It’s been officially a year since I quit my corporate career and what a year it’s been. There has been highs and lows and good days and bad. I have done a lot of soul-searching and though I would never have had admitted it at the time I have had some very dark moments when I have wondered if I had made a mistake.14 months ago I was miserable, I was trying to juggle a corporate career that was going nowhere with looking after 2 kids. Lee was working away during the week, I was travelling back and forwards to London, our childcare bill was enormous & both sets of parents were trying to help out as much as they could but like parents do they were getting older and wanted their own life too. Something had to give.
In some ways my exit from my corporate job was well planned as I had an idea and a vision of what I wanted to do but then when it came down to crunch time I basically found myself in floods of tears one night typing out my resignation. I don’t even think I spell checked the e-mail as I just wanted to get it sent so I couldn’t change my mind. So 2 months later ( I was nice and gave 2 months notice, I also need the extra 2 months wage ) on the 26th July 2017 I walked out of the office for the last time. The emotions I felt while driving the 35 miles home were a 50/50 split between total freedom & gut-wrenching sickness of turning my back on an established career and a very healthy salary. I wasn’t the only one in the house whose routine changed. We took Charley out of the nursery to save money and Harry no longer had to attend breakfast or afterschool club, which to my dismay he wasn’t happy about. Trying to complete my Social Media course, earn some money from my blog and look after 2 kids were at times very challenging and more than often I would be working until 2 am to get deadlines completed but we all coped and soon settled into our new routine.The hardest part of the 6 months was living on a very tight budget. No new clothes , nights out or treat teas for the kids. I say it was hard as it was something I had to adjust to and actually it gave me a wake-up call to the utter crap I had been buying over the years to justify working in my previous job.
So that brings us to January of this year when a few major events happened. As of the 01st January, my bank had exactly £556.48 in it, this basically equated to 6 weeks worth of bill money so, in a nutshell, I had 6 weeks to find a job. I hadn’t officially passed my course yet but I had already started putting feelers out to find my first Social Media Management client. As it worked out I signed my first client the day before I graduated and I still work with then now. Also, I won The Working Parent Blogger Of The Year, which was hugely down to the social media campaign I ran as part of my Digital Mums course for better flexible working options. As I now had an income coming back in I enrolled Charley back into the nursery and this gave both of us a breather from each other. She was once again able to enjoy lots of fun and games with her little buddies but it also gave me time to start my new career.
So we have gone full circle from leaving a corporate career I was miserable into re-training in a new profession to now being established and working for myself in a career I love. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops and there have been several bumps in the road. Working for myself has meant that I can’t ever take my eye off the ball. I can’t just take a week off as I won’t get paid holiday leave and working in Social Media means that I am on call 24/7 as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram don’t clock off at 5 p.m. My working days are never the same and I enjoy the variety and challenge my new role gives me. If I am honest my new career isn’t 100% flexible as there are times when I have a deadline & Mummy needs to earn money, but thanks to the new job I can be there for 95% of events at school ( which is 90% more than 14 months ago). Also, one major downfall which I explained in my blog Feeling Anti Social is working all day on my client’s social media has meant that when I get home I don’t always feel like writing a blog or updating my blog social media. The UnNatural Mother will not be going anywhere and I still love writing but whereas during the 6 months I was re-training I had to take on paid work just to survive, I can now be more selective with who I work with and get back to writing about the things I love.
I have been very frustrated of late with what I had achieved since leaving my corporate career but after seeing the Facebook notification pop up last night and looking at the picture of myself, knowing what I was feeling at the time it really opened my eyes to how far I have come. Maybe it’s because I have been able to enjoy the beautiful summer instead of being stuck on the M6 all week or maybe it’s because I got to watch Harry in his school play both days he performed or even that I am now 20 minutes early for nursery pickups instead of 20 minutes late but all in all I am proud of myself for getting to where I am in 12 short months. I still have a long way to go and there are still many more mountains to climb to perfection but hitting the 1 year anniversary yesterday has shown me I can do this and I have made my dream into a reality.