Around this time last year, the seeds were sown for a change in my working life: the slow dawning realisation that there had to be a better way to balance fulfilling work with family life.
Six months from making the leap, I’m convinced I made the right move.
It all began after a tough week. The husband and I were exhausted after months of taking it in turns to stay up all night with a poorly child and then get up for work. I was rarely home for bath time and work was no longer fun. “There has to be a better way to live”, we said to each other.
Some soul-searching ensued: what do I enjoy most about my work? What do we want to be doing in five or ten years’ time? What am I truly passionate about? How can we make that desire for “a better way to live” a reality? A few G&Ts with friends and family helped to clarify things: I enjoy working with clever people and using good marketing to create change. I delight in beautiful writing and have always wanted to write a book. I’m passionate about standing up to misogyny and feel that I have a duty to improve things for women in the workplace. Plus, our daughter is growing up fast and we both want to be part of her life.
And so the decision was made to take the leap for freedom and set up on my own. Six months in, I am master of my own destiny, doing the things I hold dear about and – contrary to lots of advice – choosing to do only good work for good clients. As well as marketing work, I’m also writing a blog and a book (or two), becoming involved with some not-for-profit work, and getting political.
I am taking my own advice, aiming to share knowledge, speak the truth and leave the world better than I found it, whilst delivering good quality results for my clients and keeping an eye on the pipeline. I’m working more hours than I did before, but at least they’re the hours of my choosing and I can balance “work” with all the other things that define me.
I feel released into a world where I can finally be myself, with my own opinions and choices. Oh, and I get to have breakfast with my little girl nearly every day.
Life isn’t yet perfect, but it’s definitely a better way of living. So here goes. I’m going to be expressing those opinions, sharing my knowledge and speaking the truth. Deep breath, publish.