The Birth of Boom

I am one of those people who has never quite worked out what they wanted to do — there are quite a few of us around.

In my early career, I worked in corporate marketing, and to be frank, I felt like a square peg in a round hole. I hated the dull grey offices, the bureaucracy, the politics, and most of all I hated being forced to wear an uncomfortable suit. It felt symbolic. By wearing a suit just like everyone else, I was being forced to leave my individuality and creativity on the coat peg at the door.

After lots of introspection about why I was never content at work, I made a choice.

I could keep hacking away at marketing, applying for various jobs, climbing the ladder and feeling all wrong, or I could make a change.

I went into teaching so that I could work in harmony with my values and really ‘make a difference’ to people.

Pretty soon I discovered I was right — Working in harmony with my values worked well. I was ‘a natural teacher’, I was ‘an asset to the school’ and even hit the ‘outstanding teacher’ jackpot. Best of all I loved it. Surely, I had found the perfect career?

Not quite…

A couple years after entering the teaching profession I got pregnant. I was promised a part time role on my return from Maternity leave. But… while I was away the school became an academy. By the time I returned the fabled part time role had vanished into thin air.

And so, to pay back my dues, I went back full time.

Full-time teaching whilst being mum was not a match made in heaven, as you can imagine.

I fed my baby at night staring into space, thinking about school work rather than looking into her eyes. I spent late evenings, weekends and holidays marking. I felt frazzled and torn between doing a good job for my child and a good job for the kids at school. Lots of teachers know this feeling — it’s still an impossible dilemma for many and that needs to change. I felt like however hard I worked, I could never do a good job — ever. Something had to give, and it wasn’t going to be me.

I handed in my notice and spent the next couple of years doing a bit of this and a bit of that. With my skills, I was lucky — I would never be without work — the world will always need teachers and tutors. But I still felt like something was missing. I knew I wanted to work on a freelance basis, and mysteriously, marketing was still at the back of my mind.

When I stumbled upon Digital Mums I knew straight away I had found the answer to my problem of finding #WorkThatWorks

I applied, was accepted, and haven’t looked back since.

The first thing that struck me was that Digital Mums put such care into matching me to my Programme Partner, The Eggtooth Project, who run courses for schools to help children fulfil their potential.

I absolutely love them. They did such great things with the kids to improve their lives and I was blown away what a difference they made. Whilst they tell me they learned a lot from me, I learned a lot from them too.

Working for the Eggtooth Project showed me that work isn’t necessarily a choice between marketing OR ‘something ethical’. I can now see that I can use my propensity to promote in a way that can make a positive difference in the world.

I also learned that making an amazing difference in the world doesn’t necessarily have to be part of my day job, but could be an exciting project of my own making. I was inspired by Eggtooth and one day would love to run this type of project — who knows what the future holds.

Another amazing part of the course was my peer group. We have just finished the course and I miss them a lot. They are amazing, inspiring women and I am so happy I ‘met’ them. We were in touch constantly and I seriously hope we stay in contact. The value of a group of amazing women coaching you, cheer leading you and supporting you is priceless.

I am not going to say the course was easy — it was downright tough at times. Especially when the kids were ill and no one had had any sleep. You know the kind of days…but it has given me a huge confidence boost. It has shown me that I have a love of marketing for a reason. I can see that I know my stuff, am buzzing with ideas and I can use all of my skills to make a difference in the world. This last point is a revelation to me and is a huge part of what the course has given to me. Indeed, I have already signed up my first client who is also in the social enterprise sector and whilst I am willing to try my hand in many areas, I hope to build up my client base in this and the education sector.

The campaign was a great success. I have finally realised that if I work with the right people, and on the right projects I will shine because my passion for what I’m doing will shine through.

This is something that wasn’t there when I worked in corporate marketing. The spark was missing. I knew it and everyone around me knew it. Plus I hated being stuffed into a dull suit for work.

One day before the end of the course I had a wobble about going freelance and applied for a part time marketing role. The company were very keen to see me thanks to my Social Media skills, and I even bought a smart blue navy-blue suit to attend the interview.

I didn’t ever wear the suit — it went back to the shop, and I’m pleased to say my business — Boom Social Media — has now been born. I even have a gorgeous new logo with business cards on the way.

Digital Mums has given me confidence in my own talent and a clear direction — I am excited about the future and I’m even excited about my first strategy meeting with my new client next week.

And best of all, I can wear anything I want.

Shout out to my mum who paid for my course — thanks Mum : )