Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Career Girl Me...(Updated)

Someone asked me the other day, about what my life was like before children...

Before I had children, I was a career girl - and once I settled here in Australia, I worked for a leading telco, from the mid 1990's, as a sales manager, as a marketing manager and as a project manager. In Sydney, Adelaide and Darwin. I worked full time. Full full full time. it was where I met my lovely husband. And good job I did - I was working so hard, I had little time for much else!
I was never the clicky clacky heals corporate suit flicky hair type of career girl. I was not a glamour of the Sydney business world. But I did get recognised for objectives really well executed. And dare I say it, I was promoted more quickly that my better dressed, more beautiful counterparts......

I loved my work. I was lucky to work with the best talent that the telco industry had at the time.  Without a doubt, I was paid extraordinarily well for campaigns well done. I thrived. I worked really long hours and was on schedule and on budget every time. I was lucky that I found a knack of getting the best out of other people, and I repeatedly was lucky enough to experience the thrill of making things happen, seeing things evolve, through the hard work of some phenomenal teams of people.

I was lucky that I had some amazing mentors through my whole career.  Men and women that saw flickers of potential in me that I could not see in myself. I always knew I could and would work hard. Other people saw the occasional flashes of "brilliance". I put that in inverted commas because I always doubted myself. Lucky for me, they didn't.

I worked, and played, to win.

At the peak of my career, I finally fell pregnant. And whilst riding that high, I lost my baby. It was a late, late loss and the most heartbreaking thing I have ever had to deal with.

We, the lovely husband  and I, we chose to retreat for a while, to the Northern Territory.

For his career, this time; and so that I could lick some wounds and heal: we left Adelaide for the Darwin adventure.

Again, I scored. And landed an amazing role working on a huge construction and IT project. With the best in the business across government and private enterprise, I blossomed again. Crackled with the energy and vibrancy of success. And felt some peace in my heart and mind, up there, in that amazing tropical land.

And I fell pregnant again, this time with my beautiful eldest daughter Olivia.

I got huge. I got hot. I got happy. I got my project, me and my pregnant belly, in my hard hat and steel capped boots.

I finally waddled away at 8 months pregnant.

It is now over seven years since I worked on my career. I have always managed to work part time, usually from home, around the kids. As a method of keeping my marketing skills and my brain ticking over. But such part time work has been secondary to my main "job" as Mummy to my three kids.

I miss the passion, and the cut and thrust of being really good at something, something external to my personal world.

I miss the thrill of the negotiations, the thrill of the wins. The completions. I miss the life cycles of projects. I miss that secret internal feeling I get: "They think I can't do that,but I know I can and will, and I cannot wait to prove it."

Lexie starts at school in term four of 2011.

Time to start investigating what to do next...

Updated - a year later!

Term four of 2011 is nearly upon us. I am revelling in my last few weeks of having my youngest at home with me.

This past year, I have managed to work from home, doing some freelance writing work. I also stuck my toe in the water and secured some part time work for a local real estate company, working on their database, their marketing and their social media. It has stretched me and been a lot of fun.

So much so, that the minute Lexie goes to school, I am signed up to study for two terms to complete my Certificate IV in Property Services: Real Estate. (This is the qualification required to become a real estate agent in South Australia.)

I will undertake the study part time, around the kids, and around my existing work in the real estate office. By April I will be fully qualified, and able to secure a career role as a real estate agent. It is an industry I have always been attracted to, and I have always wanted to "get into real estate".

It is also an industry that is notoriously hard work, and, in the current property climate, I am anticipating some tough challenges.

That said, it's also an industry that I realise can be very flexible. With my lovely husband supporting my choice, and some carefully planned team work over who drops kids off at school, and who picks them up, around BOTH of our careers, I think know we will manage.

He and I have talked it over long and hard. We realise we will give up some weekend times together. Real estate work means working weekends. But this also means I have the flexibility in the week to pick kids up after school without the need for after school care. I intend to still help with the school canteen and school reading support regularly, as I shall plan my days around clients, and around school hours.

I am looking forward to studying again. I am really looking forward to working with lots of different people again, in a team environment. I am really looking forward to the day when I start earning a decent salary again, so that the pressure on my lovely husband can be eased.

I am looking forward to giving my children, particularly my girls, the knowledge that you can have a career and be a brilliant and present Mum as well. You can. "They think I can't do that,but I know I can and will, and I cannot wait to prove it!"


  1. Gifts of SerendipitySeptember 21, 2010

    What a wonderful role model you are for your daughter.
    Intelligent, passionate with both a desire & capability to seek what you want and then achieve your goals.
    I admire you greatly,

    Felicity x

  2. Good Golly Miss Holly!September 21, 2010

    There's a new beginning in the horizon, how exciting for you Miss Lucy!

  3. this reminds me of my own career self, back in my former life. i worked in logistic and was respected, supported and steadily climbing the ladder to bigger projects. i thrived so much at work that i managed to close my eyes about what was really wrong in my life. my pregnancy made me realize what really mattered and i turned my life upside down and finally ended up in Australia.
    since then, soo much has happened and i am happy to be married now and a sahm. but my son starts school in january and i have decided to not only start 'some odd job' but to find an actual professional project, some sort of 2nd career. it's still vague but i am quite exited about it too :)
    all the best for your future!

  4. I love having something external from my home world... where I am not wife or mama, and people expect me to be there, have opinions, know things... I know it helps make me a better person when I return to home...

    It's exciting starting back again... I remember when I knew it was time for me to return, I was ready, and I never looked back! Good luck finding a new path... exciting times!

  5. danniibeautySeptember 21, 2010

    Great post! This reminds me of me, before I had children. I loved my career and worked really long hours and there were many great times, once I had my firstborn I slowed down but then when he was 2yo I went back fulltime and continued on until my second was born. I am on maternity leave now and dont want to go back yet.......... but one day I will pick up and carry on with my career. Good luck in your endeavours, you will definitely do great!

  6. I loved this little window into 'pre children' Lucy. Same Lucy, but different, right?

    I'm still in the career thin and get a lot of satisfaction from 'being in the game' but I'm no longer ambitious in the way I was before children. I think that's best. x

  7. Yay Lucy, what an exciting time of life for you. Its wonderful to see people who really love what they do. Just do me a favour, and when you become all rich and powerful again - don't stop blogging :) Please?

  8. BTW I didn't have a career BK, though I've done different jobs that I've loved [and some that are soul destroying] but its fun to think about "one day when my kids are at school...".

  9. Yay! Thanks for this lovely insight. You would have been wonderful to work with - passionate, committed, capable! I can't think of better attributes in the workplace. I bet you will find something wonderful to do as your 'day job' when your kids are happily ensconsed in the school system. Nothing will beat the fantastic role you have now though :)

  10. Melissa @ Suger Coat ItSeptember 21, 2010

    Hey! Thanks for sharing. A little more insight into the fabulous Ms Lucy! I look forward to more.

  11. Wow! Go Lucy, that was so interesting. I'm just imagining you, 8 months pg, in steel cap boots and a hard hat. Hehe :)

  12. lifeinapinkfibroSeptember 21, 2010

    I love a good crossroads. Makes the journey so much more interesting. Great story Lucy - I look forward to the next chapter.

  13. All the best for your future plans. You go get em girl. You'll be fantastic at anything you try I'm sure

  14. Wow Lucy, so interesting!
    And it must be exciting to feel a change just around the corner.

  15. Life In A Pink FibroMarch 12, 2011

    Great post Lucy. I'm sure the next thing will be just as fab!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  16. seraphimspMarch 12, 2011

    Loved reading this Lucy. And know how you are investigating already....I wish you every richly deserved success x

  17. I really enjoyed this post. Loved reading about the buzz and thrill. I've no doubt that whatever challenges you decide to take on you will thoroughly ace!

  18. Romina GarciaMarch 13, 2011

    Awesome post. A change is apparently as good as a holiday (although some days I'd much rather be sipping on a Pina Colada somewhere on the Pacific Ocean). Best of luck!

  19. love love this post Lucy (just bouncing around your blog a bit!)...it resonates with me so much. Can't wait to hear more :) Tatum xx


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