Since 2014 I have committed time to hosting a series of free ‘maternity comeback’ and career comeback workshops each year at my home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, as seen in The Guardian. I know many mothers who are returning to work don’t have access to sponsored maternity comeback coaching so we’re on a mission to sort that out and feel good. (Because doing nice stuff gives us good vibes.)
As with the first workshops there’ll be no fixed agenda, no powerpoint slides, no lecturing, no crying babies (this is grown-up headspace time for you, so you might want to find a friend you can do a babysit swapsy with) and no cost to participate.
The dates for the next workshops are:
- Monday 24th April, 12.30-2.30pm (Career Comeback workshop)
- Friday 12th May, 12.30-2.30pm (Maternity Comeback workshop)
- Friday 30th June, 12.30-2.30pm (Maternity Comeback workshop)
I speak to spark culture change and to fuel individuals’ belief and ability to get on. My core topics are creating gender-balanced organisations, flourishing as a working parent and coming back with confidence after a career break. See the Media & Speaker page for the lowdown.
I’ve been invited to join a couple of university’s International Women’s Day 2017 activities (Wednesday 8th March).
BBC Breakfast (Sunday 13/11/16) talking childcare costs and ‘trapped talent’ caused by inflexible working practices.
The Talent Keeper Specialists hosted a ‘Hidden Talent Action Tank’ for Senior Resourcing and Inclusion & Diversity practitioners at Accenture (July 2016). Speakers included key people from Avanade and 02. We recorded the event and you can watch the films here.
“I found it a hugely informative, inspiring and reassuring (I’m not the only one with these doubts/struggles etc) session – compliments on your excellent facilitation skills, making us think and challenge ourselves and the unhelpful norms we are (often) aspiring to. Thank you so much!”
Participant, H M Treasury.
“Thank you for the wonderful workshop – I have been floating on that cloud of buoyancy for most of the time since and have been so very productive in terms of moving forward professionally.”
Sorrel Osborne, Consultant to the non-corporate world.
“I liked Jessica’s ability to keep the discussion coming back to practical suggestions and actions, and her experience and expertise really helped tailor her actions to each point / concern. I left feeling energised and positive about my options. Jessica’s ability to break down actions into practical steps, and her encouragement of everyone in the group to take control of their situations helped make future changes seem achievable.”
Roz Sims, Management Consultant.
“The workshop was very positive. It was helpful to hear from the employers’ perspective and also to meet others in similar situation. The time blocking and prioritisation ideas were also helpful. It was great that the session was free but I also think you could have charged (say £25) for the session and everyone would have come along. It would also be great to see some webinars to encourage engagement between potential ‘talent returners’ and employers.”
Nadine Robinson, Career Comeback Workshop Participant.
“Some really good tips about how to present my career break to employers in a positive way and some sound advice on asking for flexible working. It’s got me thinking about how to find my ideal “hidden” job. I came away feeling more enthused and determined to work on a strategy for finding a job that would fit my need for flexibility. Thank you, Jessica, for giving up your time to host this positive event.”
Vicky Hanks, Career Comeback Workshop Participant.
“I like the fact it is specifically for mums who are returning at a different stage to straight after maternity leave. Jessica has good energy and gave helpful answers to specific questions on techniques to try and things to say/do. I liked committing to specific actions before leaving.”
Sarah Roberts, Career Comeback Workshop Participant.
“After devoting myself to raising my children I really wanted to return to work. When I saw Jessica’s workshop I was hopeful it might give me some fresh ideas. I had always loved working and really missed it. Not only did I get some great ideas but it was so good to talk to other women in a similar situation. So many of the workshop attendees were talented, hardworking women who were just trying to find how to balance a career and motherhood. I came away feeling inspired and motivated by Jessica and my fellow attendees.”
Rachel Godwin, Career Comeback Workshop Participant, now back in work.
“Jessica made me think again about some decisions I had previously made, which now means I’m making the right choices for me and my family. I love the way we were sat round the kitchen table and built our agenda from introductions. I’m so glad Jessica does this ‘give-back’ as it really built on what I had learnt from the book. Looking forward to applying to wider than just my return to work.”
Emma, Travis Perkins
“I really enjoyed the workshop and felt energised afterwards. There were a number of things raised that I feel will be of benefit to me on returning to work/negotiating return. I really appreciated the opportunity to be part of this workshop. Talking through potential issues ahead and listening to others views helped to see positive ways forward and also appreciate the good things that have already occurred. Thank you!”
Lexy, Maternity Comeback Workshop Participant
“Jessica has a generosity of spirit that extends to meet the individual needs of women, and is able to offer simple and appropriate strategies that you can readily put into practice. I am grateful for her suggestions and wholeheartedly recommend her briefing sessions for other mothers navigating the return to work.”
Katie Wright, University of East London
“I really enjoyed the workshop, and left feeling really energised about taking the reins for my return to work later this year, especially as I am taking on a new role on my return. I came away feeling much more con dent that I had tools at my disposal to make a smooth transition, and techniques to use on an ongoing basis.”
Alison Benson, Compliance and Governance Manager
“Being a free workshop I didn’t know quite what to expect, however I needn’t have worried because it gave me the much needed clarity and reassurance I was seeking to return back to work content and knowing exactly what I want! No question is silly or stupid. Jessica’s friendly manner and expert experience puts you at instant ease. Would highly recommend for all mothers who are feeling a little ‘out of the game’ and perhaps uncertain or confused about re- turning to the workplace after maternity leave.
R.E, Maternity Comeback Workshop Participant
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to attend the Maternity Comeback Workshop. It was great to have a safe and inspiring environment to explore mixed feelings about returning to work. Much that I am excited to return to work, like many women I have fears and con dence issues that I wanted to discuss with like minded career women and nd some practical solutions. Jessica and my fellow course participants helped inspire me with practical solutions to both personal and professional problems. I feel more con dent now and armed with tools to go back and be as good, if not better at my old role.”
Louise Summers, Maternity Comeback Workshop Participant
“I just wanted to say a BIG thank you for yesterday’s session. It really was fantastic to meet you and share experiences and challenges with others, and so incredibly kind of you to give up your time. I came away feeling reassured, inspired and excited for the future, whatever that turns out to be!”
Gaynor, Career Comeback Workshop Participant