How to get back into work?

Are you thinking about ways to get your career confidence back (or perhaps build it from the ground up)? What can you do to start making those steps? Get ready to learn how it can be done (and what I did to get to where I am now).

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I’m sure that the thought of having a career after having your kids has crossed your mind many times. But, the feeling of being outside that business world even just for a while chips away at your confidence. This, of course, is a very normal thing, because if you don’t have that feeling, you are one of the few lucky ones to be able to continue where you left off. However, for most of us, it is the break from our careers, or not having started one that takes a toll on our confidence and our approach to getting back into work.

My story

I was successful in the corporate world at the beginning of my career. I used to work full time in London. I worked in the IT industry and I loved my job in marketing. This is “BC” – before children. But when I was looking to the future, I got to thinking, well, how am I going to do this crazy 12-hour commuting day if I want to have a family? And that’s when I started to look around at what other job options existed for mums.

Wendy Griffith working from home - portfolio career

This was about 10 years ago, and at the time, there weren’t that many options – not for me at least, because I am not the crafting type who can make something with my hands. I didn’t have some amazing talent that could get me going. So, naturally, I had to look elsewhere. Which led me to starting my Network Marketing business with Arbonne.

Arbonne beginnings

I’m an Arbonne independent consultant and Arbonne’s a vegan health and wellness brand. We specialize in nutrition, makeup and skincare products. So for me, that was something that I started as a “side hustle” when I was still working full time and it gave me such a great focus in terms of the community, plus the skills I was learning, because of the fantastic training I received.

Mums getting back into work: Arbonne team photo

The reason I’m sharing the story for you is because that was how I started to expand my options. I was able to find something that sparked interest and turn it into a profitable pastime.

Goodbye corporate!

As time passed, I got to a place in my career where I really wasn’t happy. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. However, the Arbonne side hustle had built up so much confidence in me that I actually quit my job. It was one of those “Oh my goodness!” moments. But I did it, and I stepped away. Now, at the time my income hadn’t replaced what I was earning in my corporate job.  But, I was confident that this is what I wanted for myself.

So how did I manage? What did I do to make it happen?

What I actually did then was run my Arbonne business around doing some consulting. So people were calling me up saying, “Oh, I hear that you’re available right now. Can you come and do like a day a week here in my business?” And, I also used my personal network, so I’d tell people that I was available to hire.

What that looked like, was 2-3 days a week consulting while running my Arbonne business. This was the perfect blend of a portfolio career. I later retrained for a health coach and started my own health coaching business.

Let’s now go back to that question from the beginning: How can mums get back into work?

I really hope that my example will get you thinking about the options for getting back into work. Because at the moment you might have just had your kids start school and you’ve now got some time during their school hours that you can use well – that you can invest. You can start doing more for you.

Here’s my episode from the Healthy and Thriving Career Mums Podcast on building a career as a mum. Listen here.

Healthy and Thriving Career Mums Podcast - Bonus Episode 4: Portfolio Career

This is when you need to start thinking about YOUR options based on your interests, location, time available, etc. It will take a bit of figuring out, but it does for all of us. (Hey, it was an almost 10-year journey for me to get to where I am now!)

You’ll need to:

  • try different things
  • ask yourself about every one of them whether you enjoy them
  • see if it works for you
  • be clear on how you want to structure your business

And, little by little, you will add to your portfolio. New tasks will lead to new challenges, which will then lead to new skills being learned, or old ones being polished. Your confidence will get a major boost even from the tiniest of tasks you complete.

So I really just wanted to encourage you today that if you are looking to maybe escape a job that you don’t enjoy, or maybe you’re looking to get back into work, or maybe you’ve got something, but it’s not quite paying you enough right now, you need something else – a portfolio career. 

Because having a few different things that you do under the umbrella of your career is absolutely amazing. And to be honest, it is what most successful moms entrepreneurs/business owners do.

I know many amazing career mums through my network who have a few different things they do – they’re multi-passionate people so why not make this a career?