You took time off to raise your children and want to get back into the workforce.
So, what’s next? How do you do that in these challenging times when an Applicant Tracking Software program is reading your online resume and the responses you get back from companies are, ‘Thank you but no thank you.’ The ultimate place to start with is your why, what, and how.
Why do I want to go back to work? What do I have that is valuable to prospective employers? What is my story or brand and how will that make employers want to hire me?
Simon Sinek, the author, and inspirational speaker invented the phrase, ‘start with why’. So, why did I want to go back to work? There are several answers as to why I wanted to go back to work.
My twins are now in high school and do not need me to be a full-time mummy, so it was a great time for me to restart my professional life. Whilst I was away from the workforce, I continued to develop other skills that I felt would hold me in good stead once I was to get back into work. These being:
- The ability to manage multiple tasks,
- People skills: knowing how to deal with personalities of all kinds, particularly from my days as an elementary school room mum and an active member of the PTA.
- Leadership skills: used to organize multiple school events and parties for both my twins’ classes and work to my own set deadlines.
- Crisis management: have you ever had to deal with a toddler or two toddlers going through a meltdown? That’s a serious form of crisis management!
- Negotiation tactics: raising children teaches you how to negotiate with your children and others so that you get what you want and yet make that other party feel like they got what they wanted, too. A win-win situation.
These are just some of my USPs. What is a USP, you may ask? USP stands for Unique Selling Points. My USPs are what I hope will make me stand out from others and simply knowing that it is a USP, is a USP in and of itself!
So, in June of 2022, there was a job fair in Chelmsford that was organized by MassHire. Whilst I was at the job fair, I went to all the manufacturing company tables and introduced myself. I met Megan Kromer at the ADI table, said “hello”, and handed her my resume. I started chatting about myself and what I had been doing in my previous engineering job roles before having my twin sons. I said that just because my career had been put on pause for my family did not mean that my skills, drive, and talent were on hold – they were just being applied elsewhere.
Anyway, owning my brand of myself and what I did to continue to build relevant skills whilst I was a full-time mummy must have resonated with Megan and the mummy/professional in her. She recommended two job descriptions with ADI that I should apply for, and said she felt a tingle whenever she talked to someone experienced in Process Engineering (I was a Process Engineer in one of my previous engineering jobs). To my delight, the next day I got an email from Megan inviting me in for an interview. I went in for the interview and was told about a brand-new role that they were just developing for a Training Coordinator. It was a pivot for me professionally from being a Senior Engineer to a Training Coordinator, but it was a perfect fit as I got to use all my honed skills.
Just two months into my new job, I was tasked by Stephen Sartwell, the new GM of Analog Devices Federal (AD FED), with creating an internal University with a launch date in three months. On the 1st of November 2022, the first session of AD FED University was launched and we’ve had 15 groups of graduates go through the program so far. I also recently created a mini-university for new Interns.
A picture of me giving a talk about the University on 3/28/2023 to the Secretary of Economic Development, Yvonne Hao, other state officials, and ADI VIPs.
I’d like to make clear that the University is a team effort, and the success of the university is due to the whole team. I am extremely proud and honored that the University and I were featured in an article on The Circuit, Analog Devices company intranet. Courtney Harris, a senior supervisor commented on the article, “one of the best training initiatives I’ve seen and I’m proud to watch it come to life and improve with every class. The future of our workforce is in great hands. Great work Sajda and ADF professors!”
If you put your heart and soul into everything you do, pay attention to detail, and invest a little money to gain a lot, then your passion and enthusiasm for your job will shine through. And now, here I am, sharing my story of getting back into work as a blog for EZ Blogs!
To conclude, the moral of my story is to strive for what you want, and eventually, it will happen when the time, place, and employer all lineup. I am in my dream job with Analog Devices and loving it!