Stepping stones back to work

You may not be well enough to go back to full time paid employment yet. However, each month you’re out of work leaves a bigger gap in your CV and makes you less desirable to potential employers. Fortunately there are a number of potential stepping stones you can take which will start to fill out your CV and provide potentially useful experience and contacts:

Training or Retraining

Any form of study, training or retraining has value in showing you engaged in constructive, structured activity, rather than leaving a gap in your CV – and may provide potential contacts. You’ll probably want to choose an area of specific or generic value for the new career you’re interested in pursuing.

Voluntary Work

The time commitment can range from a few hours a month to regular weekly hours and you can volunteer while claiming Benefits – so this is a very flexible option.

St John Ambulance, British Red Cross, local hospitals and hospices and medical research charities are some of the medically related organisations looking for volunteers. Alternatively your local Volunteer Centre/Council for Voluntary Service will have information about other volunteer opportunities in your area and www.reachskills.org.uk has volunteering opportunities for professionals.

Working part time, less demanding roles or freelancing

These are options if a return to a demanding full time role isn’t feasible yet.

If you’re receiving good State Benefits then working part time and/or in a less demanding role may not leave you better off financially – but as a stepping stone back to longer term career and employment opportunities either is worth considering.

As with training/retraining and voluntary work the main point is to enable you to present yourself to prospective employers in a more positive light in the years ahead.