I spent over 10 years + in Human Resources Management after leaving University with a Masters degree. Working hard to climb the corporate ladder up to management level. In all that time working my little socks off in the workplace and thus building up bags of personal self confidence.
I often chaired meetings where I felt out of my comfort zone. I was verbally attacked on quite a few occasions by Union representatives, who tried to trip me up during tough salary negations. I regularly had to say the words “dismiss” to people up for gross misconduct. And I had to make people redundant during tough financial times.
I gained more and more confidence (and experience) as a result of all of these difficult situations, and I was at the peak of my career when I fell pregnant.
I decided not to return to work after my little twins were born and after my one year of maternity leave was up. For lots of reasons really…including the fact that childcare for two was expensive, I genuinely wanted to stay at home and I didn’t fancy returning to a highly stressful environment. So I didn’t.
And we got by financially and I became a happy stay at home Mum.
I’ve talked A LOT about this decision on my blog over the years. It was the right one for me – definitely, for us. I am glad I did, and could.
But one thing that took a huge knock, and changed me, due to this decision…was my confidence.
When you start to stay indoors more, and meet people less and less, and stop challenging yourself and your skills so much in a work environment, you can start to lack in confidence elsewhere.
This has certainly happened to me. I have not worked in an office environment now for nearly 4 years – which is a long time.
I am now at a place where the children are at preschool and I am therefore working once more, within blogging and freelancing. So I am having to ‘put myself out there again’ in a new workplace. And whilst these are such exciting times, it’s tough too.
I am back to where I was at the beginning of my HR career, but this time in a new industry and I’m learning all over again, and having to build up my confidence and skills once more. Putting myself out of my comfort zone all the time – learning (often by mistakes) and as I go along.
I’m not really a person who is afraid of failure or rejection anyway, for I am quite a tough women, and I am strong willed. Back in February I wrote a post about tips for having confidence within blogging – which had a good response, as lots of people related to it. But the fact is that it IS pretty daunting starting out in something so new and you do require a lot of self confidence in order to believe in yourself and make it work.
When you exude confidence people notice you, they take you seriously and they believe that you’re good at what you do. And so I’m working on getting that feeling back again in my new career and getting my working mojo on again!
Love, Jess x