This week, I want to share with you another Inspiring Parent, adding to the list of amazing Mums and Dads who have taken control of their career and work-life balance in a way that suits them and their family. There is more than one way to be a working parent! This week is all about how self employment can also mean a career change.
The journey to self-employment is a varied one. As the saying goes, when you meet a self-employed person, welll you’ve met just one! Far too many people hold back on becoming “the boss” due to believing the time isn’t right; they need to be older / younger / richer / more experienced …. the list goes on.
This month’s inspiring parent is Laura Moss who is the brainchild of Smart Online Accountants Ltd, embracing digital technology to become THE GO TO online accountants for self-employed people. Not only has she moved from employee to the boss, she has undergone a complete career change to find one she loves. So chuck away any of those stereotypes you may have about who Accountants are, and find out more here.
When I had my son I was working at the Prison Service; however, when I returned after my maternity leave I was travelling 2-hours a day. My little boy become ill, and I decided I needed to work closer to home; he was 18 months at the time and I realised I needed to make a change to have a better work-life balance.
The seed for the business has started whilst I was taking evening classes studying my AAT. This started as one evening a week which was very manageable however when I started level 3 I was at college two evenings a week. Once I had passed Level 3 I wanted to start Level 4 but was unsure it was the right time to do it with a new-born baby. However I decided I wanted to finish my qualification off and I went back to college two nights a week when my youngest son was only 3 months old. I am now super proud as I have finish Level 4 and look to become a member of AAT (MAAT) this year.
Wow, that is a lot to take on; new baby, job and starting a business! You must be very motivated. Any plans for further study?
I hope to go onto complete more training however I have decided to wait until my boys are a little older and less dependent on me.
My skills haven’t just expanded through qualifications; by starting my own business I have needed to build my confidence and experience in other areas. One key area is public speaking. I joined a networking group which took me out my comfort zone as I had to do public speaking, meet new people and try to promote my services with little business development experience.
Are there any areas of your previous role that you use now?
Whilst in my previous role in the Prison Service I underwent a lot of training/courses, not that much is transferable. The Prison Service was my first job after my degree so it helped me to become a more confident person and I also learn some excellent skills i.e. working in a team, managing staff and working under pressure, all of which are relevant to my business now.
What has been a challenge? How have you overcome it?
My biggest challenge is not being an expert in the field. I am very lucky as I have my Step-Fathers support who has been in the industry for over 25 years – I have the idea and he as a great brand. I do struggle not knowing the answers to everything, but it is means I am constantly learning and keeping my knowledge up to date. This has been a complete career change for me at the age of 27 and gradually my confidence is building.
What has surprised you?
It has surprised me how much I love running my own business and how much I have enjoyed studying again (despite how tiring it has been). I have loved to meet new people, connect with other mums and women who have a small business and to hear their stories.
What advice would you give someone in the same position?
You are never too young to change your career, do what you love or get the work life balance you really want. Life is too short to do 9am-5pm and your children are only small once. I am now able to drop off my eldest at school, go to his cooking classes with him, take my youngest to Toddler Sensory and meet up with friends for a coffee, all whilst offering support to other parents developing their own businesses. It’s a win-win!
What is the first step you would need to take for your career change? Join The Balance Collective with Clara Wilcox and find out what options there are for you.
Want to change career but don’t know how? Check out my Career Map Strategy Workbook. A career coach in your pocket!