Taking a break from the workforce to raise your kids can be rewarding, fun and deeply satisfying – and also terrifying when the time comes to return to your career. Whether you’ve had a quick stint on maternity leave or a number of years at home, returning to work can leave you doubting your knowledge, skills and even your ability to juggle the competing demands of family and employer.


Toni Keen, Director at KeenConsult, says the key to success is confidence. For many of her students, the opportunity to up-skill, retrain or refresh lapsed business skills provides the reassurance that their skills are current and valuable, that they are employable, and that their prior experience is acknowledged.


“The best thing is to demonstrate confidence in your skills and abilities, and show that you have already considered your existing commitments and how you will balance employment and family life,” says Toni. “As an employer, I would want to hear that a strong candidate has clear boundaries about what is important to them. I can then make a reasoned assessment as to whether that works for my company or not. This is far better than agreeing to terms for the sake of getting a job and then trying to make changes later if it doesn’t work for your family.”


Proactively training and acquiring certification of your skills is also highly bankable, from an employment perspective. “You want to show that you have invested in your return to work and have acknowledged (or a Registered Training Organisation has acknowledged) your proven skills and experience through a relevant qualification,” says Toni. But she cautions against attaining a qualification purely for the piece of paper. “We interview each applicant to understand their existing skills, career plans and gaps to ensure they invest in the very best education solution for their needs,” says Toni. She says while the Certificate III Guarantee initiative (where the Queensland Government contributes to the costs of attaining a Certificate III) is a common choice, in some instances, completing a Recognition of Prior Learning can be more valuable. “This process acknowledges current skills and experience, and can be a pathway to obtain a Certificate 4 or diploma in your chosen field,” she says.


“We also provide applicants with information on funding that KeenConsult can access on their behalf to make training more cost effective, without detracting from potential employment opportunities or funding initiatives that they may be able to access in their future career,” says Toni.


For more information visit www.keenconsult.com.au

Courtney Robinson

Courtney Robinson  

Courtney Robinson is a Gold Coast mum, passionate foodie, whole foods recipe creator and personal trainer certified in holistic digestive health and nutrition. Follow @athletist_ or visit athletist.com.au for recipes, workout tips and training hacks.