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Stay at home mum and author re-ignite's her career

"I really wanted to return to work to start a new chapter in my life, but was worried about what opportunities are out there”


Michelle Cunnah, 52, had been out of the workplace for 15 years after following her husband abroad and supporting his career which saw her living in the US and Netherlands for 15 years, bringing up their 2 young children. A part time author she was financially independent but when she recently returned to the UK she wanted to be a part of corporate life again and re-ignite her own career….

Struggling with a loss of confidence in her workplace skills, and fear of being discriminated against for her age and career gap, she was nervous about this next phase of her life - but she’s updated her skills and found a job - and couldn't be happier. She’d like to share her story to inspire other over 50s considering re-entering the workplace, to go for it!

Stay at Home Mum & Author

 Originally working as an administrator, Michelle stepped out of the corporate world to look after her 2 children - leaving a gap of 14 years…she honed time-management, budget management, communication and negotiating skills. She is also a successful author with a number of fictional titles for HarperCollins Publishers under her belt, but wanted to experience being a part of an office environment again. Her published books include:-

• Welcome to Wisteria Lane

• Totally Fabulous

• Confessions of a Serial Dater

Skills and Training

Michelle lacked confidence because she felt ‘out of it’ but acted to rectify this by updating her skills with flexible training. She updated her outdated knowledge of Word and Excel and added to this with PowerPoint, Outlook and Access, through module based learning with Pitman Training. She also learnt shorthand for the first time, understanding this plays a key role in modern PA and administrative roles. Michele is studying Pitman Training Executive PA Diploma and also attended a Pitman Training workshop run in partnership with Barclay’s Bank HQ at Canary Wharf and has been mentored by one Barclay’s PAs also shadowing her at work. As a result of her training she found:-

• A renewed confidence having provided proof her skills were relevant and up to date

• Training helped get her back in the marketplace

• A Re-ignited passion for learning


After 4 months of distinctions in her training Michelle’s confidence re-appeared and she began job hunting -she has taken up a temp position at Pitman Training in Chelmsford whilst continuing with her Diploma. Michelle intends to carry on gaining experience in this role, then once her Diploma is complete she will pursue her career as a professional PA with excitement and confidence.

"At my age I feel I have a lot to offer from life experience as well as having a good head on my shoulders, but was worried I’d be dismissed and almost as a burden to an employer. I am delighted to say I have turned this view on its head now and realise I am an asset to any employer!”

Are you returning to work later in life? What do you think of Michelle's story? 

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