career breaks


Reasons for Career Breaks


Over the last seven years Returnships have increased in the UK. What originally started as a way to access more female talent, and thus increase gender diversity, is now finally recognised as a unique way to capture talent that for far too long has been over-looked by the general recruitment market. People who have taken a career break and left the workplace for different reasons.


Here at Inclusivity we’re proud that our Returnship Programmes are open to all, and as a result we’ve placed returners with a vast array of backgrounds. Yes many are returning to work after taking time out of their careers for children – but there are also many others returning for different reasons.


People move countries to support partners careers, study further in their chosen field of work, or choose to study something different, look after elderly or sick parents, take pauses in their career to focus on improving health, lose a family member and need to deal with the loss, make a career change for a while and then are keen to return to their previous profession….. there are so many reasons and we lose so much talent by having a narrow view of what a good CV should look like.


Varied career paths do not take away from these candidates’ abilities, competencies or experience and it’s important that these people are not discriminated against, because their career didn’t follow the same linear path as others.


Client Feedback on the Returnship and a Returnee post her career break


It’s always gratifying to see feedback from our clients when it comes to our returners. Especially when a hiring manager has gone out of their way to review our candidates that they may not have had the opportunity to peruse via traditional sourcing managers. Dual Group has participated in the Insurance Returners programme for 2 years and we were delighted to place Irene Tan, a qualified chartered accountant, into their finance team.  Frederick Davidson, Head of Finance at DUAL Group had this to say about the experience:



“The Inclusivity’s returners programme brought us candidates whose CVs we almost certainly wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Overall, this has been a great experience and mutually beneficial.  Our new team member returned to work having undertaken post-graduate studies for several years.  She has brought a strong work ethic, focus and genuine interest in our company, making her an excellent addition to our team.  The returners programme is a great way to bring talent back into the workplace and I would definitely recommend it to every organisation.”


Chaucer Group is another organisation participating in their 2nd Insurance Returners programme and have recently hired Jason Lilley on the programme. Jason is returning to his career in underwriting after a 10 year career hiatus from the industry. He paused his insurance career to join the police force, giving 10 years of service to his new field. After his children had gotten older, and wondering what was next, Jason was thrilled when he saw the insurance industry might be open to welcoming people back. “What stood Jason out to us was the sheer level of enthusiasm to return to an industry he had enjoyed working in. Anyone bringing that level of positivity and energy to a role has got to be an asset to a team”, said our founder Stephanie Dillon. Fortunately a hiring manager at Chaucer agreed.


Diversity and Inclusion should also include those having taken a career break


Diversity & Inclusion is on business agendas far more than it ever was before, and we see and hear about it far more, but there is still a long way to go before workplaces are fully inclusive. There needs to be an education piece around it which reaches wider than just the workplace but also society and how we redefine and label various stages of our lives. As Claire Sofield says:



“Workplaces need to concentrate on equity over equality to ensure every individual has the right resources and opportunities to achieve and develop themselves. It’s not about making separate policies or incentives; it’s about offering the same to everyone to create an equal and diverse team of people.”


Read more on this article and Claires thoughts around how we and the workplace needs to adjust to the future of work.


Claire Sofield On How We Need To Adjust To The Future Of Work (





This leads into another component of inclusion, one which we are passionate about and are aware is struggle for many people trying to re enter the workplace or change roles.


Age. Supposedly as we grow older we grow wiser, but then why is this a problem in trying to enter or re enter the workplace later on in life?


We couldn’t have said it better!


“In a world of ageing populations, extending working lives is widely viewed as an economic necessity. With up to four generations working alongside each other, organisations must ensure that their workplaces are inclusive, avoiding individual, interpersonal, and organisational harm.

Ageism, is a largely neglected component of the diversity, equity, and inclusion decision-making dynamic that impacts both younger and older workers if not taken into consideration alongside other dimensions of diversity.”


Age inclusion should be championed both internally and externally. We do see advertising starting to be more inclusive of older people and so we hope to see this filter into the workplace too.


Read more on this article here: CV ageism: Can you be the ‘wrong’ age for a job? – BBC Worklife


Naz Jones


Reigniting your Career


We chatted to Naz Jones, the most refreshing and inspiring woman, about her experience with leaving her career to fulfill a role below her skill level, in order to gain some flexibility with her young family. She shares her journey back to reigniting her career on a returner programme at Ramboll.


Name: Naz Jones

Career change: From a full time engineering role to a part time role in a different career path / role

Company placed into: Ramboll UK

New role: Project Manager




I was an X-Ray engineer specialising in mammography machines. Prior to that had done commercial bids & proposal management and project management work. I decided I needed to change my role due to the extensive travel and working hours when I had my son. As covid hadn’t happened yet, part time roles/ flexible working wasn’t as extensive as now, so I decided to take a role outside of my planned career path. I therefore took a role as a Health and Safety and Facilities Coordinator.




Although the role wasn’t something I had specialised in or something I was looking to move forward with as my career, I embraced it, I did some training and basically took every opportunity that presented itself to me.




Having left full-time work to start a family, I had concerns over the impact of conscious or unconscious bias when applying to work full-time again. Having done extensive research on flexible roles available in the market, I came across the returners programme advertised on Inclusivity.





There are many twists and turns in life and similar to me, the career plan we set for ourselves may change at any time and therefore the information presented on your CV may need the additional narrative behind it. The fantastic team in Inclusivity listened to my story and supported me on finding the right role for me.


This programme and Ramboll’s positive approach to flexible working gave me confidence and a chance I didn’t think I would have had otherwise. As a result, I have been able to nurture my skillset once again and feel fulfilled in my new role, without having to sacrifice the other important aspects of my life.




Embrace each step, job, or training as an opportunity, as in each one, you learn a new key skill set, that helps transition you into your next role.  Life comes with a lot of surprises – there are periods that are easy and other parts that are tough which you have to work hard to come through. Focus on what you can do and take it one step at a time.



“Even if the jobs don’t look like a good fit for you, just to give Inclusivity a call, don’t assume you wont fit the job.”



View all our opportunities here, all candidates we place will receive our unique 1:1 coaching and on-going support to ensure your transition back to work with confidence.

Anna Karin


We spoke with Anna-Karin Aksberg about her experience with taking a career break and returning to work on a returner programme.


Name: Anna-Karin Aksberg

Career break: 10 years

Company placed into: AXA XL

New role: IT Project Manager




I was working as a project manager within the financial services sector, mainly with Retail Banks. I started off my career in Stockholm and ended up in London as my client was based here.



I was looking after my daughter as well as retrained in nutritional therapy. I was running my own business in nutritional therapy seeing clients and running workshops.




I applied for a position that I found on LinkedIn a couple of years ago. Since then, we have stayed in touch and Inclusivity has put me forward for a couple of other positions until this one came up. I have never experienced such a hands on and supportive recruiter.


“I have never had such a hands on and supportive recruiter.”




Excellent! I always felt that the team at Inclusivity was there to support me. The coach calls have been very helpful as well.




I was very fed up with the retail banking industry when I left 10 years ago. After having a career break it actually gave me the opportunity to get into the insurance sector instead. It has been an amazing journey and I love going to work. Of course, I feel out of depth sometimes and I’m a bit out of touch when it comes to Teams and Excel and juggling work and home life. But those are only minor issues. I feel empowered having a decent income, a good job and using my brain in a fast-paced environment.



“Go for it and apply for that job! Its incredible to believe that after 10 years out of the industry it only took me a couple of months to get back into it.”



The Insurance Industry is an industry Inclusivity has worked with for some time and we have excellent connections with the UK’s top employers. If you are on a career break seeking to return to this industry we urge you to submit your C.V to us here. Or view all opportunities here, all candidates we place will receive our unique 1:1 coaching and on-going support to ensure your transition back to work with confidence.

return to work inspiration

Career breaks and deciding to return to work


Returning to work can be overwhelming, especially if you have been off for a long time.

Everyone’s journey is different and it’s becoming more common for people to take breaks in their careers and return to work after a few months or even years away from the workplace. With a bit of planning and preparation you can return back to work.

Why do people take career breaks?


There are many reasons why people take career breaks. Parents take time to care for babies and children, childcare costs are high so it doesn’t make sense to put children in full time care.

Another reason for career breaks is the need to care for an elderly or ill family member such as parents. Some people in the UK are caring both for children and older family members which becomes a huge responsibility.

Many people have started taking career breaks to have a time out from work and travel or work on themselves and their mental health.

Sadly and often unwanted, career breaks can brought upon by redundancy or unemployment, which can cause a loss in confidence and well being.


Return to work with Inclusivity after a career break


This is why, what we do and focus on,  is so important as we, Inclusivity, help those on career breaks, return to work through returner programmes.

Returning to work requires various steps to follow and we can help ensure that you cover these steps. Consider what you want to share regarding your career break, but never feel like you have lost value in the workplace, so many return to work and pick it up so quickly again.


For more information or advice contact us here – We would love to help you return to work again!