How to get a good work life balance (F)

I’ve never allowed the stereotype of a “teenage mum” to phase my determination and enthusiasm to succeed in a career in marketing.

Having worked full time in a variety of different industries, including, retail, technology, manufacturing, distribution and now facilities management, both overseas and in the UK – all while raising a child – has been no easy feat. In fact, I’d like to think it has been my “prove them wrong” attitude that has driven me to fulfill my career goals.

Juggling work and life is always tough. When you have a child and are working at the same time, you realise that you have to integrate the two, rather than strike a balance between them. If you’re studying, working and raising a child – well, you need to figure out the most productive, efficient way to do it all! It’s important to also remember and acknowledge your personal wellbeing though; if you become burnt out by stress or run down through working too late, you’ll be no good to anyone.

Yet, the skills you learn as a mother and the lessons you learn whilst juggling parenthood and work help prepare you for just about anything. From communicating effectively with people to dealing with complaints, I have been mentally prepared for a variety of situations, thanks to the birth of my son.

I am extremely passionate about what I do and I like to share my knowledge and findings with as many people, colleagues and peers as I can, as well as being keen to continually learn myself. I have realised along the way that in order to continue to develop and grow, both in a professional and personal sense, we have to support each other and work collaboratively to achieve great things. It takes an awful lot of drive to make a success of life, and the definition of this varies greatly from person to person, but without a great team around you, and the willingness to work collectively, you’ll be flying solo. When you’re balancing, with your various life hats on, you may at times need to turn to someone you trust for support.

I have become not only a mentor and coach to a few of my colleagues, including a graduate of the Servest future leader development programme, but also one of the module leaders that delivers the ILM training material for the strategic marketing modules. It is my aim to educate and inspire others to approach marketing with the same level of passion that I have. In addition to my professional development, I squeezed in time to obtain a degree in Psychology from the University of East Anglia, and then a Masters in Business Administration from Durham University. A Doctorate is next on my list! I haven’t ever let anything get in my way, and this is down to remembering a few key tips.

Find out what you’re really interested in

Once you find out what it is that really interests you, see if you can develop this further, either in work or as a side project. Employers may be more willing to help you progress this than you think, whether it’s additional training, studying, or allowing you to work flexibly. Be open and keep your mind stimulated.

Make time for your passions

If your key interests are outside of work, make sure you make time for these, especially if they complement each other! I’m also a governor at my son’s school, as I feel it’s crucially important to ensure that the next generation has the best opportunities to achieve their potential. This way, I can do my part and make a small difference.

Don’t be a victim of circumstance

Nothing is impossible, not really. You’ll be thrown curve balls on a constant basis in life, and as long as you throw out your hands ready to juggle these (and all the other duties, tasks, chores, jobs, errands and responsibilities you have going on), you can still accomplish pretty much anything. You just need to put your mind to it.

Throw out the rule book

All mums and dads will know this already, especially single working parents. Devoting serious attention to developing your career and raising children is no easy task. There are no set rules on how to do it correctly and there isn’t a right or wrong way. Find the best way for you, and for your family. It might take some time to hit the nail on the head, so don’t panic.

Above all, it’s really important to remember to slow down. Be ready to take some time out for yourself. Sometimes it’s important to stand still for a while in order to move forward.

About the author

Kimberly Moss, Group head of Marketing at leading facilities management provider, Servest UK, is responsible for all marketing functions; including strategy, branding and communications. Having worked in both B2B and B2C environments across retail, distribution and manufacturing sectors, and with a degree in psychology, she has a wealth of experience and enthusiasm. She hopes to continue inspiring more women to work in a traditionally male-dominated industry with her work.

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