Investing in Me

2015 wasn’t a great year for me. Actually I’ll correct that; it was a shitty year, as I suddenly and inexplicably became a single mother. To say I wasn’t expecting it would be a massive understatement.

Suddenly my career became much important to me as I realised that I’d probably have to work for longer as I became responsible for a whole lot more than I ever anticipated.

I’ve worked in comms for many years. Social media had interested me for a few years but I didn’t know how to do it properly. I had a Facebook account and I tweeted occasionally but that was about it. I did know that social media was growing massively and that it was an essential part of the comms mix. And that if I wanted to stay ahead of the game I needed to understand it a whole lot more.

Lightbulb moment

And then, that light bulb moment. An ad for Digital Mums on Facebook — naturally. I had a look at the website and instantly knew it was for me. My commute to the office was beginning to wear me out and I wanted the flexibility of freelancing, doing something I enjoyed. So I applied.

I’m not going to lie. It was hard work. Bloody hard work. Working three days a week, being a single mum, running a house and studying is exhausting. I worked most nights, and any free weekend when my daughter was with her father was spent in front of a computer. But I knew it would be like that. I also knew it would be worth it in the long run. Having a lovely cohort of other mums (the JK Rowlings) to chat and brainstorm helped enormously.

Learning a language

I learnt about user personas, metrics and found myself using a plethora of new tools that I have never even heard — Canva, Nuzzel, Hootsuite anyone?

And now 20 odd weeks later I’ve finished. I have new skills, new friends (my lovely cohort) and the chance to reinvent myself. I’m now freelancing for my Digital Mums Programme Partner and in September I’ll start freelancing for another client.

One year ago my world came crashing down. I was left worrying out my future and how I would manage working and being a single mum.

Thankfully I’m not that person anymore. I’m Sam Patel, freelance social media manager. And my future is so bright because I invested in me and it paid off.

And to sum up, yesterday when I told my six-year-old daughter that I had finished my course she said, “Mummy, I am so proud of you”. It doesn’t get much better than that.

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