Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Returner to Work

A Blast from the Past; How I Returned to FDM after 27 Years

John Smith

FDM Consultant John Seager has quite a unique career story. Little did he know when he approached FDM in 1991, that 27 years later he would be stepping foot into FDM for the second time to join the Getting Back to Back to Business Programme.

I first worked with FDM back in 1990 as an IT consultant. Before FDM I was working at KPMG, but really I wanted to work for Telecom ACT, a sister company of BT. FDM had Telecom ACT as their client so they took me under their wing and managed to place me there. I spent a number of years there as a consultant and then moved to London where my experience helped me work with numerous organisations within the banking industry.

My story picks up three years ago when I moved to Essex and took a career break. When I began looking for opportunities again, I realised how difficult it can be once you’ve been out of the game for a while. However, there was a growing buzz around the idea of programmes that help people get back into full-time employment. I found most of them only applied to women returners, but there was one company that also welcomed men. Coincidentally this happened to be the place I got my start: FDM.

I wanted to get back into work doing something that I was proud of. FDM’s returners programme stood out to me – it was just what I was looking for, so when the opportunity arose I was ready to give it a go.

Returning back to business is a challenge at first. You have to adapt yourself mentally to adjust to getting back into training. At one point I was a senior business analyst at Credit Suisse and the next thing I knew I was back in the classroom, but I know I had to take a step back in order to launch my career again. After a three-year break, my skills and knowledge were out of date and I know you can’t trade on past glories. The training and exams really helped me to get back on track.

My advice to anyone returning to work is to leave certain attitudes at the door, be open to new opportunities and being trained again to develop the skills you already have. The same applies with being open-minded to all placement opportunities; getting placed is the ultimate goal and your previous industry experience should not discourage you from future placements merely by the sector. If you’re saying you don’t want to work somewhere, you may as well be saying you don’t want to work at all.

To summarise FDM, I would say it is a cross between military boot camp and Hogwarts, because they really do magic here.

If you have taken a career break and are looking to re-enter the workforce then apply to our Getting Back to Business programme today.