Sinead Henshaw of Citi tells us about the company’s return to work programme, which is now open for applications.
Returning to work after a career break can be daunting. Thankfully, in today’s working world there are a number of initiatives designed specifically to help you navigate that journey. Citi’s Return to Work Programme is one of them, and it’s now taking applications for its 2021 cohort in Dublin.
The programme helps returners forge a career in the financial services sector, whether they’ve worked in the industry before or not. It’s designed to give returners a structured company induction followed by 12 months of tailored learning and professional development. After they complete the programme, the goal is to give returners permanent positions at Citi.
“Returners will undertake formal training as part of the programme and enjoy the benefits of being part of a supportive cohort,” said Citi’s Sinead Henshaw. This training will include a focus on ‘day-one readiness’, she added, in a bid “to develop renewed confidence in participants and enable them to thrive in a new work environment”.
The programme will develop participants’ technical and professional skills and help them integrate with their teams. It will also help build foundational financial markets understanding, as well as develop professional skills such as problem solving, communication and project management.
“These programmes give the applicants the confidence that they can add value to an organisation,” Henshaw said. “They provide the very necessary upskilling but, most important of all, they will give the participants a support network of their other peers on the programme.”
Applying for Citi’s Return to Work Programme
To be eligible for Citi’s Return to Work Programme, you’ll need to have been on a career break for at least two years and want to transition into financial services in an operations or technology role.
“Our operational roles are in the client service area and would suit applicants with experience in a client-facing role, preferably in the financial services sector but we are very open to candidates with strong client-serving and analytical skills,” Henshaw explained. “Our technology roles are in the areas of project management and Java development.”
‘If we do not support this group of people, it is a huge missed opportunity for the industry’
– SINEAD HENSHAW
This year, Citi’s Return to Work Programme will start in September. If you’re thinking about applying, Henshaw had some words of advice. “Visit our careers website where you can take some time to learn more about who we are as a company and see what our team have to say about working at Citi,” she said.
“There is also a lot of advice there around interviews and tips for applications. Update and prepare your CV to ensure it is reflective of all your skills and previous work experience. The application involves answering three motivational questions, so please take time to consider your answers and ensure you include them at the end of your CV.”
Returners offer a ‘readily available talent pool’
Speaking about the importance of return to work initiatives, Henshaw said they are key for several reasons. “Accessing and developing talent, especially in our growing technology and financial services industry, is a cornerstone to Ireland’s ability to continue to attract foreign investment, which enables us to grow our economy.
“With returners, we have a readily available talent pool with the skills, maturity and motivation already in place. The primary barrier to getting back into the workforce is a lack of opportunity as they don’t fit the traditional candidate profile or they may lack confidence. If we do not support this group of people, it is a huge missed opportunity for the industry.”
From a company perspective, diversity is also an important consideration. “We often find diversity levels are quite good at the lower-grade levels, but then drop off at more senior levels due to the leaky pipeline,” Henshaw added.
“This is particularly true in technology. Returners provide an opportunity to gain back some of that loss at mid-career level. Not only that, they also bring diversity of thought, having taken some time out, and perhaps new perspectives.”