sorry you're leaving

Just over two years ago I stepped into James Villas HQ as a social media executive and set to work on helping to develop the brand’s social channels. I was so excited to have been given the opportunity and I embraced it with open arms ready to get stuck into any task that was thrown my way.

It has been the most incredible journey where I have learnt so much!

Working as part of a team and having my copy proofed and checked has been a good wake up call, who knew I was so keen on long sentences? I have learnt to slow down, take my time and re-read my work. I hope you are starting to see these small changes coming through.

I have learnt to think more closely about images – do they reflect what I am saying?

I have learnt that social channels are fickle, we don’t own them ‘they’ do. Facebook might only show a tiny percentage of your followers your hard work, it’s incredibly frustrating and I can often be found ranting about Facebook…

I have also learnt that working full time alongside running a home, family and life outside of the office doors is a real struggle. My main challenge came with trying to cover the school holidays. The girls get 13 weeks off and I had 21 days. It was this, that led me to hand in my notice – something I never believed I would do. I had imagined working until my retirement at James.

When I was reflecting on my life and how to make it better I started to search for jobs that would compliment being a mum.

I needed a job that fits in with school holidays and school hours. That would allow me to take the girls to after school clubs without skidding out of one door and screeching into the next, red-faced and often having forgotten something or even worse – arriving at the wrong time.

I had always pushed teaching to one side as I didn’t think I’d be good at it but as I started to look more closely at the opportunities in local schools, I saw our local primary was looking for a TA. The more I thought about the job, read the role description, the more it became a very exciting prospect.

I applied for the job and was successful – I start work on Monday morning!

I am swapping the weekly business meetings for a classroom of 8 year olds.

I am exchanging my snatched half hour lunch to who knows? Playground duty, lunchtime clubs or getting to know the teachers in the staff room?

I shall be helping out with reading and maths, chatting about geography and science. I shall be doing all manner of tasks to assist the teacher and doing my bit to help these young fresh minds find their way.

I shall also be grabbing back a bit of time for me. I want to pick up my blogging, tidy my house, read a book, help Alice learn to sew, help Bessie learn to play the piano. I want to get back into cooking again, not just quickly pulling a meal together to feed the family.

I am also going to start the 0 – 5k challenge as I have managed to put a stone since working full time.

So many things to do but my heart is lighter and I think I’m on to something good here … what do you think?

Frankie Parker starts off the week telling us how swapping a male orientated job for chit chat at the school gates isn’t as easy as it seems.

My Epiphany…

This week I had a bit of a epiphany and it went a little bit like this..

On Monday I went into London to have lunch with my old work colleagues, another “last team lunch” at our local pub near work.  So as we sat there discussing what was happening in Libya, the previous weekends six nation’s results and the upcoming football internationals it suddenly occurred to me that the thing I was going to miss most was their company?  Yes some of the guys in particular but want I really mean is male company.

You see the majority of my working life has been in IT, the last 5 years as a manager of a team of 16 and only two of the team were women.  So I have always worked with men and I enjoy their company so before the comment is taken the wrong way in a sexual, pervy kind of way let me explain…

Men are uncomplicated creatures.  They don’t bitch about what each other is wearing, or pass judgement on what you are wearing, they don’t try and compete over the silly things, never on diets, you never find them crying in the toilets and they really don’t care if they are having bad hair days!.  But most of importantly for me is what you see is what you get, it’s as simple as that.  If you have a disagreement over something it is soon forgotten not dragged up again next time you are having a night out (in a flood of tears).  If you think they have over stepped the mark on something you can tell them without (generally) them getting upset.  You can laugh with them at stuff that might be a little bit inappropriate but its okay as they won’t judge you over it.  So you see working with men is easy, so after 17 years in their company I just relate so much better to men than women…

So now, not only have I become a stay at home mum but I also need to learn to relate better with my own gender.  Don’t get me wrong I do have a lot of female friends and three sisters who I am very close to. But what I need to do is the small talk at the school gates, show an interest in what other people’s children’s are doing, chat to the other mums at birthday parties.

This may seem like a simple and easy thing for a lot of you to do but to me it fills me with trepidation and dread as I really don’t know what to talk to them about  AND I will have to watch my language as well..

Thanks Frankie Parker for sharing that post with me