How many children do you have?

Mum to Stephanie aged 8 and Benjamin aged 4.

What town/County do you live in?

Bedfordshire.

What’s your career background?

Third Sector.

How did your career change after having children?

I reduced my hours to part-time.

What are you doing career wise now?

I am a Senior Trust and Foundations Officer at a Cambridgeshire based charity. I am also Clerk to the Governing Board at the children’s school.

What’s are some of the biggest professional hurdles you have faced?

One of my first fundraising roles was in an events team at a large national charity. I struggled initially with some unwelcome opinions about my age as I started in fundraising straight from university so was in my early 20’s. I also made a small mistake one Christmas eve involving quite an influential donor – it took a while to forgive myself and move on as it had huge potential consequences for the charity at the time. 

Professionally what is your proudest moment/biggest moment of success so far?

Securing and stewarding 7 figure gift for one of my previous charities – I will never forget the day I had the call. I was only a month back from maternity leave so it was a huge whirlwind.

How has being a mum helped you deal with career highs and lows?

Where the lows are concerned I think your family are the upmost priority so whatever happens at work your little ones smiles and hugs can really help put everything into perspective. At home I have these two little champions who view me as their superhero – it is the best feeling and helps me be more forgiving towards myself when things don’t go quite to plan.

I think I feel more proud now when I experience career highs – my eldest can now articulate her feelings and has often said she feels proud of my achievements. I also want her to see me using my time to do something useful and something that benefits out community. It doesn’t necessarily have to be work but I think we should all give something back, in some way.

What, if anything, is holding you back professionally at the moment?

Time! I am so keen to be out and about, meeting my peers and attending networking events but I can rarely do evenings and am tied to strict childcare collection times so that is a bit restrictive. I am trying to be proactive and reach out to people I admire – to learn from them and develop networks that work for me.

Why is work so important to you?

I know I have useful skills and to me it is important I don’t waste them. It gives me the chance to feel as if I am using my experience and can sometimes help me be a better mum too. I love feeling part of a team working for the common good. I am such a people person – so lone working would never work for me.

My job as Clerk to the Governing is important as it has helped me access a whole world of completely new training and development. Plus, I know the inner working of the school which is hugely interesting to me.

Both my work roles give me access to continued professional development. I love learning so really appreciate these opportunities. I am on the cusp of becoming an accredited Clerk – fingers crossed for the end of March!

Who inspires you?

Olympians – their sheer determination and passion for their sport is incredible. I am in awe of their self-control and dedication. 

How do you balance your career and family?

I negotiated a part-time work pattern with one day from home so luckily that is conducive to a good work/life balance. The school has a club before and after school which is helpful too. 

What are you aspirations for the future? 

Until recently I couldn’t see myself as a manager but recently I have come to be more open to the idea. Whatever I do I just want to be the best I can be. I never want to stop learning and sharing knowledge with others. I can’t see myself leaving the charity sector – from collecting pennies in North London for the Red Cross with my grandad aged 6 I think it is in my blood!

What are your three top pieces of advice for mums thinking about making a career change after having children?

  1. It may seem scary but if you don’t try you will never know!
  2. To your children you are always their superhero – whatever happens 
  3. Don’t look back and think ‘what if’. Better to regret something you tried than never trying at all.

 

 

Thank you for sharing your story x

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