Working Mums Career Spotlight

Get career inspiration with our spotlight interview and guides.

VidaA change from our usual career stories! Rachel tells us about her career as a professional matchmaker.

Tell us about your job

I am the founder of The Vida Consultancy – an international award-winning matchmaking agency. Our aim is to find life partners for the world’s most exceptional people.

What appealed to you about your career choice?

I moved into a career in matchmaking 10 years ago as a detour from my original career path as a business psychologist. When I discovered matchmaking as a profession, it had instant appeal: it provided the opportunity to work with inspirational people all over the world and there is no greater feeling than helping someone find love, not to mention being paid for the privilege!

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Untitled design (20)Personal assistants have always been thought of as the backbone of the office, and until recently the idea of having your PA working from home was unthinkable. Technology and flexible working arrangements now make being a PA possible from home and many women have decided to go it alone, working for one or more companies on their own terms.

Research

Your first task will be to research the idea, and find out whether you think it’s feasible for you to work from home – will you be able to get childcare sorted, for example? Although being a VA does take the commuting and stress out of getting to work, you still have to be available for the times you’re being paid for so it’s really not a job you can do if you still have little ones at home.

Get your skills up to date if you’ve been out of the office for a while, so that you know how to use things like Skype, content management systems, social media, scheduling apps and anything else you think you might need to do a PA job in or out of an office.

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Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is a fascinating subject to learn, so we were delighted to have the opportunity to interview Lesley who tells us what it’s like to work as an NLP coach.

Tell us about your job

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), otherwise sometimes known as a life coach/performance coach is about positivity, understanding yourself, and retraining of the brain to either overcome something or have clarity/vision on how you will achieve your desires out of life. I get to help people who want to help themselves. In general it is retraining of the brain. I do this by helping them tap into their unconscious mind to achieve something they desire, understand themselves, their past and current behaviour and making change happen as they desire. Topics vary and are totally dependant on the individual as to what the conversation would be. Sometimes to go forward it is important to go back to understand why.

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Untitled design (79)Copywriting can seem like the ideal business to get into – after all there are very few overheads and you can do it any time of the night or day, all you need is a laptop or computer with a decent Internet connection and word processing software and you’re off. If you want to try your hand at being a professional writer, here are a few tips to get you started.

For brevity, we’ll assume you’ve done the necessary with setting up bank accounts and registering for tax. Once you’ve got the formalities out of the way, you need to work out how to build your business. If you have contacts from past employment, or anywhere else, use them shamelessly to network. Referrals and recommendations are worth more than adverts and self-promotion.

Website and Copywriting blog:

You’ll need a website so that you can showcase your work. If you don’t have any examples yet, start writing a blog. It’s really easy to get a free blog and website all in one, we recommend starting out with a WordPress site as they look very professional and Google loves them. Having a website with a blog attached makes it easy for you to add new content regularly, which in turn helps get you seen on search engines, which is what you need.

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Untitled design (21)More and more of us are putting our creativity to good use and starting to make things for the home or to sell. Fay has taken the bold move to start a home-based business as a crafter and explains how she got started.

Tell us about your job
I hand-paint and personalise canvases for all ages, but specifically babies and kids.

What appealed to you about your career choice?
I have always been creative, but this allows my design skills to come into play as well as my artistic skills.

How did you get into it (qualifications needed, experience etc.)?
I came up with the idea after seeing some similar canvases online, but they were very generic, I wanted mine to be specifically design for the theme of each child/room.

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Untitled design (22)Rachel explains what it’s like to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) in a school.

Tell us about your job
I work as a specialist teaching assistant which means that I work on a 1:1 basis with children in a mainstream school who have statements. I work with children who have statements for their learning or physical needs.

What appealed to you about your career choice?
I enjoy working with children and I find the role rewarding. I think all children should be able to access education and should not be limited or excluded for any reason.

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Untitled design (23)We spoke to Donna who explains why she chose a career as a part-time nanny.

Tell us about your job
I’m a Part-time Nanny

What appealed to you about your career choice?
I always wanted to work with children but didn’t get into it until I was 25 when I got a job as a trainee nursery nurse in a nursery.

How did you get into it (qualifications needed, experience etc.)?
I trained on the job and gained my level 3 qualification after 18 months of being in the role. I continued working in the nursery for 4 1/2 years until I left to go on maternity leave to have my son.

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Untitled design (24)We caught up with Cat who is a Marketing Manager for Matched Betters. Cat tells us what it’s like to do her job.

What appealed to you about your career choice?
Marketing has always interested me as it seemed like both a fun career choice and quite specialised. In this industry you have the ability to get into the minds of consumers & understand their needs, wants, habits and behaviours – this has always appealed to me. Plus there is a huge creative side to the role – trying to come up with new exciting ways to sell and promote products. You really get the best of both worlds – using your analytical strategic side & then your creative side – it’s perfect!

How did you get into it (qualifications needed, experience etc.)?
I went to University and did a degree in Marketing and in Economics – I think the combination of these two have given me strengths in creativity, thinking out side the box and analytics – the key to successful marketing.

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Untitled design (31)Journalism is a very popular career choice and one I am often asked about as a careers advisor.  This spotlight interview gives a different spin on the usual career path of a journalist, as Anne works from home as a freelancer.

In this interview, Anne tells us about the benefits and the challenges of working freelance in the competitive world of journalism.

So, briefly, what is your job?

I’m a freelance journalist. My clients include a design magazine, several universities, a charity and a marketing agency.

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Untitled design (32)This week’s career spotlight is with Hazel who tells us what it’s like working from home as a childminder.

Hazel also has her own children, so being a childminder enables her to work flexibly around her family.

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Hazel.

So, briefly, what is your job?

“I’m a childminder. I am self-employed and work in my own home.  Currently I have 5 children aged between 18 months and 7 years in my care.”

How did you get into it?

“I used to work in finance and was made redundant shortly after returning to work after my 2nd lot of maternity leave.  I was keen to find a job which enabled me to be there for my own young children and also keen to change direction to work with children.  I had to go through the registration process which took about 3 months and while I didn’t need any qualifications to start working, I have since undertaken first aid, child protection and various other courses relating to child development.”

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