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New Year New Career by Nicola J Rowley, Author and Founder of the Working Mum Association

Now that you have settled back into the routine of working and balancing childcare, you may be thinking, ‘ok so what’s 2019 going to mean for me?’

Sometimes it’s easier not to rock the boat if everything is floating along. But the question is, are you truly living the life you want to be? Are you doing something that you love? Because, if not, then right now is definitely the time to rock the boat especially if you aren’t passionate about what you do.

Now I know for the majority of us, that we work either because we want to, or through necessity and that the very idea of being able to do something that we love at the same time can feel beyond our reach. But why should it be?

Why not use the impetus of January and the start of a new year to think about a new career for yourself?

I’ve successfully managed to change careers twice in my working life, but the one that I think could be most relevant for you because of its flexibility, is becoming a Professional Photographer.

When I first started thinking about launching my photography business I took several key steps before I even considered taking on any paid clients including:

  1. Completed lots of training and mentoring with photographers I admired, asking them how they had launched their businesses
  2. Shadowed these photographers at real-life events including weddings and family photo shoots
  3. Found myself opportunities to become a second-shooter to gain experience especially at weddings
  4. Only when I was truly happy and confident that I could create a collection of images any client would be happy with, did I launch my website and start marketing myself.

It’s the same with any career change. It’s best to start with devising a plan so that you can work towards any change. Things to consider include:

What would be your ideal role?

How will you be able to make the role work alongside any commitments to your family?

What skills do you need for this role to work for you?

Do you know anyone who is already doing a similar role that you can talk to?

Then, once you have looked at the above, you can make a start on devising your plan, which will include getting intentional and setting goals.

For instance, when I decided that I was going to leave my full-time role to concentrate on being a children’s author and PR Strategist, running the Working Mum Association and being a Professional Photographer, I had a timeframe in mind.

This allowed me to work backwards, so that for each month leading up to that deadline, I knew how many wedding bookings and PR clients I had to secure to make the change viable.

The important thing to mention here is that with this date in mind, I knew this would be the moment that I would be leaving my role and branching out in a freelance capacity as a PR Strategist and full-time Professional Photographer.

Focusing on these two as my main income streams, I worked out that I needed to book 12 more weddings before the end of April 2018 and take on a further two clients. A tall order, yes, but I was laser focused on what needed to be achieved and by when.

And I’m glad to say that it worked, and in the end I actually exceeded my target, which meant I could hand my notice in when I needed to.

And it’s the same for you.

Use this New Year to design your life how you would like it to be.

Please don’t think that as a working mum your choices are limited as they’re really not.

There are so many workplaces crying out for exceptionally talented ladies like you.

And dare I say it more companies are slowly but surely starting to wake up to the benefits of offering flexible working.

So hatch your plan and 2019 really could become the year when you change your career and take a step towards living the life of your dreams.

Nicola J Rowley is an Author and PR Strategist, Professional Photographer and also runs the Working Mum Association, a global community designed to support, inspire and motivate working mums everywhere. Join the 60,000+ other mums in the community who are finding out they are no longer alone in their journey, no matter what stage they’re at: http://www.workingmumassociation.com

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