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Jane Knight's Monthly Column - January 2018

Join Successful Mums for the ride in 2018Join Successful Mums for the ride in 2018

As a new year – and my new monthly column – begins, it’s the perfect time to reflect upon how far Successful Mums has come and to look ahead to what 2018 has in store for so many more mums...

It’s been an amazing rollercoaster ride of professional fun since we delivered our first official Back to Work course to an audience of attentive mums in 2014.

I was no stranger to running courses, having successfully delivered employability and enterprise training for well over a decade. But starting Successful Mums and bringing training to this niche group was different.

I was still the same teacher and career advisor and I still had the same course content but something had changed: I was also a mum. Maternity leave had left a blank space on my CV but, rather than letting that knock my confidence, I chose to use my new experience to enhance my career and help others do the same.

On a cold but sunny morning, I stood in front of my first group of mums, a little wobbly but elated. I found I had a new voice and had gained a new set of skills since becoming a parent – just like the women sitting before me. It was my job to help them see that.

I understood how your world view changes when you become a parent and that you might take time off from paid work. I saw how easily you could lose what I’d call your “mojo”. But I also understood that the skills and mindset you develop as a parent equip you with a maturity, outlook and experience that employers are looking for.

Determined to help these mums, I tweaked my courses to suit them. As well as practical steps for finding a job or starting a business after children, they needed confidence tips and work-life balance strategies.

So I did it – the mums loved it and the results appeared before my very eyes. Successful Mums had given these women the tools, resources and the confidence to take steps towards their career and business goals. We haven’t looked back and have since helped over 3,500 skilled women get their mojo back, get into work or start a business.

  With employers wanting to meet my Successful Mums “grads” and mums wanting to meet these employers, I soon had a matchmaking service made in heaven. It was the perfect solution for these mums, employers and (given the bigger picture) the UK economy.

Over the last couple of years, employer interest has grown and we’ve responded with our Successful Mums Job Board, showcasing their flexible and part-time roles. We’ve worked in partnership with a range of employers to host our Back To Work programmes and, in 2016, ran our first Women Returners Day for organisations specifically looking to recruit women as part of their equality and inclusion drives.

Successful Mums has become something really special and we’ve been able to give back to our community, with free Taster Sessions, enterprise talks for schoolchildren and monthly charity events, which have raised over £3,000 so far! It would have been impossible to achieve all this alone and I’m lucky to be surrounded by my own fantastic team of Successful Mums.

We have more exciting training programmes and adventures lined up for 2018. Whether you’re a mum, an employer, a funding organisation or fancy coming along to our next 10k, do get in touch and join us for the Successful Mums ride. It’s good for mums, good for business and lots of fun, too.

As a final word, I’d like to say that since that first cold, sunny day, I’ve met some truly wonderful women through Successful Mums and have remained good friends with so many who have more to offer than they will ever know… #thismumcan

Happy New Year and here’s to a healthy and enterprising 2018!

Jane x

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