More about my work WHY and the reason I left my well paid corporate role for a more uncertain future
“ not all career paths have to follow a straightforward trajectory and that by making brave decisions it is possible to create a more fulfilling work life ” - Lizzie Martin
Who am I?
I am Lizzie – an accredited coach and mentor. I am passionate about helping women navigate their next career transition, with clarity and confidence, so that they achieve a more fulfilling work life. I work with women who are in search of a career which fits with their responsibilities as a parent alongside their professional ambitions.
Before founding work life mother I was a respected senior leader in a safe and secure corporate role. But after the birth of my firstborn, I experienced a shift. A shift in my work values and life priorities. Work flexibility, my need be present for my daughter, to be connected with her for more than just the morning and evening routine - slapped me around the face. It was a clear wake up call. I needed to carve a new direction if I wanted to remain true to myself and my core values.
I also knew at that time the corporate world didn't allow me to foster the deep 1-1 connection with others that I craved, and the environment inhibited my creativity and motivations to think outside of the box. So whilst many around me questioned my choice to leave, and shared with me their own fears of ‘going it alone’ and concerns for my earning potential – escaping the structured and archaic environment that I was previously in was incredibly liberating.
Making the courageous change enabled me to create a work life which not only allowed me to have the flexibility that I want to spend with my family, my two young daughters, but also the space to live out my core values and fulfil my needs for innovation and creativity.
What I have learnt
Running your own business is a big decision and can often be viewed through rose tinted spectacles. At times it can be very lonely so creating a strong supportive network is critical – especially as I crave connection and am a natural extrovert. Co-working and regular meet ups with other freelance business owners have been a life line.
Being kind to yourself and patient with results is also important, knowing where you excel and also when you need to ask for help can make or break the success of your business. Networking and creating connections are strengths of mine but digital marketing and accounting are not. So it’s a good job I married an accountant.
Mistakes I have made along the way
When I started out brainstorming my business idea I spoke to a lot of people and took on board all of their views and opinions, whilst this was good to get initial feedback I didn’t filter the information or use the advice strategically. It was really overwhelming and knocked my confidence resulting in a delay to get my company off the ground.
What I would do next time is pick a ‘board of advisors’ – something I now recommend to my clients – of 3-5 trusted individuals to bounce ideas off, perhaps not the whole world.
The best bit about changing career is...
I’ve always secretly dreamed of running my own business, even at university I googled ‘buying a franchise’ one day. Now I am actually doing it and I couldn’t be prouder.
The one piece of advice I give to someone considering a change
Allow yourself to have a dream – when you focus on what you want to create you make more space for that to actually happen.