This is not my typical blog post, but I felt compelled to write it because I sincerely wanted to share the one thing I was scared about in my professional life being a stay at home mom and how I tackled it.
You see a year ago around this time my daughter started preschool which was a tough decision and I started to work part time as a Marketing Consultant - also a tough decision even though I had planned on it.
I wanted to transition back to work after spending some quality time as a full time mom, but I preferred to start off with part time work and then eventually transition to full time. In the meantime while at home changing diapers and figuring out the nuances of motherhood, I was scared about one thing – becoming outdated and irrelevant in the rapidly changing field of online marketing!
I didn’t mind not working let’s face it who misses work drama, but I still wanted to keep myself in the game so to speak. I couldn’t believe how much I missed a good chat about developing a marketing plan – marketing nerd yes I am!
ONE SINGLE GOAL!
Last year I had one single goal – to create a work life balance that best suited me and our family lifestyle. Most importantly I wanted to be accessible to my daughter but also needed to find a professional outlet that was just for me. I know other moms can attest to this.
I found a work from home opportunity with the occasional office visit at a great company – Mertech Data Systems. It’s been a year since, how time flies, I am able to show up for story time at school in the midst of hammering out the next marketing plan, a bit of juggling act some days, but manageable.
The way I found this opportunity was through my professional digital profile, they actually contacted me to see if I was interested.
My so called fear of becoming irrelevant paid off – I made sure I showed up online not to just post cute pictures but to also manage my professional digital life in these 5 simple ways:
I have been blogging on and off for about 4 years, not as consistently as I would like but I always blogged. I felt is was a worthwhile endeavor to help showcase my marketing expertise, but more importantly it is good writing practice, and a simple way to build online credibility.
For anyone thinking about a blog - go for it - it is a genuine way to explore your creativity on any topic of interest and more importantly to practice the art of writing. For me, I do not worry about how many shares or clicks I get, this one is a personal journey towards self improvement.
Create a website to feature your work, you don’t have to be a creative type to show your creativity. You can post past projects you have done, case studies, or a simple bio outlining your work experience and the types of companies you worked for. Think of it as a visual resume and do not forget the volunteer work at the PTA or at the bake sale, these all go towards showing how proactive and involved you are.
3. Professional profiles:
I always made sure my online profiles were current especially LinkedIn, participated in groups relevant to my industry and shared any articles that were helpful. I also shared a few fun pictures of my daughter – it’s the reality of my life so why not show a little personality. I also made sure I carefully managed what pictures were posted or shared online - anything negative does not go away easily.
4. Online courses:
Whenever the time permitted I took a few online courses. Why I did this while at home with baby – because I love learning. Doing this was tough but I found a few courses that were really worth it and they also helped with providing ideas for my blog. There are so many options in today’s online world to study anything you want. You could even get trained for a new line of work if you wanted to. Try this site: www.udemy.com
This one wasn’t always easy as most of these events happened in the evening and that was prime family time, but I did my best to attend a few – it really helped me to keep my professional language intact as it’s too easy to get into kid talk too often too easily. Seek out ones that are part of your local chamber, I found those most helpful and informative.
I know it’s not always easy to get out of mommy mode and into work mode, but you have to do what is right for you and if that means focusing full time on being a mom – that is absolutely fine – work will always be there – these little ones grow up so fast.
For me I found this balance gave me new energy and purpose. Keep in mind you do not have to do all 5 mentioned here, start with one area and see how it goes.
Here are some other goals I am working on this year: learning Spanish, finding fun ways to be creative, writing more often, creating family photo books – this one is truly fun.
So go ahead give a try and let me know how you are doing.
Hi my name is Farzanah. I am a marketing pro with 10 + years of experience in marketing management and a busy mom dedicated to helping small business owners improve their marketing with copy writing that transforms their online visitors into taking action.