As a mother, returning to work, post maternity leave, can be a daunting experience. Whether you’ve taken a few months off, a year or in my case six and a half years, the question ‘do I still have what it takes?’ pops up in your head a lot. Question after question, doubt followed by doubt, it can drive you crazy and as if you don’t have enough to worry about with the little ones running around!
Sometimes though, you’ve just got to take a deep breath and ask your gut. So, I took that breath and contacted ramarketing. The rest, as they say, is history. I’m here, part of the team and loving every minute! Doubts? What doubts?
Of course, some of my doubts were realised. Things have moved on since my last stint in marketing. Social media, SEO and PPC were definitely not as central to any marketing plans I was working on back then. Thankfully, I work with a team of experts who can help me out and it’s fantastic that after such a long time ‘off’ I am now building on my traditional marketing skills with new funky ones.
Slotting back in has been nowhere near as hard as I first thought. A great deal of this is down to the canny folk I work with, of course, but it struck me, that in actual fact, my career break was nothing of the kind…
I realised that I had been building a ‘brand’ for six and a half years (longer in reality). The ‘merger’ that took place between my husband and I was the grassroots of that brand (I’m talking marriage not rude stuff people) – our name, what we stood for, our values, our vision. Our ‘products’ came along in 2007 and 2009. Different flavours, a girl then a boy, but fundamentally extensions of the same brand.
The below brand wheel is pretty much the basis for the ‘Joisce’ brand – give or take a bit of creative license*
Personality (‘walking & talking’)
Definition: How the brand looks, behaves and talks. An outline of how the brand acts; how it engages with others; its tone of voice.
The Joisce brand: Always say “please and thank you”, be kind to others, respect your elders, be polite, tuck your shirt in, eat with your mouth closed, don’t wipe your nose on your sleeve etc.
Internal drivers (‘heads & hearts’)
Definition: The vision, values and belief of the brand.
The Joisce brand: ‘Stay true to yourself’ be friendly, helpful, inquisitive, happy, independent, adventurous, hard-working, fun-loving.
External drivers (‘proof & pudding’)
Definition: Position the brand; back that positioning up, and summarise it with a strapline often supported by customer feedback.
The Joisce brand: our target market – parents evening/other parents/extended family/friends.
Strapline: “Good kids, you can take anywhere”.
Get my drift? So, no, being a stay-at-home mum was not a career break, I was actually working on my own little start-up and creating a rather strong brand that is already showing great potential in the marketplace AKA the school playground. I forecast steady growth and believe it has the potential to become a trusted brand with a loyal customer base for many years to come (okay I may be slightly biased). And yes, my tongue is planted firmly in my cheek but the lesson I learnt was to believe in my own ability just as others have.
You see, sometimes we let fear and doubt knock our confidence so much that we don’t see the transferable skills we have to offer and we create our own barriers to success. Team ramarketing has helped me see this.
I don’t have gaps in my CV as I have brand Joisce under my belt in addition to a strong track record spanning 20 years. So, here’s to another 20 years of new adventures and opportunities.
*Thanks to MRL Agency for the pic.