Let’s chat about being a working mum

Written by Career Mums

13th August 2020

Lets Chat - Working Mum

I don’t know your story yet, here’s mine…

I scraped through school and against the odds got a place on a degree course, inspired by the fact that most of my friends were doing the same thing. I didn’t have a career plan, didn’t have any major ambitions and realised I was doing a degree in Economics because it was my best subject at A level.

I spent most of my degree working in a bar and not focussing on my coursework or the rest of my peers.

But I did get some great work experience during my course, and got onto a graduate traineeship with a major food retailer. After a while I had some career success, my confidence and leadership abilities developing from a mix of tedious and interesting projects that came my way and I eventually moved on to work for an international manufacturing business becoming a HR Director.

I loved being in a leadership position – I felt as though I had found my professional home but this came at a time when I had fallen in love with my life partner and wanted to create a family together. I reduced my working hours and international travel schedule and focussed on getting pregnant. And focussed some more. Five years, and many fertility investigations and treatments later we were blessed with our first child. By this time, I had chosen to leave corporate life and set up as an independent coach and trainer, professionally it felt like the right thing to do, but mostly for the sake of my chances of having the family we wanted I needed to reorganise my life, focus less on work and more on my emotional and physical needs.

I continued to coach on a part-time basis and then once child number 2 came along (again a torturous journey) I focussed on being the best mum I could be, which for me meant being with them and reducing work commitments. During this time we’d also moved away from London and moved to an area where I didn’t have a ready-made support network around me and my partner frequently works away from home. Then the years passed…both children settled into school life and I realised that I’d almost lost the professional me – the professional me that I had spent so long developing during my 20s and early 30s and I missed that part of me that could make a difference and have an impact on others.

My partner suggested I get a job at the local farm shop or work at our children’s school. I contemplated taking a teaching qualification. These things were a cry to occupy my time, but I felt somewhat betrayed – I had an inner need to fulfil some greater professional goals.

I started supporting a parenting charity that was close to my heart. The more I got involved the more I felt the need to work more regularly and engage in a professional world and to follow my long held professional dreams.

I applied for a couple of jobs where I knew that I had the experience and capability to do the roles. I remember turning up for an interview and assessment centre and feeling so much older than the other candidates and unable to put my previous experience into a relevant context for what they were looking for. I felt old, washed up and let down. Let down by society, I had done what I thought was the right thing by being at home with my young children… but I wasn’t needed any more.

It took me a year to get over that one job rejection. It really did set me back. And now I’m doing something about it and reaching out to help all the amazing women that find themselves in a similar situation.

Career-Mums was borne out of the need to support parents to return to work, when the time is right, to regain your professional identity, inner confidence and spark knowing that there is lots of time to develop a rewarding career which takes into account family responsibilities and helps you to fulfil your life ambitions and purpose.

What’s your story? Contact us now for further details of how we can support you.

It’s good to chat,

Sally

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