Helena's Journey into a New Career
Helena is one of our amazing career advisers, but the path she took to get here wasn’t so straight forward. Here’s Helena’s story...
Helena started working in a bank after leaving school at the age of 18 and after a few years, she began to feel as though opportunities to progress her career were running out. She relocated and took a new job, also in a bank, but unfortunately was made redundant at the age of 50.
Helena took this opportunity to pursue her passion in Heritage Management and completed a Master’s Degree, but after graduation it became clear that vacancies in this niche field were few and far between.
While unemployed, Helena was supported by a Work Coach and, during one meeting, they discussed the option of volunteering. Initially, Helena was hesitant as she thought volunteering was mainly shop work and was worried about attending job interviews during her volunteer work, feeling she might let people down.
She eventually decided to take the opportunity to work as a Volunteer Coach at Clarion House, where she helped people use computers and navigate online applications and software. Helena found herself talking to other unemployed people and taking a real interest in their passions and career goals, using her banking background to assist with financial queries and issues. She loved this part so much; she completed a Level 2 certificate in Advice and Guidance alongside her voluntary work.
Michelle, a Manager at Futures, popped into Clarion House to let staff know that she was hiring Careers Advisers with a minimum Level 3 qualification. Helena’s work coach suggested Michelle speak with Helena and, despite not having a Level 3 qualification, Helena’s experience, passion and demonstrated career guidance skills meant that she was a perfect fit for Futures.
Since joining Futures, Helena’s completed her Level 4 Careers Guidance qualification through Futures for Business and is currently working toward her Level 6. She’s so passionate about using her life experience and journey to inspire those she works with and is a huge champion for the importance of transferable skills. Helena is proof that career journeys aren’t linear – what you start as won’t necessarily dictate where you’ll end up, but your attitude, positivity and hard work will.
“looking back, it took me too long to find my new career because I was having to find the way by myself. I deliver the National Careers Service now and can see the benefits of timely advice for those looking for work as it makes the process more efficient.”
We’re great believers in winding career paths and recognising that you don’t have to be in your ‘forever job’ by a particular age or milestone.
It’s never too late to change your career path and decide to take a different direction in life. What’s important is realising what matters to you and taking the steps to reach your dreams.
Whether it’s through volunteering, free courses, an apprenticeship or another way into a new job, we can help you along the journey.