Returner to Work

Meet Liz Hutton from our Returners Programme

John Smith

FDM’s Getting Back to Business programme recently hit a proud milestone, which saw Liz Hutton become our 100th trainee in the UK. This programme is specifically designed to provide employment opportunities for high-calibre individuals who have taken an extended break in their career, facilitating their re-entry into the workplace. We spoke to Liz about her journey through the FDM Glasgow academy and how she decided it was time to get back to business.

Before your career break, what did you do?

Liz Hutton - FDMI started off with a science degree and completed a PhD in Veterinary Medicine. My research explored how rats process information from the environment. Rats rely on their whiskers for their sensory information (cats and dogs use vision), and their whiskers are as sensitive as our fingertips. After my PhD, I worked initially in research and then moved into financial services, where I performed a number of jobs before focusing in taxes. I completed two sets of professional tax exams and worked in third-party fund administration, discretionary asset management and retail banking.

After working on tax projects and enjoying the challenges, I decided that I’d like to move more into the project world and less as a tax specialist. I found it difficult to get project-based opportunities through employment agencies, as the general trend was that I was seen as a tax specialist and I’d not be considered for project roles. My confidence in my ability to make my transition gradually eroded. A couple of agencies were very good, but there was a limit in the market for tax projects to enable me to make my transition.

How did you come across the programme?

I was scanning for jobs in Edinburgh on the S1 jobs website when I saw an advert for the programme. The FDM team helped build my confidence, and it feels great to be part of such a supportive team. Their course is structured to give you a solid basis in everything you need. Week one was especially valuable in helping me talk about me and my achievements to other people. It’s full, varied and challenging, but I do feel it is providing a sound base from which I can build in my first placement in Bid Management at HSBC in Edinburgh.

The most positive thing about FDM is how it differs from most agencies, who simply match job titles and keywords. FDM understands skill sets, and can articulate that to an employer. The employer, in turn, can have confidence in an honest appraisal of a candidate, rather than the usual mass-sending of CV’s in the hope that one hits the mark. I’m looking forward to moving into my placement and having a chance to learn and develop. I am confident that it’s not one-sided and I have something valuable to offer FDM’s client!

Are you looking to get back into the world of work after a career break? Our Getting Back to Business programme is always open and looking for new trainees