I changed from a full-time senior government post to working part-time. Then I had a career change and I now work from home as a network marketer for Arbonne health and beauty products. I have 2 teenage children, and fit my work in around school hours.
Going part-time after maternity leave
For 30 years I worked for the Government. My career took me from an admin level to a senior management post and I worked in many different areas and four different Government Departments. For the most part I enjoyed my job, so I went back full-time after having my first child and never even thought about a career change. I quickly realised that I wanted to be at home more and was lucky enough to be given a part-time role – albeit not in my area of speciality and moving from project to project to roles considered suitable to do part-time.
When I had my second child, I returned after a slightly prolonged period of maternity leave, as I struggled with my baby daughter who wouldn’t take a bottle. After returning to work in a job I really didn’t enjoy, my young daughter started to be ill. She had several spells in hospital, but I managed to continue working as I had a wonderful nanny. When my nanny handed in her notice to take a full-time job with another family I knew I couldn’t leave my daughter with someone new as they wouldn’t understand her history so I took unpaid leave.
Within six months things improved and I returned to work and moved into a job I enjoyed – Head of Training and Development. After a while I was given more and more responsibility – I ended up with a team of 54 people – and found I couldn’t fit my work in three days a week anymore. My home life was suffering as well. I was unhappy and when I was offered severance, I took the chance and left.
For the next eighteen months I had fun, we moved house and I managed a building project; I did some charity work and spent more time with my children. But, I started to miss the stimulation of work and the company of other adults. My husband was starting to feel the pressure of being the only bread-winner and I realised I need to relieve him of some of this – mostly financial – pressure. I decided to look for a job.
Finding a new career
I had no success with my job applications. I didn’t want any of the responsibility I had in my last job. It had become really important to me to be able to drop the children off at school and pick them up each day. Most of my job applications were not even acknowledged.
One day at a charity coffee morning I was introduced to the concept of network marketing as a home based business opportunity. Initially I dismissed the idea, but I did go and find out more, and was convinced by the flexibility it offers and the possibility to run it from home with no investments.
I checked out several companies and looked for a company with good leadership, coaching and training. I satisfied myself that there’s a demand for the products that I would offer, and settled on the health and wellness market, as it is a huge and expanding market. Arbonne met all my criteria and I am now in business for myself but not by myself. My income is steadily growing and it really makes a difference financially, allowing a family holiday to South Africa this year.
Fitting work around the children
My children are 11 and 14 so still quite dependent on me especially for taxi services – including school runs as neither are at local schools. I probably work about 20 – 25 hours a week on average, which I fit in during school hours although I spend a couple of evenings a month attending meetings. I still have enough time for the children and can be around more easily during school holidays – in fact my team and I arrange holiday training and coaching at each other’s houses so the children can come with us! The household chores get fitted in around working although I do have a cleaner for a few hours a week.
Author: Jill Bennett – Jill invites you to come and have a look at her My Arbonne website, if you know someone who is struggling financially and looking for a plan B – or someone who hates their job – and would like to be able to quit it someday, or you are a Mum who wants to start to earn her own money