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I want to work again, help please!

(6 Posts)
monkeyblonde Wed 25-Nov-15 16:35:20

Hi all, after 2 years out of work (although I was on mat leave until the end of Feb this year) I need to get back into working. I ideally want to work for myself, I've seriously considered becoming a virtual assistant as I do not want my children to be without a parent during school holidays, after school etc.

I am not silly, I've got a degree and worked for a blue chip company for 14+years until I left after my mat leave, in a relatively senior head office sales position. I have experience in project management, sales, marketing and working with other large multinationals and blue chip organisations.

I'm sure that there must be some mothers (and dads?) who've been in my position. Please give me your honest advice and experiences as to the kind of things I could do.

I don't want to do any selling from home, not my thing at all. Happy to get some training, thinking maybe along the lines of accountancy, bookkeeping? Also, how to gauge business requirement? If anyone can suggest any other online forums or networking groups I'd really appreciate it.

Look forward to hearing from you!

SimLondon Wed 25-Nov-15 20:19:25

Hi Monkeyblonde,

Is it actually bookkeeping & accountancy you want to do? if you search there are previous threads on that, I suspect there are lots and lots of exams and then assuming you pass them all which will probably take time you still have to find clients and build a practise - actually there was a thread a few days ago on just that.

Or is it just that you want to work flexibly around your family and not do selling? Have you looked at those questionnaires that suggest careers? I'm just thinking that there are other options e.g OU lecturer/personal trainer/weightwatchers leader/ business or life coach/cake maker/counsellor/copywriter/teacher even?


MrsMargoLeadbetter Wed 25-Nov-15 23:07:42


If you feel you have the skills to be a VA, that could be a fairly easy & low risk way to start? Have a look at for the sort of tasks people outsource. Not great pay on there but a way to get experience. Many VAs carry out marketing activities too (social media posts, sending e-newsletters) and it sounds like you have experience of that. Maybe move into bookkeeping if you find yourself doing that sort of work?

I would suggest you need to go to physical networking meetings though, rather than just online. A VA near me does that and picks up business.

I would say though that "I do not want my children to be without a parent during school holidays, after school etc" will have an impact on the sort of income you can earn and potentially your success unless you are able to find clients where the work fits into school hours. I outsource when I am desperate for help and therefore it is always urgent.

You mention not wanting to sell. I would say that if you have a flair for sales, then you could be in demand as a telesales person and more able to pick and choose what you do. Good sales people are often hard to find.

I really like for support for start ups etc. They put on lots of cheap events and training, mainly in London but they are starting to expand.

Good luck!

Hoppinggreen Thu 26-Nov-15 12:50:59

I do freelance Business Development and I've never been short of work, as margo says good Sales people are hard to find, especially ones who can do a bit more than simple appointment making on the phone.
I take school holidays off and I've never missed a concert or Nativity play yet ( although after 6 years of them I'm not entirely sure that's a good thing)

monkeyblonde Thu 26-Nov-15 18:38:40

Thanks so much everyone for your replies, definite food for thought. The rationale behind the accountancy was more to do with having something self contained, that I could potentially do at any time of day that worked for me and the family.

Hopping, I don't know if it is possible through MN as I am not a frequent user, or if you would be open to it, but I'd love to hear some more background on your current work. My previous role was definitely more business development than straight forward selling so this sounds like something I would like to explore. If you would be open to a separate discussion I would greatly appreciate it!

Hoppinggreen Mon 30-Nov-15 17:21:12

Sorry just seen this.
If you click on message poster to the right of my user name monkey you can contact me that way

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