A thank you to my family…..
I’ve had an interesting time recently. Here’s my business journey so far.
In September, 2 years ago I had put my hand up to take voluntary redundancy and was waiting for my manager and HR to say if I would be given a pay-off to go. It was a tense time. During my 17 years working at BT I’d had a variety of jobs. Every couple of years moving up or just being pushed to move on as the company changed and restructured, yet again. I learned a great deal. I was able to work in different departments and with lots of different people (with lots of different working styles) and found out a lot about myself, as well as the ways of business, what I like and don’t like to do.
However, working for a huge corporate company left me feeling like a small cog in an enormous wheel. Having little impact and with little say on how things could be done. I knew I wasn’t really happy. I wasn’t feeling fulfilled. But 17 years builds a feeling of security that is hard to turn your back on, not to mention the regular, reliable wage.
I went to a careers advice coach who took me through some personality type tests and reviewed my ideals in life. Really, I was looking for permission to be able to take the release, instead, she gave me the courage to make that decision myself.
Time to make the move
As I expect you guessed I got the redundancy. The payout that came with it gave me a safety net while setting up my company. On the 31st of October 2015, Halloween, I found myself on holiday and unemployed. Actually, the holiday was already booked and paid for so it made a lovely way to celebrate my career change. November and December were spent looking but not really applying for jobs. While I enjoyed a break I was wondering “What am I going to do now?” I had always said if someone would pay me to make spreadsheets and documents I’d be happy. So when my sister told me about someone she knew from school who had set up as a virtual assistant, I wanted to know more.
I started looking into this VA thing. A freelance job, where I can support other businesses with work ranging from basic admin and general PA type tasks, through to more strategic project management activities. It actually seemed a great idea. I knew I had the skills to do the work but did I have the ability to run my own business? The alternative was applying for new jobs and I figured what had I got to lose. On the 5th of January 2016 I registered with HMRC as a sole trader. I was now in business!
I knew it would be a big challenge and would have an impact on my family. I was so grateful for the support my husband and my family gave me. Encouraging me to take the leap and make a go of things. Seeing me through the doubt, the head-scratching and stress and signing up to supporting me through the possible belt-tightening. What if it all went wrong? I didn’t want my husband to suffer for my career change but some impact was inevitable. I think his main concern was never being able to go away on holiday again. I’m very pleased to say we enjoyed a lovely two-week break this summer, to the relief of us both!
2 years on from leaving BT, I am so pleased I made the move. I love running my business, my way and feel much happier and more satisfied in my career. Sometimes it takes a little courage to get to where you want to be…… What a journey.
So, to my family, for all of the support, a huge Thank You!
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