but if you’ve found another job it could be put towards a new car or holiday, or something else equally pleasant.
Decision made for you
Some workers can request redundancy but others have it pushed on them – subject to consultation. For those who have been thinking about leaving, and maybe half-heartedly applying to jobs here and there, an actual forced removal can clarify and crystallise your mindset. Your thoughts may go from “I might do this” to “I have to do this” – a metaphorical kick up the backside that can be of benefit.
Chance to reassess
Redundancy also gives you the chance to sit back and take a look at your life and career. Are you in the right industry? Is it time for a break? Why was your role chosen for redundancy, and not others? Would you go back if offered the choice?
You’ll have a period of time to take stock, so use it wisely; carry out extensive research, and speak to experts. Perhaps a fresh outlook, considering your skills and moving in a new direction in life, is what is needed. Your money could be used to train in a completely new field, or to go travelling, or to help you volunteer. Spend time with family members, children and gauge their advice. Also, if you’ve ever had any intentions of starting your own business you’ve now got money, time, and a wealth of experience to help set it up.
Getting out of a dying company
Vibrant, growing businesses don’t make roles redundant. In fact, it’s often one of the final steps taken in a bid to keep the company viable. Therefore, your removal can be a blessing in disguise, especially if you go early; if you leave while others are kept on, you won’t have as many ex-colleagues to compete against for new roles.
Normally, redundancy isn’t a surprise. Whispers and rumours will have circulated, share prices will have suffered, and senior managers will have been coy. An example of the atmosphere can be viewed in this piece on the demise of the Independent, and the gagging agreements that are in place. Does it sound positive?
Part time negotiationThis won’t be an advantage for everyone, but there might be more convenient options available to fit in your lifestyle when a company restructures. Not everyone’s role will necessarily be made redundant; some might go part time, while others might work on a freelance basis. You might be able to take on a different role in the company, or work from home. If any of these ideas have crossed your mind, the consultation period is the time to raise them.
Doesn’t look bad on your CV
Previous eras of ‘one-company workers’, who go in at 16 and leave in their 60s, are now very rare. Where redundancy used to be an earth-shattering experience and one frowned upon by potential employers, it isn’t really even a factor any more when bosses look through the files. The key is to be open and honest about what happened, but leaving the bitterness behind. Turn it into a positive and a chance to move on.
It was promised that from autumn 2015 Tax-Free Childcare will be available to nearly 2 million households to help with the cost of childcare, enabling more parents to go out to work, if they want to, to provide greater security for their families. However with the budget in July 2015 this had been delayed to 2017.
You’ll be able to apply for all your children at the same time, when your youngest child becomes eligible. All eligible parents will be able to join the scheme by the end of 2017.
The scheme will be available for children up to the age of 12. For every 80p you or someone else pays in, the government will top up an extra 20p. To qualify, parents will have to be in work, earning just over an average of £50 a week and not more than £150,000 per year. The scheme will also be available for parents who are self-employed.
The soaring cost of childcare is never far from the headlines and more and more we’re hearing how difficult it can be to find cost effective ways of handling your childcare needs.
In a recent study, Family Investments found that, on average, mums working full-time spend four months’ worth of their salary on childcare costs. Care-4, the UK's leading electronic childcare voucher solution offer a fully managed electronic childcare voucher scheme providing savings and added value benefits to parents, as well as offering a high quality service to employers, carers and parents.
The care-4 scheme allows you to take advantage of the childcare voucher legislation, which enables you to save both tax and National Insurance up to £55 per week (£243 per month) of the costs that you would normally pay for Registered or Approved childcare.
You simply agree to exchange a portion of your salary in return for this benefit and you can save up to £1,224 per year, depending on the rate at which you pay tax and National Insurance. An illustration of potential savings are detailed below for new joiners from 6th April 2011.
Do you offer support or services to mums looking for or starting flexible work? Please let us know if we should include your business. email email@example.com
Job of the Week
Aquatots Swimming Ltd
Aquatots Swimming is looking for enthusiastic, self-motivated Swim Teachers considering a rewarding and satisfying career teaching young babies and toddlers to swim through a structured...
Find out More