Returning to STEM
Returning to STEM

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Returning to STEM

6 Summary

Congratulations on reaching the end of Returning to STEM! This week you have spent time thinking about your vision, finding your inner mentor and setting some realistic goals to help you in getting back to your STEM career. During this course, you’ve heard stories of other people who have been on a similar journey, and hopefully their experiences will act as an inspiration to spur you on. So before you go, take a look at this final video where you will hear some words of advice from those who have been on this journey before you. Most importantly, this week you have produced your action plan; this will act as a map and compass to help you on your way.

Don’t forget that in order to finish the course and get your badge you will need to have completed this week’s quiz, and visited the final pages of the course.

Good luck with your return to STEM!

Download this video clip.Video player: return_to_stem_week8vid4a-512x256.mp4
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Start to talk to your network. Via LinkedIn is always a good start to see who friends know on LinkedIn. And then just start to– that's what I did. I just rang them. I said, can we just have a lunch? And just ask for advice like what would you do if you were in my situation? And all those conversations always lead to something and give you new ideas. It doesn't give you a job necessarily, but it gives you some ideas where to go, where to start looking.
Advice to somebody returning after a career break would be to take things very easily and don't be afraid to say no. It can be very tempting to jump at the first opportunity that presents itself, but you might not be able to maintain your work–life balance with that first opportunity. Take it easy. Take it slowly. Do what I did, which was build up from two and a half days a week, to three days a week, to four days a week. And I've only now gone to full-time, when my children are teenagers. And don't be scared to tell people that you have a family, that they are important to you, and that they will make demands on your time. And I think you'll find that most other people that you work with are in a similar position and will be very supportive of you.
For people who are looking at returning back to work within a STEM career, I would say don't be discouraged about a career break, or your feelings about your lack of experience potentially, or your recent current knowledge. Because for me, what I can bring to a company is very different. It's not necessarily a traditional background, but all of the skills that you develop dealing with your children, with people at school, with people in your community – they're all very beneficial roles. And any voluntary work that you've done, it might not seem relevant, but it's very important. It shows that you've an interest, and you've wanted to give back to the community. In terms of professionally, use the people you know. Speak to your networks, your friends, your former colleagues. Mine were great at bolstering my confidence, because I didn't feel with having nine years away from work that I would be able to fit back in easily. And I think within six months, I feel that I'm at no disadvantage to anybody that has been working all that time, when that I've been at home with the children.
End transcript
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Further guidance

The National Careers Service  [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]  can help you decide your next steps with your new skills.

UCAS offers information on university courses.

For more information about setting up in business, take a look at the Prowess website.

Further useful advice is available on the UK government site.

Sample Action Plan


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