How do I get back to work after a four-year break?

I am 44 years old and took a voluntary redundancy four years ago from the Civil Service where I worked in a variety of departments and as a manager. I have since been running a very small promotional merchandise business, distributing promo gifts to clients. I have to cold call to get clients and do so by attending seminars and or talking to business owners when I go out. I have also had to attend exhibitions to develop relationships with suppliers. I have done all the book keeping and data management and every aspect of running the business on my own. Before my career with the Civil Service, I also worked as a Temp with various Blue Chip companies from Accenture to NCR to name a few. I have an MBA, but straight after I got it I got pregnant. Hence my choice to work for the Civil Service to be able to enjoy some flexibility, so I have not been able to work with my MBA and I appear to have lost my confidence to apply for work with my MBA. I have also done voluntary roles over the years. I have been applying for jobs over the last year, but have not had any interviews nor responses from the recruiters. Can you kindly advise me on what I can do to improve my chances of getting a job? I would like to work in either a marketing/communications role or in buying which I have had some experience of in the past. I have three kids and they are all in secondary school now, so am ready to go back to work. I would like to work in a role where I can make use of my qualifications.

A row of people on chairs waiting for an interview


You have a degree, some great experience from you paid and voluntary roles along with running your own business so you clearly have a lot to offer any potential employer.  You say you have applied for jobs, but have had no response from recruiters is that as in recruitment agencies? Could you be more proactive and ask for some feedback?

A great website is – it is full of resources to help you get the job you want. It has a cv builder, helps and tips on finding work and you can research what is required in certain jobs and get advice on how to get experience should you need it.

Finding work is a lot about who you know too sometimes, so what else are you doing to try and find work?

Sometimes getting creative is what can make all the difference in getting a job. Social media, talking to present and past contacts, even advertising yourself. Think about your role in running your promotional merchandise business. What skills can you apply to finding work?

Keep going …with a new focus I am sure you will secure your ideal job.

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