On not being a mummy blogger

I am not a mummy blogger or in anyway a parent (I am a Godmother to my  gorgeous godson). I have a theory there is a gap in the market for people who would like to work in traditionally stay at home mum jobs and yet are not parents. I have this theory as I am one of those people and one of those people who are making it work.

For a number of a years I had a plan, that after having children and when they were still young I would not go back to work but would work at home in my own business, self employed selling children’s books, providing storytimes and music for young children and parents. Nothing particularly wrong with this you might think. Only that I have not had children, I am not even pregnant and yet I had a fully formed plan of not just what I would do if I had children but what I would do when those children had grown up enough for me to think about working.  And then one day I realised quite how ridiculous this was, the revelation hit and in a fortunate ( although it did not seem at the time) I took redundancy from my job in the library.

I spent my time hibernating for a while, I refreshed my skills by signing up to a rapid response to redundancy course through learn direct and I focused my efforts job seeking, and teaching myself through the internet how to promote business using social networking. I also spent time with books from the library really finding out what I wanted to do, working through career coach books but also working on my own personal being. Reading inspirational titles such as ‘ Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’ and anything by the amazing Gill Edwards. For me it was also a time to work on my spiritual life, arts and being creative including writing out my favourite affirmations on index cards and displaying them where I could see them. The key when you are reading is to make notes, as much as it feels a little like being back at school it is amazing how much you take in. Also especially if you are reading library books you can go back to your notes and be inspired all over again.

Something else that has been very important for me has been to find my identity again and how it it is not dictated by work. I had known for a long time that I wanted to be a librarian and Ruth not the librarian was a strange person to find. I also knew how important it was to me to be a professional, something that I found I emphasised even when temping in admin. Being a professional in my book was concrete to my work identity as well as my personal life. This is all from someone who has only worked in a full-time job for 5 years since leaving university but had felt being professional from much younger. I can only imagine what it is like to have to leave your job when you have been there for many years.

I had a lot of anger and fear linked to the redundancy some of which I believe is rooted in my father being made redundant when I was a child. It was a difficult and upsetting time and I knew as an adult that it would bring back these memories.

An alternative view on redundancy.

  • Training- signing up for free courses even if they are a little basic or not quite relevant. You can add these to your CV and may pick up something you might not expect,

  • Social networking- I am not telling you to go and play Farmville for hours or update your status constantly but Facebook and Twitter can be used to promote business. It is well worth spending time learning about social networking and trying out different tools. Some businesses are being run almost exclusively using social networking,

  • Similarly learn about blogs and start writing one. You can be anonymous to begin with (this is sometimes advised) but you can learn about the use of a blog. This is something that I am still learning about. If you are not comfortable writing online, just write in a note book express it, let it all out. You can always burn it afterwards or delete!

  • Be creative. Find something you enjoy, I admit that I find it difficult to imagine not being creative so I believe that everyone has something. Who knows you might find that you have a talent which you can create into your own business. Being creative also helps re-build your confidence in yourself, many people who experience redundancy experience a lack of faith in themselves. Being creative reminds you that you can make something else purely from your imagination and your hands.

  • Use your library, find your library card or sign up (its free to join you know) borrow books that you might never buy, use the internet for free or a small cost and keep an eye for special events. Some libraries hold job seeking seminars, hold networking groups and provide a space.

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