Change can make us reflect on our working life
You may have planned your separation or you may have been the unwilling partner. The changes that have occurred in your life may now make you examine your working life, education and future. You may now have the freedom to realise a dream, change your job or go back to education. Or you may have to get a job to make ends meet after many years caring for children or your spouse. Retirement may also be an option.
Whichever situation you may now find yourself in, we hope we can provide
some pointers and food for thought in this section from looking for
a job, starting up a new business, searching out grants for this or
for studying. What did you always dream of doing? What are you good
at? get out your last CV or draw up a new one. There's a lot of free
help out there plus financial support.
"Life is like a 10 speed bicycle: most of the gears we never use."
Charles M. Schultz
Work and training
What type of work can you do? What hours do you have available? Would you prefer to work for someone else or could you work for yourself? The possibilities are numerous and exciting. Do you need to earn money quickly or do you have time to retrain?
Returning to work
If you are a woman who had a career prior to having children, could you go back to it either full or part time? Did you enjoy this? Perhaps you could go freelance. Contact companies direct or through an agency specialising in your chosen field. This may give you the opportunity to work from home or go to a work place if you prefer. Some shops offer flexible working hours that may suit you and many businesses will be happy to take on people part time or on a job share basis.
If you are the main family bread-winner, you may have to consider your options carefully but it is still a good time to take stock of the past and plan ahead.
Check with recruitment agencies.
If you feel that you would like a fresh start and would like to train for something new, then the opportunities will be more varied. It may of course take longer to start actually earning any money if this route is chosen. Opportunities may include NVQ training, but this may well involve work experience as well as taking time out to do course work. Training yourself will be a good investment for your future but you will need to be patient. It will take time. Visit your local College of Technology to find out which courses are available - first and foremost choose something that interests you.
A good place to start your research is Gingerbread.
They really do look out for you and produce excellent publications which deal with most of your questions. If you are considering going back to work, check out these leaflets from Gingerbread:
The New Deal for Lone Parents - your questions answered
Introduction to the new Tax Credits
Back to Work checklist
Financial support if you return to work
Finding and paying for childcare
Help with your rent if you start work
Help with your council tax if you start work
They also have a leaflet about renting out your spare room to raise
The list of factsheets can be found at Gingerbread or ring their Advice Line on 0800 018 4318,
Mon-Fri 10am - 12pm and 1pm - 3pm
Learn Direct - What is this?
At learndirect you can find: hundreds of specially created online courses in computers, office skills and self development, designed so that you can learn at a time, place and pace to suit your needs. information on their network of over 2000 learndirect centres to help you with your local learning needs impartial information and advice on over 600,000 courses from providers throughout the UK courses and services designed to help you, your business or your employees. Click here
Try their advice service
This is a national information, advice and guidance service that supports adults in making appropriate decisions on the full range of learning and work opportunities.
The service is: Free, confidential and impartial. Call 0800 100 900
For a full list of course subject visit the Course Search page.
Looking for a course? We'll help you find some in your area.
Improve your word and number skills with these games and activities.
Return to Learning?
So you want to join the growing community of adult learners, but where do you start? This is your step-by-step guide to returning to learning, here to give you all the answers you're looking for and all the advice and encouragement you need to start on a learning journey that could change your life.
Discover what you can learn on BBC 2's unique record and play service.
Government site for adults returning to learning
We provide links where available.
It's easier than ever to return to learning with these ideas about what, where and how to study, plus advice about the financial help available:
can I learn?
Choosing the right level, vocational and academic qualifications and more...
can I learn?
Learning at college, at home, online, through work and more...
Finding course information, prospectuses and open days, applications and interviews. Look for a college or search through 942,272 courses throughout the UK in subjects from mountaineering to cooking.
Financial planning, grants, loans, bursaries, discounts, free courses and more...
Learning through work
Investors in People, training advice for employers and more...
resources and advice
National and local learning advice, website resources and educational publications
The Open University
The Open University admitted its first students in 1971. It is the UK's largest university, with over 200,000 students and customers. The OU's undergraduate level courses do not require any entry qualifications. Over a third of people starting these courses have qualifications below conventional university entry requirements. Despite this, around 70% of OU students successfully complete their courses each year. Two thirds of students are aged between 25 and 44. Nearly all OU students are part-time and about 70% of undergraduate students remain in full-time employment throughout their studies. More than 150,000 OU students are on-line.
Women's resource centre
The WRC is a coordinating and support organisation for voluntary and community projects that work for and with women. WRC is a national organisation with a London focus, providing information, training, development support, networking opportunities and policy consultation within the non-profit sector.
Fiona Price is a well known figure from the world of finance where she has worked for nearly 20 years. Fiona has been the recipient of numerous awards, including Cosmopolitan magazine's Women of Tomorrow Award. Fiona is also a mentor, writer, speaker and broadcaster. Her website aims to help others and she says,
"Business has, without a doubt, been the main vehicle for my own personal growth. Business school pales into insignificance by comparison because of its focus on the tangibles. Success depends, at least as much, if not more, on intangibles such as how you handle yourself and the people around you, the state of your health, wealth, relationships and your philosophy on life. I believe that 'success is whatever makes you happy'. Helping people find this (and indeed finding it myself), is the main focus of my life."
Visit her site at www.fiona-price.co.uk