How I moved into HR as a single mum in my 40s: Ana Vale

Published: 31 May 2018 By Jennifer Jackson

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Group HR officer and single mum, Ana Vale, explains how a CIPD course changed her life and career.

Anna Vale

Ana Vale

The CIPD’s online qualifications are internationally recognised and designed for HR and L&D professionals across the world, in all sectors and organisations.

For Ana Vale, now a group HR officer, HR wasn’t a route she originally thought she’d take. We spoke to her about why she decided to switch her career path, how the CIPD’s online courses have helped her make the move, and her top tips for other HR professionals.

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Why did you decide to take an online CIPD qualification?

HR wasn’t a route I thought I’d take when I first started my career. Just four years ago, I was living in Portugal and working as a clinical psychologist. During the economic downturn I made the difficult decision to move to the UK with my young daughter, leaving the life I knew and the field of psychology behind. I just wasn’t motivated by it anymore and knew I needed to start a new path quickly.

I always had a fascination with the business world and wanted to do something different, which is what led to me to explore the world of HR. I came across the CIPD and found they had partnered with AVADO, the online learning provider. That’s when I decided to take the level 3 course, which I hoped would equip me with the training I’d need to help me build a HR career. 

"The main highlight was being able to work full-time whilst looking after my daughter and at the same time working towards my goal of changing career paths in my 40s!"

What were the highlights for you?

The main highlight was being able to work full-time whilst looking after my daughter and at the same time working towards my goal of changing career paths in my 40s! The course was very well organised and I got loads of support from my tutor. It was great to be able to adapt my study hours around my work and life commitments. Another highlight was no exams!

How has the course benefited you? 

When I first came to the UK my first job was an admin role for a staff agency. Whilst studying the level 3 course I landed my first HR role, which gave me the confidence and motivation to keep pushing on with my studies.

As soon as I finished level 3 I went straight onto level 5, and soon after completing that I was hired as a group HR officer. It’s such an amazing opportunity for me and my CV looks great now!

The course gives potential employers the confidence that I am willing to progress my career in HR, and I believe I have been selected for interviews that I wouldn’t have without the CIPD qualifications.

"I found the flexibility of studying online to be so useful, especially as a parent. I would often be writing a report and my daughter would come up to me saying “Come and play with me mum”."

How easy did you find it to complete the courses and what helped you along the way?

I found the flexibility of studying online to be so useful, especially as a parent. I would often be writing a report and my daughter would come up to me saying “Come and play with me mum”. I would always stop and pay her attention before going back to my work. I couldn’t have done that in a classroom!

What top tips would you offer future online CIPD students, who might happen to be parents?

If you’re a parent looking to study, don’t stress too much. Studies are very important but kids come first. You can do it, it is possible with the right course and a supportive tutor.

What next for your career?

I want to develop my HR experience further, and I feel confident that I’m in a good position to progress my career armed with the CIPD qualifications that I’ve completed, as employers are more likely to consider me as a serious HR professional.

Want to see how a digital CIPD HR and L&D qualification could help your career? Click here to find out more or call 020 3911 3383.

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