Someone asked me the other day, about what my life was like before children...
Before I had children, I was a career girl. 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.
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 eight 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 a fair amount of freelance writing and marketing 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 eventually 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
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 we 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, at the same time as planning my days around my clients needs.
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!"