Mother from Longfield, Dartford Makes Inspiring Career Change After 10-Year Break

A mother from Longfield, Dartford has recently embarked on a new career path after taking a 10-year break from the workforce.

Leigh Santamaria, who previously worked as a legal personal assistant, left her job to become a full-time carer for her daughter. However, after a decade of caring for her daughter, Leigh decided it was time for a change and began looking for new opportunities.

Despite obtaining a qualification in accountancy in 2021, Leigh struggled to find a job in her desired field after months of applying. It was then that she came across an advertisement for a female train driver on social media.

Feeling inspired, Leigh began exploring opportunities and vacancies for trainees and eventually applied for a position through Career Returners, a program designed for individuals looking to return to work after a long break.

The 52-year-old mother is now in the process of training to become a train driver for Southern Rail. She has also taken the initiative to study GCSEs in English, mathematics, and IT to enhance her skills set. In addition, Leigh is currently memorizing a 300-page driver’s rule book to become fully qualified for the position.

Returning to work after such a long break was a major change for Leigh, but she credits the support from her manager and loved ones for making the transition smoother. She also acknowledges the help she receives from her mother and her daughter’s specialist school, which allows her to balance her studies and caring responsibilities.

Leigh’s determination and resilience in pursuing a new career path after a decade-long break serves as an inspiration to many others in similar situations. She proves that with hard work and support, anything is possible.

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