Changing Career

I am a work at home Mum, I have three children (9, 6 and 3) with the youngest starting school in September. Before having children I had assumed that once they started school it would be much easier to work, but a school day is not a work day and work does not have the same holiday allowance as schools. The children cannot go to school if they are ill and I would also like to be there for most of the things school arranges during the daytime. Time is short for working, but the need to work is important to me!

I did run a small business for 15 years, but I could not commit 100% of my time to running my business and have quality time for my family. So it was a difficult decision to sell my business, but a great opportunity to make a fresh start.

I had learned a lot running a business, certain elements of business really interested me. I have taken some time and retrained at home, a mixture of online courses and a lot of reading. This might sound very simple, but in reality this has been a difficult road to where I am now. I didn’t know where to start, I had worked for over 20 years and I was very able and confident in my work. Confidence has been the biggest battle, it is not easy to completely change career. There were also times when I lost faith in the reading and learning, it felt like I was wasting time.

Now I am able to help other small and medium sized business with social media, SEO, reputation marketing, blog work and other admin work. A huge turning point for me was going to a Business Start Up seminar and actually talking to other business owners about the work I do. It was such a confidence boost to be able to speak to so many new people and help them and to know the answer to their questions!

If you are working from home or thinking that working from home is for you then my main advice would be to start networking. There are thousands of groups in all locations so there will be a group near to you. There are fees to pay and they do vary, but you can often go free for a trial period to the group first. There will be a mixture of different business sectors giving you the opportunity to build a list of useful contacts, people that may be able to help you as well as you help them.

networking 1

It is only natural to feel apprehensive if you have not been to a networking meeting before, but remember everyone feels the same! Good preparation will give you confidence, you may be able to get a list of other people attending the meeting beforehand and do a little research about them and their companies. Take plenty of good quality business cards with you, these will help leave a lasting impression of you, so make sure it is the impression you want to leave.

Can you comprehensively describe your business? It is not as easy as it sounds, so take some time to plan the perfect pitch:

  • Be genuine
  • Don’t waffle
  • Know what you can offer and also what you need
  • What is special and unique about your business?
  • Keep it short, about a minute

There is a great wealth of information from companies such as  Hiscox to help keep your business running smoothly, but I do believe it is important when you are a home based business to get out there and make new contacts and keep in touch with real people.

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