No one expected what 2020 had in store for the world. No one anticipated a virus and lock down and life being turned upside down. Me, least of all. But when I found myself working in an industry I was unfamiliar with, in a role I had never before held, I soon came to appreciate the gifts of being laid off with the luxury of time to re-build.
After six years as a stay-at-home-mum, September 2018 marked my first moments of much anticipated freedom. My girls were enrolled in Junior and Senior Kindergarten; the full day program. I spent my days cleaning and organizing the house after an eventful and busy summer. I joined friends for lunch and coffee dates. I pampered myself with hair and spa appointments. I caught up on the television programs I never had time to watch. Some days I ate ice cream for lunch and napped on the couch. I hadn’t been alone since March 2013 and I was making up for lost time.
As September turned into November I couldn’t help but think; with all this free time I probably should get a job. There wasn’t a tremendous hurry for me to be employed, but day by day my mental health was being affected. I was coming to terms with the idea that I needed something more than just motherhood, I needed more from myself and I needed space for myself; Just me, the individual, all by myself, alone to think, to develop, to simply be.
In late spring of 2019, I placed my mummy brain on temporary leave and slowly woke the part of my brain that had been hibernating since becoming a mother. I clumsily landed a social media marketing assistant position. I strapped up my boots and put on my brightest smile and walked through the door of my new office.
Just like that, I was working again! I was standing at the precipice of my future. Now responsible for the online marketing efforts of a company within a new-to-me industry, learning about new-to-me approaches to marketing, all the while trying out this new-to-me Working Mother thing.
I dove feet first into this new challenge, gathering as much information as I could find to assist with the job. There was no official marketing plan, few documents to review and very little training offered, but there was the opportunity to champion this new challenge with creativity and persistence. I hunkered down, observed the marketplace and asked questions. I watched tutorials and subscribed to online marketing newsletters. I was working by the seat of my pants, learning the game as I played it but I didn’t have a full understanding of what I was doing and I was not completely happy, nor confident in what was being produced.
Now, I must mention that prior to this position my only social media experience was with that of my personal accounts. I did not have a full understanding of the ins and outs of social media and social media engagement and account management. Observation and mimicry were my biggest aids in moving about this application, but I lacked the theory for use and I doubted my efforts. I recognized that due to the learning curve I was unable to quantify or qualify whether my efforts were translating into positive results however, I suspect they were not.
Clearly, I was being presented with opportunity, two fold. On a professional level it was time to level up. I needed more information and I needed a leader, an expert to foster the experience. On a personal level I was being provided an opportunity to grow, to evolve and learn a new skill; this opportunity would enable and provide me with that something more to offer.
I enrolled in a local workshop series facilitated by Sarah Clarke of sarahclarke.biz; an experienced expert in social media marketing. I learned the basics of building a foundation across various social media platforms. I was exposed to conversation about strategy and implementation. Equipped with my notes and handouts in place, I compiled a list of resources based on the tried and true experiences of the workshop facilitator. The more I learned about this industry the more enthusiastic I became. When I was introduced to Twitter, I was never more excited about a platform! My response to all of this was genuine. I had happened upon something here. I recognized that this excitement was just as authentic as it was deeply rooted in what I wanted to be doing. It was so blatantly obvious that it couldn’t be ignored.
When part two of this workshop series was offered I invested in myself immediately, without hesitation. Here was an opportunity I couldn’t afford to miss out on. Part two of the workshop series became a turning point for me. It was a deeper dive with practical application. There was the support of the group and the guidance of the facilitator. The process was exposing my newfound traces of confidence and hints of bravery. Birthing my website and creating my blog has been an emotional and healing event. As it will continue to be as this project is tied so closely to my heart.
Approaching a new venture and delving into the world of Social Media Marketing has ignited a passion. I find the task exciting and diverse. It fosters my motivation to reach out and connect with other business owners, other content creators and other writers so as to grow stronger and learn through a hands-on, knowledgeable community.
Becoming involved with Social Media Marketing became the jump start I needed to get back into the workforce. Transitioning from SAHM to publishing online as a Blogger and Content Creator has opened up so many doors and pathways to new learning and opportunity. It provided and continues to provide me with a challenge to tackle which allows my creativity to be whatever is needed in the moment. It allows me the freedom to be a Working Mother giving time to my family, my website and most importantly myself. I believe that this type of career will grow as I grow, as my interests grow, as opportunity grows and my creativity flows.
There is still much to learn.
Thankfully, for as long as I am willing, there will be moments that teach.
(You can Tweet that!)
Thank you for reading. Really, it means so much. I would love to hear what being a Working Mother is for you. Please feel free to drop a comment below and share, share, share.