Ranjan Bhardwaj was doubly shocked when hit with the news of her redundancy. First came the thought that her 12 year career in childcare was coming to an end. This was closely followed by her realisation of how ‘out of touch’ she would feel going back into the job market.
Through Connecting Communities programme delivered by Walsall College, she feels reassured that opportunities are out there. Her journey towards a new job and potentially a career in retail or administration is now underway.
“Everything is still new to me, such as looking for jobs online and doing mock interviews, but it’s like I’m waking up and seeing all the different things around me that I can go towards,” said Ranjan.
When her role at a children’s centre first came to an end, Ranjan and her colleagues went straight to Walsall College. The Connecting Communities team went through some of the advice services and training course options available to them.
One of these included a three-week retail training programme which Ranjan completed in October. This was followed by a distancing learning course in the principles of business administration.
“Jobs in retail come up all the time, so I thought this would be a good career change for me,” said Ranjan. “It was brilliant to have a course tutor always there to talk through things and keep everyone motivated.
“We went online at the same time every day. I got back into a work routine that I hadn’t had since before lockdown.
“And I learned lots about retail that I hadn’t ever considered.”
Ranjan’s course included a mock interview. This experience reinforced the importance of being able to prove that her skills were transferrable. She says this was ‘a valuable lesson to learn’.
Ranjan is applying for roles in retail and administration, while working temporarily at a local school.