For many parents looking to relaunch or pivot careers, then doing a course would be beneficial in broadening your circle & improving confidence & technical skills. Its a great addition to your story & dips your toe in the water.

Good afternoon! Justin O’Keefe from Talentforce Recruitment here. A question we often get asked when we’re talking to candidates or people who are thinking about, considering either pivoting their career or looking at different career options, or look to relaunch their career is ‘Should I consider doing a course of some sort?’ And in one word, the answer is ‘yes’. If that’s something that you think would update your skills, would get you back out talking to people, just bring your story to more life, help you feel more relevant, work on your confidence, then absolutely.

So, I’d like to talk in particular about 3 different types of courses that are out there that are very low cost, that are widely accessible and first off, saying is courses are like ice cream. There’s ones that are short, morning-long, all the way through to other courses at almost a master’s level which are essentially an academic tier level long. So I’m going to get on with three separate courses and perhaps how they’ll be more relevant to some people than others. So the first thing I’d like to talk about is the county enterprise board. The local enterprise offices. You get details on these on localenterprise.ie, you pick your local area. It will have a list of training courses available and very well laid out. The training courses tend to be, most of them tend to be a morning or a day. So how to use sage, how to use social media, typically how to use a tool. Now, you may have to say that you’re looking to starting your own business and that may be true. So, you need to tell a story there. The other course you do which is tremendous, all these enterprise boards do, is you do a start your own business course, typically a day a week, two or three days a month over a long period where you’re with a cohort of people and they work on an idea, working it through.

What’s interesting is that from my perspective as an employer, as a recruiter, as a parent, what might be more interesting is you can start this and maybe this idea doesn’t work. But what you’re looking for is you’re seeing it through, you’re out talking to people who are of a similar mindset, similar position to yourself, you’re updating your CV, you’re updating your story and you’re more contacted, your social circle is perhaps a little bit wider. So the Local Enterprise boards do a tremendous job. For example I saw recently there’s a [inaudible 03:00] she would say, with a bit of intimidation going around but very much like-minded people, very much collaborative and very nice environment.

Second one I’d like to talk about is the IE network. IENetwork.ie. This is run in the South Dublin, it’s based in the city center [inaudible 03:34] library, they do morning courses on how to sale yourself, how to feel more relevant. And these are very much focused on professional to professional. There’s no cost, these are funded by the local authority but IENetwork.ie, a very positive group of people looking to help each other and again, people who, you know, they are in a similar position. And looking for their niche. It’s very much building people up and helping to reengage in the workforce. So they tend to do more morning seminar series. So a few hours, half day, full day course on a topic, the IENetwork.ie based in Tallaght., They actually have free hot desk space for professionals looking to reenter the work force. A tremendous group, they’ve been working for years. So IENetwork.ie, signup to their email updates.

And the final one I got some personal experience teaching on is Springboard Courses. So SpringboardCourses.ie. These are a series of typically year-long, academic year-long degree level courses or degree-type course that have modules. Delivered normally 2 nights a week over an academic year. These are completely free, they are funded by the government, there are 6000 places locally, places available, and 181 courses in 37 colleges. There’s 50 courses available for ICT skills, 94% of people attending would recommend. There are some qualification criteria, but I think you can talk to them, you’ll find out there shouldn’t be insurmountable. These courses are very much, they’re certificates in risk analysis, and treasury risk management and HR, but they’re very much about if you’re thinking about going back to work might be something for you, this is a group of people who are in a similar position to you and I think it comes back to the relevance and confidence that colleges generate and they will help you work on your story, on your CV, on interview preparation.

So, don’t go do something you haven’t done before thinking that I will get a job in this. But if you see it more as I’m going to go do something new, I’m going to take a step, there’s very little cost in this other than my personal time; and that’s not insignificant, that’s got value. And if I can go through that, I will be a more confident, I’d have a different story to tell. Certainly from my perspective as lecturer in a number of these courses for many years, I’ve seen many people start off, you know, unsure how their previous experience, how they’re relevant. At the end of it, very engaged, they understand what’s happening, they have an opinion on things and they’re skills are often more honed. So, I have seen personally students grow tremendously in terms of confidence. And by students, I mean adults like myself who just happen to be on the other side. So, SpringboardCourses.ie; 37 colleges nation-wide, absolutely worth looking at.

So those are 3 sets of courses we would strongly suggest looking at. There are many, many others. VEC’s might organize some, there are various women’s networks, there are men’s chats, there’s all these different things but these three we personally experienced. And certainly worth looking at. So, if you’re looking to reengage in the work force, to relaunch your career or to pivot your career, is a course worth doing to gain confidence, to understand the relevance of your experience? Absolutely. Hope this has been of assistance, and I’ll talk to you soon, take care.

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