“I found a team of people who really prepared me. To have people that genuinely care about you, and make you feel valued – it felt really good.”

– Ruth, Smart Works client

It was during a particularly tough period in her life that Ruth found Smart Works. Just six months prior, she had been made redundant when she was eight months pregnant.

She was feeling incredibly low, having taken a big knock to her confidence, but the support and community she found at Smart Works helped build her confidence back up. She’s now in a senior position in a role she loves, and is passionate about using her influence to support other women into work.

This is Ruth’s story

“I started looking for work pretty quickly, three or four months after my son was born, and found Smart Works. I came for an appointment because I had a really good opportunity, an international opportunity, but based in the UK.

As you would imagine, my confidence at the time felt quite a bit lower than normal. But through the coaching, I felt a lot better – the coach was really good and made me feel like I was already prepared.

“The dressing experience was amazing, because I’d just given birth, my body had changed, and I didn’t know if I could fit into any of the clothes. The dressers were so patient with me, they reassured me that it was normal for my body to change after having a baby.

And then they picked the most beautiful clothes that I felt so comfortable in. They gave me things that would show my personality. Going back to work and not having to think too much about what I was going to wear, how I was going to look, how I was going to present myself to new colleagues… it was a breath of fresh air. And now, my colleagues compliment me all the time!”

“I think if you’ve had a relatively sad case like mine where you’re made redundant whilst pregnant, it just knocks your confidence. It was a really emotionally tough time for me. But then having people pick you up is amazing.

In Smart Works, I found a team of people who really prepared me and helped me turn around something that was such a negative situation. I’m very grateful. It shows that there’s still humanity out there… It’s such a cold world in some ways, but to have people that genuinely care about you, and make you feel valued – it felt really good. It humanised me again.”

“I’m six months into the role now. I’ve passed all my probation, been able to launch quite a few initiatives for the organisation. I feel like I’m not just a mother now… My intellectual abilities are being used, I’m making connections, making friends, and being able to add a lot of value.

And the good thing is, I was able to connect Smart Works to my workplace. At the recent Women into Work Jobs Fair, my work was there. We were able to meet lots of women, add them to our database, and recruit some of them too. So it’s not intangible – I can now give people that opportunity to find work, which I’m really passionate about.

If you’ve been inspired by Ruth and her story and want to find out more about how Smart Works can help you, get in touch with the team on 0207 288 1770.