Cos’s Story

Career change
After 21 years in hairdressing, I decided it was time for a career change so I took the plunge and left my job.

It was a very daunting experience as I realised it was a big risk leaving a career I had being involved in since I left school and a stable job. But I knew I needed a new challenge. A new direction. The only thing was I didn’t know what I wanted to do next!

I went along to the local Jobcentre Plus to see if there was anything they could do to help me on my journey and inform my career change. The advisor suggested I went along to City College Peterborough and sign up for their Destination Employment course.

The course to my future 

The course is a three day back to work course designed to help people like me research and apply for jobs. During the course, the College’s IAG careers’ advisor came in and as a result of this session I enrolled onto their Business Administration Course Level 1. This was a bit daunting at first as I hadn’t been back into a classroom since I left school!

However, the tutor, Sharon Preston-High put me at ease straight away and I met new people and friends during the course. Better still, I passed my first non-hairdressing exam first time which gave me more confidence to move on.

During the Business Administration course, I learnt about the role of an administrator, how to act in a business environment and I also gained some useful work experience spending time with the receptionist at the College, Lecky, and sitting with members of the customer services team too. This gave me the opportunity to see the experts at work and also put my new-found skills to the test. I loved it!

I decided I wanted to do more learning and sign up for the College’s Customer Service Level 1 course to improve my job prospects. But there was an eight-week gap before the course started, so I was proactive and asked the College if there was an opportunity to work as a volunteer to gain some further practical experience and they took me on and I’m still there now. My main roles are carrying out administration work and reception cover. I love it as the work is so varied and I meet lots of interesting people as well as building up my knowledge and experience.

Then it was time for my Customer Service course. As a hairdresser I worked with customers frequently so this course reiterated what I’d learnt in my years’ experience working with people. I enjoyed this course as it reminded me of what I would need to do if I were to work directly with customers again. I passed this course and applied for a receptionist job at Vivacity. Having gained experience as a receptionist and passing the Business Administration and Customer Service courses, I could use the things I learnt in the classroom and through my voluntary work during the interview and I was offered the job as an evening receptionist at Vivacity.

Cos’s Advice 

I would definitely recommend that someone who has reached the crossroads in their career whether because there is a restructure in the workplace or they simply want to try something new to go along the College and book an appointment with their careers’ advisory. The sessions are free and they certainly helped me to find the courses that would help me in my career, develop a CV and have the confidence to apply for jobs that would be suitable for me.

If you would like to book an appointment with the College’s IAG Careers’ Advisor, call (01733) 761361 or call; into the College and speak to a member of the customer service team.

For further information on our Employability courses call (01733) 761361 or email