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Shobha’s Story: Returning to Tech at The Very Group


Shobha Jha, Quality Assurance Engineer, The Very Group (4 year career break)

I worked as a Software Engineer in Bangalore, India, 5 years as a Java Developer and 2 years as an Automation Test Analyst.

After having my child, I worked for 9 months and then I relocated to be with my family in the UK. At that point, I took a 4 year career break to spend time raising my one year old. I feel very fortunate to have been able to have that time with my little one, but after 4 years, I missed the intellectual challenge of working and started to think about possible routes back.

I was keen to return to the software industry and had always had an interest in tech, so during my break, I completed various programming courses focussing on technical skills.

After that, the job search started in earnest! I found it much tougher than I thought it would be as I was trying to restart my career after a 4 year break. Although the tech course helped boost my confidence, I still found it was low after such a long break.

I then discovered Women Returners and felt reassured after reading the Success Stories on their website. I focused my job search on returnships and found it refreshing not to be penalised for taking a career break.

I was successful in joining a returner programme at The Very Group, and participated in coaching provided by Women Returners which helped us navigate our return to work. It was invaluable to have this extra support as well as being part of a cohort of returners – an instant network within the company!

My team and my buddy were very welcoming and supportive and I genuinely felt that I was set up with everything I needed to succeed. A few weeks in, it felt great to be working on a project!

I’m now on a permanent contract and very happy, I’m loving using my brain properly again and doing something for myself. My confidence has returned. I am super happy and confident.

For anyone considering a return to work, I would say: it is very normal for your confidence to be low after a break – taking a relevant training course to upskill can help. Use the resources on the Women Returners website and reach out to other returners who may have been where you are – I’m sure they will be happy to help if they can.