Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Career Girl Me (Updated...)

I first published this post a year ago. So I am posting again - with an update...

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 think know we will manage. We will make it happen.

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!"


  1. You will blitz it. Both the study and the work. Sure, it's bloody hard doing both, but because you *want* to do and aren't being forced to, it makes all that much difference.

    I think I am expected to work full time when I get to Melbourne and for the right job, I will.

    Great post and good luck hon xx

  2. Well done Lucy. An exciting new phase is about to open for you.

  3. You are like my wife. She communicates well. Also, she is a very hard worker and she is successful. My father is weaved from the same thread. Yet, he did not do a good job in passing his traits. I am more like my mom and view work as labor.

    You receive enjoyment from organizing, communicating and reaching important goals. Your happiness is important. I hope only the best!

  4. You go girl. Give those kids a little more of an idea of how amazing and multifaceted their mum is! Keep us posted!

  5. I have been freelance and working round the kids since mine all went to school. Wouldn't have it any other way now.Good Luck :)

  6. Awesome! I hear your enthusiasm from here :) You will be great. I'd buy a house off you!!!

  7. Have you ever read 'I don't know how she does it'

    Well, the main character doesn't have a patch on you.

    When I first started reading your post, I was a little bit critical in thinking that you had this really good career and as soon as you had kids you walked away, as it always just an option not a priority, but all the additional training and work you have done since....

    Well, it is inspiring. No one could ever be guilty of calling you a full time mother, you are a full time superhero!

  8. Good luck!

    I enjoyed the time, when you slow down for children, but every day they are more and more independent. At some point it’s time to work again. Just not too much ;-)

    Hope, you'll be still writing!

  9. HI Lucy, I have read your blog for a while now and this should be such a mile stone for you. The world is your oyster!Good luck.

  10. Lucy, What a difference a year makes! This is so exciting!!!
    GO GIRL!
    WHoo hoo- yes, you are a wonderful role model for the children!
    Have a pretty day!

  11. Good luck with your vision! Good luck too with getting buyers and vendors to fit in with school hours...if ever there was a person to do it, I'm sure it's you :)

  12. Oh, I work in an industry that is also notoriously unforgiving in terms of hours. I know exactly what you mean with this post. Good luck on your new endeavor.

  13. good luck!! i wish you nothing [and have no doubt you'll have nothing but] success for this new employment venture!!


  14. A fantastic opportunity! You will absolutely make it work. x

  15. What an incredible role-model you are for your readers and your children.

    I am impressed with your zeal and passion.

    I hope you don't forget us here on the blog.



  16. Awesome Lucy. Congrats! I worked in real estate for 6 years and loved it. I have my agents rep here in Vic and would love to get back to it one day. You will love it and you will rock it!

  17. GO GIRLFRIEND! You will make an amazing real estate agent, come to Sydney and I guarantee I'd buy a house off you in a jiffy x

  18. Good luck, you will do great!

  19. I just know you will be a super success! Why? Because you have passion, you have drive and you know what it takes to get a job done. Cant wait to hear all about this next chapter of your life as it unfurls x

  20. make the most of it, lucy...
    i love being a mom, and i also love having a career that is mine....
    you can do it all - with plenty of effort!

  21. Hello lovely, haven't been around for a while so having a browse....just love this post as you can imagine! Love it that you will show O & L how it works, and yes you can be present. We are almost settled, still unpacking but getting there, will pick up the phone for a chat soon xoxo


I am a comment addict. Thank you so much for your words...xx