Finding my new working life via Digital Mums

You know when you have a Sky Box Sets email in your Inbox asking “Where have you gone?”, things have changed. Thankfully for the better.

I did read somewhere pre-course that Netflix (or the like) might take a hit and actually, most non-essential stuff did. As a stay at home mum, I knew I’d go back to work at some point and so had sort of parked it all and if I’m honest, I’d mostly been ignoring the fact that one day soon, I’d need to find a job.

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Last Summer and just under 7 years after having my son and leaving my last job as a contracted Marketing Project Manager, I suddenly began feeling the need to address the situation. But how?!

My daughter was turning 2 and I felt at a bit of a loss at how I could turn all the knowledge and experience I had gained over the last 18 years into something. Something current, something exciting, something that worked. Which was half the problem; the chances that I was going to find a good, well paid job near where I lived and which allowed me to pick up my kids from school and work flexibly over the school holidays was becoming something similar to finding the holy grail. Did it even exist? How did people do it? I was perplexed…and fascinated all at once.

It turns out most of the time, the answer is ‘with difficulty’.

I was also lacking confidence. “I think I could do that…” was the thought process when looking for jobs. Deep down, I knew I could do it but my confidence had nose-dived and left me feeling, well, pretty unsure.

Then one Sunday when we were having lunch with friends, I was discussing with one of them the confidence issues of returning to work after a bit of a break — actually he was male and had been travelling for some time and then managing his portfolio of flats before he returned to the workplace — but nevertheless, we felt the same.

It was then he told me about a digital company that he’d read about in a paper that re-trains mums to be social media managers. I was intrigued and as soon as I got home I set about Googling it.

Sure enough, this company sounded to good to be true. They talked about all the issues that so hugely resonated with me.

I emailed Digital Mums very shortly after to discuss the courses on offer and it was a further few months before I decided to sign up, starting the course in January 2017.

At the start of the course, we were emailed all the relevant information about accessing the online learning platform and told the names of the other 4 mums that would form our ‘peer group’.

My group aptly named ‘Martha Lane Fox’ was a diverse and fun group of women varying in ages, job experience and family life stages — different but all, as I learnt, caring and supportive people. And it is these people that become your support and learning network in a way that you might not have realised is possible.

I found the course itself hugely enjoyable and immersed myself in all the vast learning that we received through each week’s lessons. Working with a real client — the ‘programme partner’ and being able to apply my learning in real time was great experience, if sometimes slightly stressful and in the beginning, just plain scary! However, I need not have worried too much, my programme partner who had a successful wedding planning business was great and to her credit, fully accommodated the requirements of the course.

My campaign for the business, which was executed across Facebook and Instagram and which aimed to increase brand awareness was a success and I can happily now say that I enjoy the world of insights and weekly reporting on data (believe me, I didn’t know this was possible either).

During the campaign, I even had a couple of short holidays booked so although it panicked me a little, it was a great way of testing #workthatworks .

And it did work. I can confirm sitting on a beach on a small Caribbean island is the perfect place to work.

If I was asked what the most challenging aspect was, I’d have to say time.Learning to do this social stuff within the realms of a young family is challenging but the course continued to give and over the last 7 months, I have learnt how to fit many more things into my time and life than ever before — and importantly, still enjoy it.

So now, a few days after having handed in my final assignment, I find myself entering a new world of exciting possibilities.

Already, there are a number of opportunities that have presented themselves and everywhere I seem to turn, someone wants to know ‘how can I get more followers?’ or ‘what platform should I be on?’…

And thanks to Digital Mums, I now have an answer for them.

My next steps are going to be getting to grips with the world of freelancing but the best bit? That will be doing it alongside all the fab mums that have completed the course too and are now part of the DM Collective, the community that Digital Mums are building as part of their mission to change the way we work in the 21st Century.