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‘Preparing for your return to work’ with Hellen Muthoni Vostatkova

Career Returners Podcast Series 2 – Episode #8

14 December 2022

Hellen Muthoni Vostatkova is an experienced IT professional having worked across tech and change management programmes in Kenya, Southern Sudan, Germany and now the UK.

In 2010 Hellen decided to further her education and relocated to Germany to study for a Masters in Distributed Systems Engineering. During this time she also pursued a passion for cloud computing and worked part time on some projects to build her experience in this area. She took a career break in 2012 to raise her son, during which time she completed her Masters, and the family relocated to London in 2016. 

Once she’d made the decision to return to work in 2018, Hellen found finding work difficult. She applied for a few roles but got nowhere and found the experience demoralising. As well as helping her husband establish his business at this time, she decided to increase her chances of returning to work by brushing up on her tech skills and building her transferable skills through volunteering. In 2021 she secured a place on the FDM returner programme and has continued to work as an IT consultant with FDM ever since.

In our conversation, Hellen shares how she prepared practically for her return to work, getting ahead on family activities at the weekend and not overcommitting herself outside of work to help give her space to settle into her new role. “There’s always new challenges, especially in the workplace and also at home as well….it’s just trying to make that balance and to just keep going with the flow and adapting, making the best of the situation”.

This is our last episode of 2022 – join us again on Wednesday 18 January for our next episode in this series.

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For advice, support, opportunities, and connection, look around our Women Returners website