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19th March 2024
Jayne Clifford-Greening Discusses Her Career Goals Jayne Clifford-Greening discusses her career goals, the obstacles she faces and why giving up is not the answer when life gets challenging

I was inspired by Dee Gibson’s success with Ideal Schools, winning 2023 ICB Student of the Year, despite her own chronic health issues. I also spoke to an admin worker at the hospital I attend, who I noticed was working and using a mobility scooter. These women have shown me and others like me, that even serious health issues don’t necessarily mean your working life is over. I’d be delighted if my own story could in turn go on and encourage others.

Jayne Clifford-Greening, from Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, has been studying with Ideal Schools since September 2023. Jayne comes from a nursing background and has a History degree, but no formal finance qualifications. She has four children, who were all born prematurely, the last of whom has his own on-going health issues.

Having taken a career break to care for her children when they were young, Jayne was considering returning to work when she became very unwell with a lung condition which took time to eventually identify as Interstitial Lung Disease. During that time, Jayne’s health was seriously impacted, and she spent some time in 2017 on a ventilator in ICU with pneumonia and flu. After lengthy trial and error with medication, two years ago, her specialist finally found the right balance of anti-rejection drugs, including steroids. This has helped stabilise Jayne’s condition, but the impact of the steroids on her appearance have knocked her confidence. Moreover, she is now on oxygen when she is moving around and in the longer-term will need a lung transplant. Maintaining a sense of humour, Jayne calls her oxygen, “Flo”!

Jayne had at one time worked as a cashier in the secure office of a garden centre, and so, when considering a flexible career in finance, and after some advice from us, she decided that Ideal Schools ICB Level 3 Diploma in Payroll Management would be a good fit for her. Post-pandemic, the growth in home and hybrid working, as well as the inspiring example of others working with serious health issues, led Jayne to believe that her working life could well go on to have a next phase and feels this will benefit her emotionally as well as financially:

I want to work and feel like I am contributing something.

She can’t speak highly enough of the support she has received from Ideal Schools so far, describing the staff generally as friendly and supportive. She has also been impressed by our response times and mentions Advisor/Director, Brian, who has been available on live chat to give advice, even in the evenings. Jayne also singles out Nicky, her Payroll Tutor, as:

So amazing, she never makes you feel like you’re too much trouble. She is so good at answering my questions and encouraging me.

Having had a number of our students qualify and go onto find work and/or start businesses alongside significant health issues, this is an area in which we can offer support, grounded in experience.

If you are in a similar position, hopefully the stories of people like Jayne and others, can make you realise that your own working life can also have another phase, which can only benefit you financially, socially, and emotionally.

Please get in touch, if you would like to chat to us about your own next steps.