Whilst I was on maternity leave in 2017 I was made redundant. This left me in a bit a bit of a dilemma.
My eldest was soon to be starting school and when factoring in the logistics of multiple drop offs, my options soon started to decrease in terms of what was going to be logistically possible career wise. Commuting into London was no longer feasible so my dilemma was do I look for a local (lower paid / lower skilled) role, or do I look to start my own business? Something which would give our family total flexibility.
Whatever the decision, I knew I needed to keep myself current and keep my career and experience moving.
Over the years I have seen so many experienced and qualified women around me stop after they have children. These talented women stop their careers and then years later when it’s time for them to reignite they hit a block. A block in their current industry knowledge, a block in their perceived relevance and a block in their confidence. This block usually sees this talent turn to lower skilled, lower paid part-time roles to support the flexibility they need. Whilst change is slowly happening in this space, and there is increasingly more support for this untapped talent pool, this change is intermittent and inconsistent across business sectors.
So, where did my dilemma take me? In 2018 I graduated with a Diploma in Strategic Social Media Marketing. Study which I undertook with the award winning ‘Digital Mums’. I now have a totally flexible freelance career which I manage around family commitments and it has been the foundation for building my now portfolio career.
Conscious though not to lose sight of my 20 year HR background I specialise in working with HR related start-ups and SMEs on their social media strategies to maximise their impact and visibility via social media. Content research has seen me read more HR articles and publications than I ever did in my previous day job which very much ticks the keeping current in the HR industry insights box!
But being a Social Media Manager isn’t my final flexible career destination. I am on a journey. A journey which has now seen me complete the ‘Barefoot’ Business & Personal Coaching course, enabling me to further add to my business service offering. My journey now also enables me to present to new mums once a month as guest speaker specialist on all things career related post children. An opportunity which has come about as a result of my social media presence and championing the flexible working agenda.
And what’s my number one piece of advice to these career women?
Keep on Moving.