Senior Business Analyst Krystine Pittman relaunched a successful career after a 15 year break thanks to Capgemini's Returners programme


Capgemini UK helped Senior Business Analyst return to work

Capgemini UK helped Senior Business Analyst return to work

 March 31, 2020

With the support of Capgemini UK's Returners programme, it is possible to manage a family with a thriving and successful career.

Since its launch a number of years ago, Capgemini's Relaunch@Capgemini programme has provided opportunities to recommence careers after time out to, whether to raise children or otherwise.

The Programme provides:

  • initial 6-month, fixed-term contract with a view to becoming a permanent eployee
  • four Returners coaching sessions over the 6-month period
  • tailored L&D plan devised with the business to support the Returner back in the workforce
  • support network of existing Returners

Krystine Pittman, Senior Business Analyst at Capgemini took a slightly less traditional route and decided to take a career break once her children were already in school.

Krystine shares her Career Returner experience with Where Women Work.


What led you to take a career break?

I took a career break to focus on family. In fact, I did the reverse of what most women do – I stopped working when the children started school rather than going back to work at that time. I participated in their school and after school activities as much as I could - in the classroom, on excursions, class parent representative, and held office on school parent governing bodies. During this time, I also helped my husband run his small IT consultancy, so I was able to keep some of my skills up to date.

How long was your career break?

15 years. I had previously had a successful career working as a consultant with business and IT consultancies, doing work very similar to the work I am doing now with Capgemini.

What factors encouraged you to return to work?

I wanted to return to a career, not just a job, after my youngest child started University. I had always planned to return to my career sometime - but I didn’t want to just return to the workforce, I wanted my career back. So, as my youngest child was nearing the end of her school years, I decided the time was right. But I faced the double issue of not just having had a long career break, I believed I was also a lot older than most applicants would be.

These factors combined to mean that I had very little confidence in my ability to land a position and, more importantly, to do the job to a level I would be happy with. With a break of 15 years I felt this lack of confidence was completely rational but very hard to overcome. Working through this was my biggest challenge.

What was most challenging about returning to work?

I started to attend events for Returners, namely the Women Returners' Conference and four returner events at other organisations. When I attended these, I was worried about being the oldest in the room and the one with the longest career break – many other attendees had only taken an average of 2 years! My confidence started to wane and I began to give up hope when I had some initial setbacks, but I was determined, and I got enough encouragement to persevere. I also spent some time doing some short courses to refresh my skills.

Why did you choose Capgemini as your employer?

I then attended the Capegemini ‘Return@Capgemini’ launch event and I was blown away. I thought ‘That’s the company I want to work for!’. I was really impressed with the senior management briefings and welcome, and the consulting nature of the business was a much closer match to my background than any other returner programme I had come across. There was a Capgemini employee on the panel who spoke of her experience returning to work after a twelve year career break, and I met another attendee of a similar age which was reassuring (she is still at Capgemini now too!).

I applied and was invited in for interview. I remember the day of my interview in London, a glorious summer day and I thought the interview went very well. I emerged from the building on a bit of a high, in time to enjoy the latter part of the RAF centenary flypast overhead. Definitely a day to remember!

How would you describe the transition back to work?

Seamless – so much better than I had expected! Any doubts I had rapidly disappeared as I realised that while the work environment had changed, the fundamentals of the work itself hadn’t. It felt like I had never been away. My confidence was back in no time and as for worrying about my age…well, it just hasn't been a problem! If anything, people assume because of your age that you're quite senior and are respectful, so it can be a good thing! The bottom line is that if you can do the work, it’s actually not an issue. What's really great is that no one knows I am a Returner, unless I tell them – which I think is a positive.

How long have you been at Capgemini now and what has kept you there?

As a returner I have come back to work with a huge sense of commitment and enthusiasm for my work. I have now been here for around 18 months as a Senior Business Analyst and I am aiming for promotion this year. It’s the work I want to be doing, my team is supportive and I’m continually learning. I continue to be impressed with the calibre of people working for Capgemini and I feel very lucky and privileged to be part of that.

What advice would you give for others returning to work after a career break?

The biggest factor is confidence. I asked myself many times ‘Can I do it? Have I left it too late?!’, and even now, I still have the odd bout of imposter syndrome from time to time but who doesn't? But if you can continue to believe in yourself and keep trying – you can definitely do it.


Enjoy a successful return to work with Capgemini

For Capgemini, bringing a Returner like Krystine into the business provides a fresh way of attracting experienced talent that may otherwise have felt unemployable having been away from the workforce for a period of time. It’s a great way for the company to tap into a pool of under-utilised skilled people.

Apply for one of Capgemini's latest opportunities for Returners or if you can't find  a role that suits you, register your interest to keep up-to-date.

 

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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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