We love to keep in touch with our past candidates. Today, we speak to Ann Drew.
Ann has held senior level positions in the corporate world of financial services and the not-for-profit sectors. With roles spanning sponsorship, marketing, media communications and change management, she has in her career had key responsibilities in refocusing companies’ activities during critical periods, so we were especially excited to speak to her at this time.
These were complex, demanding and ultimately satisfying roles, and in the future, we hope she’ll allow us to ask her more about the work she did for our blog! Early last year, Ann felt the time was right to recalibrate and redress her work/life balance.
We asked her how she planned her return to work.
What concrete steps did you take to plan your return to work?
I thrive within a structure, as it keeps me focused and motivated. So, I allocated two days per week just to research opportunities, connect with contacts, and network face-to-face wherever possible.
Then, I set out personal objectives to reshape my CV and social media profiles, which needed an update.
Also, I enrolled on a 12-week programme called “Working Out Loud”, which I hoped would lead to work opportunities. Lastly, I explored other possibilities through Women Returners’ networks.
Tell us more about Working Out Loud. How did it help you?
The course was led by a close business contact. Working Out Loud enabled me to build relationships, with the aim of achieving a goal, developing a skill, or exploring a new topic. The idea behind the course is that, instead of networking to get something out of it for yourself, you should invest in your current relationships by contributing to them over time, and through your work and experience.
Six of us were on the course, which meant I acquired five new connections! We ended up helping each other with our combined knowledge and experience.
You mention that the course encouraged you to utilise your network. Who did you initially talk to about returning to work?
I sought the advice of everyone who I thought could be useful, which included family, friends, and my connections and networks. And my go-to recruitment expert, Aldrich & Co!
Were you convinced what job you wanted?
No, I wasn’t convinced! But I did feel strongly about being open to new challenges and opportunities and different ways of working.
It’s great to hear that you took such an open and flexible approach to your career. We find that staying curious and receptive to opportunities we might not have considered can result in the most interesting work! So, where did you end up?
While I was actively looking at all opportunities, I arranged a coffee catch-up with Emily. We discussed the Women Returners programme I was pursuing, and this sparked off an idea she had herself. It was a great moment to get in touch because, fortuitously, it led to a project management role at Aldrich & Co itself! I enjoyed the creative nature of the job, and it was an excellent entry-route back into the world of work.
We’ve all benefitted from your keen eye and expertise at Aldrich & Co! What do you think your career break ultimately helped you to do?
I think it helped me to redefine what I wanted from work. My various pursuits led me to see how adaptable and independent I was; someone capable of and interested in pursuing various and complementary career opportunities.
What advice would you give women in your position, who want to return to work?
Don’t stop trying. Keep talking to people, and maintain your networks. Speaking to people and letting them know I was back in the market was crucial for me. This was really key for me. Staying in touch was what led to a brilliant and rewarding role.
Sage advice. So, what’s next for you Ann?
I’m back connecting and networking to find my next adventure! I think, generally, as your career progresses and evolves, you can draw from multiple experiences. They have made me a more rounded, adaptable person, and new thinking really is critical in times like these. So, I generally look forward to helping rejuvenate businesses in this new norm.
We are always delighted to hear from our previous candidates and how they are getting on. Are you a past candidate that we have placed? Keep in touch with the subject header “Aldrich & Co Alumnus” and tell us about you – we’d love to feature your success on our page!