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Sunday, 18 September 2016

Children Changing Careers p:14 - Ali from Mum in a Nutshell

children changing careers featuring ali from mum in a nutshell

Welcome to part 14 of the blog series 'Children Changing Careers' - A series for parents who have pulled off a career change after having children.

This week's post features Ali from Mum in a Nutshell .

Here is her career changing story...

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

Prior to the arrival of my last baby (I have a 10 year age gap) I was an outreach worker in a children’s centre. I completed an early years degree in my 30’s and found my dream job delivering parenting classes, 1-1 family support helping all sorts of issues from those under child protection to helping parents budget or struggling with behaviour. I worked everything from 25 hours to 37 just before I left. There was no average day, I could be sitting in a child protection meeting in the morning, teaching new mums about baby brain development and bonding in the afternoon then the next day visiting toddler groups with treasure baskets and children’s centre leaflets the next day.

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

I handed in my notice while on maternity leave after realising that I’d lost my passion, the job had changed so much and there was no much internal conflict and job uncertainty. I didn’t feel I should be doing something so vital which i no longer believed in. If I was going to have to put my baby in childcare then it had to be for a job which I loved. I had to go back 3 weeks or pay back maternity pay. It was very strange, I was given the cold shoulder by the management and just left to my own devices, sorting of slipping out the back door quietly which made me realise that I’d done the right thing. I have never regretted leaving.
What were your reasons for leaving your previous career? Why did you decide not to stay?I’d completely lost my ambition and having always been someone with dreams and something to aim for I knew I needed a change or I would end up very grumpy and bitter!

Tell me about your new career now: 

I’m now a social media manager and blogging brings in a small wage. It’s been a natural progression and not something I ever realised would bring in enough money to be doing something I loved so much. I’ve done a couple of online social media and digital marketing courses and am signed up for the Digital Mums course this year so I can fine tune my skills. It’s been a slow progress but I’m finally earning what I was previously, minus what I would’ve been paying in childcare. My argument being that if I’d stayed I’d be bringing in less as I can now work around my toddler.

children changing careers featuring ali from mum in a nutshell

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

An average day starts at 7am, I check my social media for both my blog and the companies who’s social media I look after then get ready for the day, breakfast , walk the dog and do a little housework between 8 & 10am, then it’s coffee and checking emails and social media for an hour. This is the tricky part of the day balancing being a mum and working on the go, some mornings i’m a toddler groups so this gets pushed back. Lunch with my boy and then my mum comes to take him out for a couple of hours while I get on with work. it’s back to being mum for a few hours then once my toddler’s in bed, I’m head down and working, usually till 11.30pm. I try and give myself Friday and Saturday nights off as well as Saturdays. That’s not something I’m very disciplined at though and usually end up sneaking on social media on my phone.  

children changing careers featuring ali from mum in a nutshell

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

Worst is not having a regular income. Some months are better than others and the quieter ones are scary! I also hate doing my accounts!

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

colleagues, I worked with some lovely ladies and we did socialise out of work a lot. Some days were a right giggle and when I needed to moan they were the perfect listeners. It’s quite isolating now which is why I make an effort to go to toddler groups, I do get to meet up and chat to other bloggers from Devon and the Facebook blogger groups are a godsend for support.

children changing careers featuring ali from mum in a nutshell

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

Get some savings behind you before you leave your regular job to cover the quieter months. You do have to be quite determined, have a clear plan and do lots of research. I have some Pinterest boards on social media, blogging and business which I refer to quite often. But if it feels like the right thing then do it, I’m a huge believer in trusting your instincts. 

children changing careers featuring ali from mum in a nutshell

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

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