What the…?

I have registered for the T160 course at the Open University. This is a course aimed at women who wish to return to work in the field of SET (Science, Engineering, Technology).

I’m still not sure that this course is for me. I’m not a typical ‘returner’: I am currently self-employed and working harder and longer hours than ever. The course documentation does seem to focus, at least initially, on the whole ‘returning to work’ idea – things like time management, study methods, and developing a CV have come up in my initial reading.

This course is for women who want to return to Science, Engineering or Technology (SET) careers after a break. The primary aim is to help you build your skills and confidence so that you can successfully achieve your ambitions. During the course you will develop a set of tools that you’ll be able to use when you start the next phase of your journey in your SET career. These include a CV and a personal development plan. The focus of the course is on Personal Development Planning as a tool to enable you to take control of your career. The activities that you will be asked to do during the course will help you decide and plan your next step as well as clarify your long term goals.

I’ve written to my tutor to check that I’m not wasting either my time or hers. I can’t attend tutorials as they are at weekends (our busiest time). The course has funding to provide for travel, accommodation, and childcare or eldercare costs. What it can’t do, and what I need, is to provide me with some way of paying another person to do my job while I’m away studying.

It does seem to be a common misconception: the idea that if you are self-employed your time is your own. I suspect that most, if not all, self-employed people would liken their job to having an infant – you never know when you will be needed, and cannot be away without leaving someone you trust absolutely in charge!

I will be using this blog to chart my progress through the course.


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