Skip to content

'How motherhood prompted my career change to health and safety'

Date posted
08 March 2022
Estimated reading time
3 minute read

Having a baby can change many things in your life. For one member of our future leaders community, it inspired an exciting new professional journey. This was the career I didn’t know I needed, writes Rachel Clark TechIOSH.

When I had my child, I was working in a social housing role that focused on anti-social behaviour and criminal activity. This often meant dealing with domestic and child abuse and it was negatively impacting my mental health.

I knew that I needed a career change, but I didn’t know what.

I saw an advert for a part-time job as a facilities co-ordinator and just knew I had to take the leap. The hours would fit around childcare, and it offered a fresh opportunity.

I was successful and leapt into my new, unknown career.

While I got to grips with the role, a new head of health and safety was appointed and, because facilities and health and safety are often linked together, he became my manager.

This would become a key moment in my journey, as I was fascinated to learn what he was implementing and why. I asked him so many questions he suggested I study for an industry qualification.

It was the best advice, as I loved the subject. I was finally getting answers to my questions and learning about a whole new subject I was not even aware of before.

Once I passed the course, I was offered a role as health and safety adviser and started the career I didn’t know I needed.

I now have a rewarding career with Aster, based in South Somerset.

Without realising it, having a child had changed my mind, thought processes and, in particular, my hazard awareness. I saw danger in places I hadn’t before and was already actively using additional controls in my day-to-day life.

I was used to working with people from all walks of life and in a variety of situations, so I felt that my skillset fitted nicely into health and safety.

I genuinely want people to be safe at work and go home to their loved ones.

Advice and support

I joined IOSH as I learnt early in my career that it was where I could access advice and support, which was so important in helping me on my career journey.

I was automatically made a member of the IOSH future leaders community. It’s so refreshing to read articles and gain support and advice from people early on in their careers, like me, and I feel that this representation really matters.

I now have more courses under my belt and am loving the challenges, rewards and making new professional relationships.

I like to involve my son and we see what hazards and controls we can spot when we go past building sites together. I was very proud when my he correctly identified a piece of scaffolding was missing its edge protection. He’s the occupational safety and health professional of the future!

Sadly, too often employers can see working parents as a hinderance, but we have so many valuable skills, many of which we gain after becoming parents that can be applied to the workplace. These have made me the occupational safety and health professional I am today.

Contact the media team

If you’re a journalist looking to set up an interview, get a quote, or with another enquiry, call our media team on +44 (0)116 257 3118.

Last updated: 31 January 2024


  • Equality and diversity
  • People and workforce
  • "Work Emma" gets me through the day
  • Megan making the most of mentoring
  • Why post-nominals are so important