redundancy“I don’t think I’d have pursued it so hard had you not seen it in me and pointed it out. I would’ve got cold feet, choosing the more affordable option of biggest salary or most convenient for other people, but I stuck with it. You’ve literally changed my life, and that’s incredible.”

I take you back to the end of 2019. My new client, Victoria, was tearful, low in confidence, a new mum and had just been made redundant. She had been offered outplacement support and chose me as her coach as she wanted confidence to explore different options that suited her current season prior to securing a new role.

We explored strengths, motivation and fit, as well as salary and life balance needs. We covered CV, application and LinkedIn best practice as well as having some interview coaching sessions.

Victoria decided she wanted to apply for Communication Director roles at charities, similar to what she was doing before, as well as explore her dream of becoming a primary school teacher. In the back of her mind was also the option of running a craft business.

“My heart says teach. My head says stick with the money and flexible hours. My gut says do best for the family, and I can’t quite work out what that is” said Victoria at the beginning of 2020.

She secured an interview with a local charity in which the salary was significantly higher than she was previously on and the role was definitely a promotion. Just the week before she had got two offers for teaching courses, “if I do say so myself, I aced the interview, they nearly made me cry at the interview with the praise for my presentation and class. I totally loved running the class session.”

Fast forward to July 2020 and this is the latest with Victoria. It moved me to tears.

covid masks“When Covid hit the job hunt ground to nothing. I enjoyed a couple of weeks of lockdown with my partner but then felt a bit stir crazy as I watched my teaching dreams slip away. I got back on my sewing machine and made us all some cloth masks for fun, I posted about them on social media and got a few friends ask for some. At first, I just raised money for charity but when the orders started coming in the hundreds, I realised I needed to be running a business again. In three months, I’ve fulfilled over 1000 orders, making around 3000 masks, I’m now stocked in a local shop and have a couple of wholesale deals. I have also been doing some volunteering work with the NHS and sewing scrubs.  It’s been so much work but great to feel my skills and abilities in action again and I’m so appreciative of this opportunity.

I feel like I’ve test drove a few careers and I have confirmed I most definitely do not want to be a craft maker!

I remember when I said I would never be able to train as a teacher as I couldn’t afford to, you said you knew I’d find a creative way to be able to, well with my business income I’ve got enough to pay myself a humble salary for the year, and scrape through. In just 3 months!

My confidence has grown so much and I’m so excited for September and proud of myself for making it happen. Thank you for helping me realise what makes me happy and for helping me discover and embrace my strengths and abilities, and find a great fit for my future. “

Victoria’s shop to purchase facemasks is

Jenny Butter is an Accredited Master Coach with significant experience in career, transition, outplacement and life coaching.