How Virtual Internships Helped Me Return to Work with Confidence

Written by Women Returners Program Alum, Natalie Seivwright

Last month, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Virtual Internships Women Returners Programme Panel Session along with Helen Flynn and Ruth Ndjoba-Sieland. It was fantastic to share my experience with returning to work and I had such encouraging feedback from the women on the programme!

When I became a single mum of three kids, returning to work was an incredibly daunting and scary prospect. I had been out of work for two years and had no idea where to even begin, especially given how expensive childcare is!

Natalie Seivwright - Women Returners Program Alum

Natalie Seivwright – Women Returners Program Alum

Jessica Heagren founder of That Works For Me recently released a Careers After Babies report and it is incredibly insightful. I highly recommend reading it here. It goes into great detail about the many barriers that women face when returning to work after becoming mothers. The website also has lots of helpful resources for finding flexible work along with support for implementing the recommendations in the report.

Finding the Confidence to Return to Work After a Career Break

Last year, I came across the Virtual Internships Women Returners Programme which is fully funded by Skills Development Scotland, with the aim to give women the tools and resources to return to work with confidence.

This programme has honestly been completely life-changing for me.

It gave me great insight into the expanding world of remote/hybrid/flexible working, something that I hadn’t even considered could be an option for me Working for Leaf on a live work experience project gave me so much confidence, helping me realise how many of my skills were transferable and I found a natural drawing to team leadership. This programme really helped me see myself in a whole new light with the encouragement of #TeamVI and the lovely participants.

From completing the programme, I was able to successfully secure a fully remote working job with hours that were flexible to my family’s needs.

The freedom that this has brought to my life is incredible and I still pinch myself to this day that I am able to work from home and have “the best of both worlds.”

Balancing work and home life certainly has its challenges and I feel I’m still learning every day how to juggle it all, but I am so grateful to have worked with such fantastic companies with remote and flexible working policies.

Had a  Career Break of Six Months or More? Join the Women Returners Programme!

The next cohort for the VI Women Returners Programme is running online from 20th February 2023, you can find out more info below. If you are a woman aged 25+ living in Scotland, been out of work for six or more months, and have the right to work in the UK then you may be eligible.

I encourage you all to share this with anyone who could benefit from this opportunity!

Find Out More

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