Welcome to part 3 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A feature for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children!
You can find a link to all the posts in this series via the pinterest board page here.
This week's post features Dani, who's former career was Head Receptionist. She now runs her own business called Deluxe Blooms.
Dani came into contact with me through Instagram, and amazingly, we soon realised that we had already met as she lives next door to a little boy who I look after twice a week! such a small world!
You can find Dani on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and via her website. Here is her career changing story....
|Dani and her husband on their wedding day|
Tell me about your life, background and career before children?
I went straight from school to working. Unlike all my friends, after completing my A levels, I didn't want to study any more, but to go out and experience the working world and gain financial independence.I started working for a credit referencing agency, and after 18 months and gaining an NVQ in customer services, I became the Head Receptionist, running a team of three ladies, for a company that had over 600 employees.I was responsible the front of house, for all incoming calls to the company through a switchboard, client meeting rooms, hospitality, travel, recorded deliveries, security cards...to name a few. We were always busy!
Did you return to your job/position after your maternity?
After having my daughter Lauren at 22, I discussed going back to work after 1 years maternity leave, but decided that the job would have been too demanding and I would have found it difficult to cover holidays/ sick leave etc.
What were your reasons for leaving your previous career? Why did you decide not to stay?
When you find a place for your child at a nursery, you can't just change your days on demand. Places fill up quickly and you get allocated certain days for your child to attend. This would have made it impossible for covering other employees shifts and therefore this role just wasn't suited to my new life style any more.
Tell me about your new career now?
Now, I've just launched my new business, Deluxe Blooms, a luxury faux flower company. I both sell arrangements and hire them out for businesses, home and events too.
After years of trying new jobs, part time, full time, weekends ( and having another baby, my son, Luca) I found it all so difficult. I was paying a fortune for child care, working extra 'last minute' hours and sacrificing time with my family, especially with the weekend job I had one Summer.
So, I've wanted to work for myself for a long time and when my husband and I came up with a new business idea, I just went for it. I financed the business myself, created my own website with a website builder, and learnt to do my own finances. I haven't stopped learning since day one.
Talk me through an average day for you now? How much has your life changed?
I have three days a week with my son whilst my little girl is at school, and two working week days where I get a chance to get my head down with the new business. On these days I'll keep on top of the accounts, arrange client meetings to discuss either hiring or buying bespoke faux flowers, answer emails, update social media posts etc. And of course, my favourite thing which is to get creative and start designing some new displays for my clients.
My life has changed so much, and definitely for the better. I get to spend three gorgeous days with Luca. Every day, I'm there for Lauren's school run, both in the morning and afternoon. And I also get to do something I love, whilst working for myself and earning more money for the family.
What is the best and worst thing about your new career?
The best thing about being self employed is that you can pick it up when it suits you and I find it all so much fun. I love meeting new people and giving them a beautiful set of faux flowers, a product they'll really enjoy!
The hardest part for me has been launching! You're so worried about the response you'll receive and whether people will like what you're selling or not. Luckily I've had nothing but positive reviews so far. I feel very blessed.
Is there anything you miss about your previous career/life before children?
I miss civilised lunches and dinner dates. Now, meals out usually include food on the floor (sometimes my hair), children demanding straws for drinks and fighting over coloured pencils and paper. Sometimes, it's easier just to stay in.
What advice would you give to someone who is looking to do what you have done?
If someone did want to start their own business I would really encourage them to do so. It's incredibly scary and a huge learning curve, and the risk of failing is almost too much some days. But it's good to keep challenging yourself. If something bad happens, learn from it. If you get knocked back, just keep trying. If you believe in yourself, then others will too.
Have you had a career change since having children? Would you like to feature on the blog? Get in touch, I would love to hear from you!
Read previous posts in the series:
Children Changing Careers - p1: Emma from Little Hotdog Watson
Children Changing Careers - p2: Alexandra from Tendre Deal