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Nikki Dargusch - Return to Work for Women Graduate

Published: 07 Dec 2017

Nikki Dargusch

The CIT Return to Work for Women program is a course designed for women who are looking to re-enter the paid workforce after an extended absence. Graduating students receive a nationally recognised qualification: Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways (FSK20113).

The recent 2017 graduation was held at CIT Tuggeranong on Friday 24 November where we were able to speak with graduate Nikki Dargusch who told us her story. ACT Woman of the Year Marie Louise Corkhill was in attendance as a guest speaker and it was noted that 6 of the recent 15 graduates have already secured paid employment, Nikki being amongst this group:

Nikki Dargusch

I was drawn to this course because I have been a stay at home mum for over 14 years, and have been trying to look for work. My husband is a member of the Australian Defence Force so we had recently moved to Canberra from Darwin.  I was at that point where I was eager to get back into the workforce however; I had lost my confidence a little over the years and needed a guiding hand back into the workforce. So, I sat at my computer and Googled 'returning to work', which lead me to this program at CIT for women!

I simply put forward my expression of interest on the CIT courses website and was then asked for an interview shortly after. The process was quite simple and smooth after that.  What I didn't realise was that coming back to work required so many skills such as resume writing, addressing selection criteria, cover letters and interviews; all of which were quite technical and new to me. I am now much more confident in those processes and am capable of applying these new practical learned skills in the workforce.

I felt inspired, supported and grew my confidence even further from this course by being around other women in similar situations; we supported one another so closely.

My biggest challenge through this course and journey was changing my mindset from being a stay at home mum to shift into the professional world and changing not only my dress code, but my attitude too. There was a shift adjustment for my family along the way who had to learn and understand that I wasn't always going to be at home and that I would now be working and change a part of who I am.

In saying that, the timetable was perfect for my current lifestyle; the hours suited me well with school drop off and pick up and I was able to manage the best of both worlds as a working mum. The work experience offered these hours also. My background is Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture, which I placed on hold as I had kids and as my interest is still there I wanted to return and explore this area again. Working at Capital Health Centre of Traditional Chinese Medicine during my work experience placement has since given me work 2 days a week, which is better than anything I could have ever hoped for.

I cannot speak more highly of the teachers at CIT guiding so many women looking to find their feet in their career. They were very aware of our lack of confidence and provided the support we needed to become job focussed. All teachers were very approachable on any level and they really wanted us to be successful and find jobs at the end of the course.

My future plans involve Acupuncture and working and then seeing where that takes me. I am also inspired to further study other courses at CIT, such as massage therapy or possibly nursing if that door opens. I unequivocally recommend this course, especially if you need that helping hand to return back to the workforce. I have been telling everybody!