A Law Society initiative has supported almost 100 solicitors to return to work
The Returners Programme assists solicitors who after an extended period of leave now plan to return to employment.
Participants include men and women returning after raising a family or having taken a career break for various reasons.
The programme provides supports and tools for a successful return, including managing time demands, identifying personal priorities, matching these to the job market, and finding job opportunities.
Since 2016 the Law Society has run four Returners Programmes. A total of 93 solicitors from across the country have completed the sessions with many successfully re-entering the workforce.
Director General Ken Murphy said that for many the programme provides the confidence and motivation needed to return from a career break.
“Starting a new job anywhere can be difficult and for many solicitors returning to the workplace after a career break can be intimidating.”
“People take career breaks for many different reasons and those looking to return to work can often feel isolated. With this programme returning solicitors know they are not alone and that support and advice is available from both our programme leaders and other participants.”
“In addition to practical tools, our programme provides a support network of coaches as well as peers. Participants have an opportunity to share their personal experiences, fears and triumphs in a safe, confidential manner and supportive environment,” he said.
Sara Bloomer was a participant of the Returners Programme and has recently secured work.
“It was a daunting task to get back in to work after seven years at home with my kids but having the Law Society support services was an enormous help both from a practical point of view and to boost my self-confidence,” said Sara.
“The weekly workshops were extremely useful and it was wonderful to meet other people in the same situation as me.”
The Returners Programme emphasises that all past work experience remains relevant, even if some time has passed since the experience was gained. Re-connecting with it in a positive way can increase confidence and motivation and enable those looking to return to work to set achievable career goals.
The programme sets out practical tools, including:
- goal setting,
- CV workshops,
- job searching and applications, and
- interview preparation.
In addition to the group sessions, the Law Society offers one-on-one career coaching to each participant.
Since attending weekly sessions may be difficult the for those in rural locations, sessions have been streamed online.
For further information on Returners Programmes taking place in 2019, email firstname.lastname@example.org.