Monday, 8 August 2016

Children Changing Careers p:13 - Gemma from all by mama

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama

Welcome to part 13 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 Gemma from all by mama - a marketplace of mamas working around their family! SO appropriate for this series, I have been really looking forward to featuring her and her amazing business.


You can see more of Gemma on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Here is her career changing story...



Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama

Tell me about your life, background and career before children? 

Before my eldest son was born (in 2012) I had a career in marketing that I was totally dedicated to, always pushing for my next move and genuinely loving my job. I studied Advertising and Marketing at university but never finished my degree after a summer of work placements in a both a New York Ad Agency and a London Ad Agency I was offered a job and just went for it. I’ve never looked back. I spent the following 10 years working in Marketing agencies with a big chunk of that time being with Disney as my main client (yes I’ve met Mickey!). I was at Director level when I went on maternity leave to have my first son. Once he was born my priorities changed and I found the idea of not being around for a big chunk of the week difficult – this is a total personal thing and I think it’s so important to emphasis there’s no right or wrong here no matter what you decide to do work wise as a Mama, but for me I wanted to be around and have the flexibility to accommodate my new life with my son.


Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama

Did you return to your job/position after your maternity?


I did go back to my job after my maternity leave ended temporarily but I felt I couldn’t commit in the way I did before I had children and, despite having a very supportive employer, flexible working wasn’t really an option. I just couldn’t be there late in to the evenings like I was previously. I’d had the idea for All By Mama on maternity leave and being back at work was the push I needed to get started. I spent a year working on the business pre-launch in evenings and weekends and left my job a month before we went live. It was both exciting and terrifying and although I was following my dreams (and still am) and finding a way to work flexibly around my family, it wasn’t easy to leave a career I had worked so hard at prior to having my first son.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama

What were your reasons for leaving your previous career? Why did you decide not to stay?

My son was one of those babies that picked up every single bug around and I remember sitting with my boss three months after returning from maternity and discussing how much time I had already had off – it was awful and I think at that moment I just realised I had to at least try another lifestyle option. I couldn’t cope with not being around when my son wasn’t well enough for nursery but I felt awful about not being present enough at work at the same time – and I was lucky to work for a lovely company so I can’t imagine the pressure some women must feel. Really, other than a real belief in this ‘idea’ I’d had my decision to leave my career was based on one thing – flexibility.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama


Tell me about your new career now: 


I now run All By Mama full time, flexibly and around family life. All By Mama is a marketplace and community of Mamas working around family life. Flexible working is at the very heart of everything we do. We have a small team that all work flexibly and remotely and many of the Mamas in our community started their business to achieve a flexible way to working whilst they raise their children. I am so passionate about the business and working hard isn’t a problem as I love what I do – that doesn’t mean it’s easy around a young family though! Financially, I have taken a significant pay cut as we heavily reinvest in the business, we are still very much in our start-up phase and it’s the type of business that takes a certain period of time to become established (like most!). We’re currently seeking our second round of investment and I hope we can continue to grow the business around our families and offer others the opportunity to work flexibly.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama


Talk me through an average day for you now? How much has your life changed?


Life has changed so much! I’ve just had my second son so if I’d answered this three months ago my answer would have been somewhat different! Currently, Cassius (my youngest) is still very young so it is a real juggle around his needs and I work when he sleeps and late in to the evening. Sleep is certainly suffering (none of that ‘sleep when the baby sleeps’ this time!). My eldest Leonardo is at pre-school so I can work around him more easily. My fiancée doesn’t see much of me and cooks almost all meals in our house but he is incredibly supportive and he knows how much the business means to me so is happy to be ignored all evening most nights of the week! I do however tend to make sure in any given week that I have both time to focus on the business and to focus on my family – I really need this set time to keep the balance and always arrange some special ‘us time’ at least once a week – even if it’s just a walk in our favourite place.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama


What is the best and worst thing about your new career?


The best is that I get to follow my dream and do something I am incredibly passionate about all around my family life. I’ve also met some amazing ladies through the business and I feel like I’m keeping my brain alive with all the challenges that running a business throws up – I’m always learning. The hardest thing has probably been the change in our financial situation (also impacted by having two children!) I think more business owners should be honest about the time it takes while you build your business to earn a good salary for yourself (depending on what your business is of course)

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama
Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama


Is there anything you miss about your previous career/life before children?

A hot tea and a decent lunch! And a flat tummy! But I wouldn’t change what I have now for the world, I’m very happy and feel extremely fortunate.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama
Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama
Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama



What advice would you give to someone who is looking to do what you have done?


Just get started. Find something that starts off the process and just go with it. Talk about your idea with trusted friends and family – make it feel real. Once you’ve started sit down and make a plan. Set your vision and get your motivations clear and keep them somewhere to hand to always refer to. Don’t compare yourself to others and go at your own pace – be that fast or slow. Set your own goals. Practically, make a plan financially to support your move and don’t be afraid to ask for help and advice.

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mamaCareer change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama

Career change inspiration from Gemma at all by mama


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
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6 comments:

  1. Another brilliant inspirational story - this is such a fantastic series Sarah! I love how honest Gemma is as she talks about the challenges that came with her career change, but I have absolute respect to her for following her dreams and wish her every success with her amazing business. Thanks for linking with #fartglitter x

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  2. This is such a great series! I love the honesty in this post especially related to the time it takes to earn a decent salary for yourself and the effort needed to make it work. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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  3. Wow, how inspirational. It's so wonderful to read about women who have changed the way they work for their families, struggles and all!

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  4. Wow what a career-inspiring story. It's such a bold thing to leave a career you know so well and start a new one. Well done on dealing with the unknown and going for it. You've obviously made it a great success for you and your family. #KCACOLS

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  5. Great series and a real help to mums who wonder what to do regarding their careers after children. It all changes so much, so to hear what other people have done is a comfort.
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.
    Mainy

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  6. So interesting. I'm in a career void at the moment and have no idea what to do next!!! #kcacols

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