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Hana’s Story: Returning to Senior Analysis with Bank of England

Hana Fegutova

Hana Fegutova, Senior Analyst, Resolution at Bank of England (18 year break)

My early career spanned approximately 5 years in Macroeconomic analysis, working for local financial institutions in Prague, Czech Republic until I moved to London to study for a Masters in Finance at London Business School. After LBS I remained in London and worked on the derivatives desk at ABN Amro bank, covering corporate clients for their hedging needs. I was involved on the sales side for vanilla products and also on the structuring side for structured interest rate derivatives.

After approximately 5 years in ABN Amro, I planned to take a one-year career break to go travelling with my future husband, but returned to London expecting our older daughter! I did tentatively attempt to return to the City but ended up dedicating my time to new responsibilities, such as moving house and looking after a newborn. Although I never expected to take a lengthy family break, I did end up staying at home until both of our daughters were well into secondary school, in total almost exactly 18 years.

I was involved in numerous projects during this time. I completed another Masters degree, this time in International Development, at SOAS, University of London. I got involved in sport, completing numerous triathlons and cycling races, and in the last 3 years I took up rowing. I was also involved in organising rowing races, in particular catering for my daughter’s club.

I started thinking about returning to work when I completed my second Masters degree, but I did not end up pursuing a career in this new field. The main obstacle was the lack of a mechanism through which my previous experience and non-transferrable skills could be recognised. All opportunities I encountered were aimed at fresh graduates or executives with experience in the field. Then I heard of Career Returners through a friend who returned to work in the previous year after a lengthy career break. I realised that I had more time on my hands that I could find use for and that I was ready to go out and be challenged and see what I was still capable of.
Thanks to Career Returners, my experience of finding a new role post-career break was extremely positive. I attended Career Returners conference in October 2022. I applied for two roles at the Bank of England in November, interviewed in December and received an offer for one of the roles in January. It was a surprisingly quick and smooth process.

I have been back at work for 7 months now and overall, I have had a positive experience. The learning curve is definitely steep and, in my case, included basics like Outlook and catching up on the numerous changes to the Market since 2005. To be honest I was quite rusty on the technical side but was surprised how quickly I re-gained the knowledge. My team gave me nearly 3 months to get up to speed. I had meetings already set up in my diary to meet colleagues in my team and in the wider directorate. I met with my line manager on a daily basis at the beginning to go over anything that was not clear. After 2-3 months, I started getting involved in projects on a supervised basis but soon was able to handle tasks and projects independently.

Career Returners coaching helped me in many ways, but mainly with confidence. It is invaluable to start on the same day with a group of colleagues who have all returned after a break and faced similar issues. I feel much more confident after 7 months of being back at work than I did at the beginning, and I appreciate the flexibility of my job and love my new working life! I found it hard to believe that I could revive my career after 18 years, but it is possible with support from the Career Returners programme.