I’m what is often referred to as a “young mum”. I became a parent in my mid-20s. I was definitely not what people think of as “established” in my career. In reality, I was still in my “fell into” job.
My husband and I were pinching the pennies to make our lives work. And I often found myself facing that look. You know the one. The look of pity people give out when they think you’ve failed at life. It’s a horrid look. And it makes you feel as small as a mouse.
What the pity party didn’t realise was that I was just at the beginning of my story. I’m not the woman who gives up. I will find a way to make absolutely anything work. And of course, I did!
Working Mum and Stay at Home Mum
I carried on working for a while after having kids. After Stephen was born I worked a 20 hour week. We were broke all of the time because I was earning so little and paying out so much for childcare. Then I finally fell pregnant with Jack. I spent a year at home with him and eventually returned to work full-time. And it was a great job. But with a baby and a toddler, it became exhausting.
So I stopped. And I became a stay at home parent. You’re probably thinking that was the biggest career mistake I could ever make. But it actually helped my career. Because it allowed me the time to discover what I really wanted to do.
The Journey into Marketing
When Jack started nursery, I began spending time learning more about the marketing industry. I’d started working on marketing in parts of my old role, and it had certainly piqued my interest. The more I learned, the more I realised that this was the career for me. And so the month before Jack was due to start school, I started looking for work. And I found it. I secured a role at a university, managing one of their school’s marketing teams.
This role opened so many doors for me. I learned how to market to a younger generation and became a skilled digital marketer. I developed marketing plans, created bespoke web pages, and managed social media accounts. I finally felt like I was getting somewhere in my career.
The Job Ad That Changed My Life
Sadly I wasn’t getting the time with my children I so craved. And so when my husband found himself looking for work, I came across a job advert that intrigued me.
It was an SEO specialist at digital marketing agency Exposure Ninja. And it was a role working from home. I was a bit skeptical at first. I’ve never Googled a company so much as I did this one! The thought of leaving an incredibly secure role, for a position at a small business that I knew little about frightened me. Nonetheless, I decided to apply and was offered a role.
Going Totally Remote
Initially, I worked there as a freelancer whilst still working in my other role. It felt like I was working every waking hour (and I probably was), but after three months I was offered a permanent role as the SEO Team Leader. I jumped at the chance, handed in my notice, and became a fully-fledged remote worker. And my husband also found work there too.
It has been the best decision I’ve ever made. I get to work from home every single day. I work to my own schedule. I’ve never taken a sick day because I don’t need too. If I feel off I’ll just use my flexi-time to rest and work once I’m feeling better.
I see my kids all the time. And I work whilst they’re asleep in the morning and at school in the day. I also get to see my husband every day.
Moving Forward in My Career
Recently I was promoted to manage a department. I’m now managing our project management department which is just super. I absolutely love chatting with clients. I’m responsible for keeping our campaign teams organised and meeting their deadlines, whilst also making sure the project managers also do the same.
I’ve also written a small section in the upcoming book #Mumboss, written by Vicki Psarias. It’s released in May of this year, so definitely buy a copy.
Since I moved into remote work, I’ve been able to spend far more time with the boys. Stephen, my eldest, has developed into a wise and intuitive ten-year-old. He’s also an absolute whizz at maths. He’s currently working to a year-seven level, despite only being in year-five.
Jack is seven, and a creative soul. He has taught himself everything there is to know about insects, through reading and documentaries. He also loves creating and illustrating stories.
It’s wonderful being able to see them after school every day, to know who their teachers are, and to support them with their homework. I know I’m blessed, but I also know how hard I worked to create this fabulous work/life balance.