Sunday, 31 July 2016

Children Changing Careers p:12 - Shaney from iMummyBlog

Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

Welcome to part 12 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series 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 Shaney from iMummyBlog who is now a Night Tube Train Operator!

You can see more of Shaney on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Here is her career changing story...

My name is Shaney, I’m a 27 year old mum to a 2-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy and have recently made quite a big change to my career.

I went to the BRIT School for Performing Arts to study Dance, I also studied Textiles as an extra subject. Over time I realised that my true passion was in Textiles and fashion and that dance suited me better as a hobby. I moved onto Central Saint Martins where I got my Foundation in Art and Design and then went on to study textiles for fashion and interiors at the University for Creative Arts in Farnham where I specialised in woven fabrics.

Every internship and employment that I took up was fashion or textile related in the hope that I would be able to secure a job in fabric sourcing or fashion buying once I had finished my degree. And I did. I joined the menswear buying team of an extremely well known high street retailer and I absolutely loved it. I travelled a minimum of 3 hours a day to get to the office and I worked from 8am until whatever time I finished (usually 6.30pm). But it was worth it as I was in my element and every single day was exciting and different.
Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

To give you an idea, here are just a few of things I had to do: Research trends, negotiate with suppliers, come up with design ideas, analyse sales, actually go shopping (who wouldn’t love that?), source fabrics and build product ranges.

When I got pregnant for the first time, I had every intention of returning to my job after maternity leave. I think at that time I was naive about how challenging being a parent can be without adding to that, 3 hours of commuting per day and working long hours. I realised pretty quickly after having my daughter that it was going to be difficult (more like impossible) for me to return to my job and I was absolutely GUTTED.

I also knew that the chances of me finding a part-time buying job that was close to home; were slim to none. But I had a word with the universe anyway and as if by magic, I found a part-time menswear buying assistant job that was 15 minutes down the road. I could not believe my luck! I did have to take a pay cut; but I was happy to still be doing the job that I loved. Because I like to complicate things, I got pregnant again. I had my son in December, again with the intention of returning to my job after maternity leave.

Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

10 days after giving birth someone told me about vacancies for “Night Tube - Train Operator”. We had a look online just out of curiosity, I saw that I could pretty much double current my salary for working less hours and thought I’d be stupid not to apply.

It wasn’t that I wanted to leave my buying career behind, it was simply a logical decision based on my new priority — my growing family. To progress in buying, you need to be able commit to the role, put in extra hours and maybe even continue working at home. Aside from that, I calculated that I would be spending my entire salary on childcare. It was not going to work. As much as I love working, I love my family more.

After 5 months of various assessments, tests and finally the longest interview of my life; I was offered the job. I had mixed emotions to begin with, half of me wondering what on earth I was thinking?! And the other half of me excited that I had got possibly the best part time job ever.

Underground badge, Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

I’m currently going through an intense full-time training programme, my head hurts everyday — but it is the sensation of learning. I am actually enjoying it a lot more than I had anticipated. I only see my children for a couple of hours a day, which is difficult but it is only temporary. I never imagined myself taking up a full time training programme 5 months after giving birth, but it has to be done and aside from a few tears (mostly mine) we have all adapted pretty well. Once the training period is complete I will only be working 2 nights per week. That means plenty of time to spend with and raise my family, plenty of time to work on my blog and minimal childcare required. LIVING!

My working days will be spent driving a train in the dark, spending long periods of time alone and having to concentrate for extended periods of time on what may be repetitive tasks. Very different from what I am used to. However, a train operator’s role is safety critical and knowledge is key. I will need to be able to deal with situations as they arise, always ensuring that I keep myself and my customers safe.

The best thing about this career change is that I’ll have the freedom I need to be able to nurture and take care of my family without having to compromise financially. I will also have many opportunities for career progression when the time is right. The worst thing for me is probably the training period where I don’t get to see my kids or partner as much as I would like to, adjusting has been difficult.

Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

There is part of me that misses being able to make decisions based purely on what I want. But since having children, the decisions that I have to make are bigger, more important and in a lot of ways more exciting because I sometimes have to step out of my comfort zone and do things that I never imagined I would do; like driving a train.

My advice to anyone who has a young family or is looking to change careers for any reason is to go with the flow, think logically, but don't over-think things and do not doubt your self. You have to do what is best for you and your family. Do not worry about what other people think. Try something new and different and you may be pleasantly surprised.

Some of my friends and family laugh at me.

“So you spent 8 years studying and working in fashion… and now you want to be a train driver?”

*rolls eyes*

My theory is that everything happens for a reason, the universe is in control and i’m almost certain that I will have the last laugh. Everything is temporary. There are no limits. Life is strange, but life is good.

Children Changing Careers, iMummyBlog

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
Children Changing Careers - p3: Dani from Deluxe Blooms
Children Changing Careers - p4: Bonnie from BON LDN
Children Changing Careers - p5: Vicki Psarias from Honest Mum
Children Changing Careers - p6: Karen from Two Tiny Hands
Children Changing Careers - p7: Nicola from TM(M)I
Children Changing Careers - p8: Laura from Maybimoo
Children Changing Careers - p9: Vicki from Bo & Bel
Children Changing Careers - p10: Clare from Clare Bowes Photo
Children Changing Careers - p11: Anneka from Hello My PA

Follow me: Follow This post has been shared on some of these linkies:


  1. This is fascinating and also very inspirational. I have been made redundant on maternity leave and may well have to look into a change of career path now. I will definitely check out more in this series. #fartglitter

  2. I always fine these posts so inspirational and this is definitely no exception. A train driver!? Wow! That's an impressive career leap but it sounds just perfect to fit around your family life, which as you say, becomes so much more important than anything else. Congratulations on your new job and I hope you love it once you get out there on the tracks. xx Thanks for sharing Sarah and for linking with #fartglitter x

  3. What an inspiring post. My friends younger sister trained as a tube train driver and she loves it. She studies performing arts. A change of career can come about for all kinds of reasons. It take courage and confidence to change careers. You should be really proud. Hope I get to catch one of your tube trains!!! #brillblogposts

  4. This is amazing! I'm still debating what I'm going to do about work and I love reading this series about career changes #kcacols

  5. Wow. It takes a lot to change careers so drastically. Well done. So pleased it is working out and hope the night shifts aren't too tiring #KCACOLS

  6. I am so impressed by everyone in this series and their courageous changes in careers. I would never have thought of a night time train driver position. Fantastic and congratulations on the change to suit you and your family #KCACOLS

  7. Incredibly inspiring post, I found blogging and vlogging came at the perfect time for me as it meant I could work around my kids and was flexible x

  8. I love that you've gone for such a big career change! And hope that it works out well for you, by the sound of it I think it will! x #KCACOLS

  9. You are such an inspiration. I used to work in TV and know I cannot go back to that job - the hours were long even before the commute to London. I think it's all about making logical decisions that work for your family - well done you and what an interesting look into your new career. Thanks for linking up to #KCACOLS hope you come back again next Sunday! x

  10. Wow! Such and exciting new time for you! Very courageous! #KCACOLS

  11. Wow, this is so incredibly inspirational. What a HUGE leap in careers, both so fascinating in their own ways. A train driver!!? That sounds so cool! This truly takes so much courage, and you deserve a huge pat on the back for having the will to endure these difficult months <3 Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

  12. Oh wow this is amazing! I love how you have taken the leap to do something like this for the sake of your family. Last December I decided I had had enough of working 50 hour weeks and not seeing my daughter. Now i work 2 days a week and life is so much better. Best of luck for the future and the job #kcacols

  13. Oh wow this is amazing. You are so brave to go for such a big change but it sounds like a really interesting challenge. Well done you! #KCACOLS

  14. I love this series! What a great story! I also work in retail and I'm currently training in nails and beauty therapy in the evenings, sometimes I doubt myself but hearing other stories is very reassuring! #kcacols


I would like to notify you of any replies to your comment - please click the 'notify me' box and/or leave your email address/twitter handle alongside your comment so that I can email or tweet you and let you know!