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Career advice for mums: from career coach Penny Terndrup

This Expert Career Advice interview is with Penny Terndrup of Penny Terndrup Creative Resourcing. She’s dropping some gems in this – so enjoy!

An aspiring opera singer who swerved (wildly) to the law, then recruitment, then coaching, I’ve been working with individuals planning their careers for 20 years. 

I love working with successful women who find themselves needing a change of direction after (or instead of!) a break, and supporting their often flagging self-esteem.

I’m based in London.

Now I’d love to dive in and ask your advice on three common questions that our mamas face…

Talk to people! Take a good audit of your skills and experience with feedback from a range of folk; ex-colleagues, friends and acquaintances. Once you’ve worked on your self-awareness (and start to glow with the good news), it’s likely that ideas will start flowing, if they don’t come up in conversations along the way.

I’m a 41 year old mama with 14 years experience as a teacher. 2 years ago I left my school and set up as a private tutor.

However, I’m now at the point where I have to decide whether to go for it as a self-employed tutor or return to teaching.

I love the flexibility of working on my own, but also find it lonely. Do you have any advice on what I should do?

Firstly, I’d ask if it’s definitely either/or. Is there a way that you could get what you need from both avenues for some of the time?

Assuming you do feel you need to make a choice, I’d love to know where you work and when, and whether you have a network of other self-employed friends or contacts either locally or remotely.  Could there be a partnership out there?

Would teaching offer flexibility in a different environment (private sector, tutor businesses?). Presumably peak time for tutoring is outside school hours – could this work for you with your own family? This sounds like a situation for a good old pro’s and con’s list….

I’m nearing the end of my maternity leave after having my second child, and I really don’t want to go back to work. I’ve come up with a business idea that I think could work. However I’m struggling with imposter syndrome, and wondering if I really have what it takes to start a business. Do you have any tips for me?

What have you got to lose? (Genuine question). Can you afford to lose it? As ever – talk to people! Who in your life would give you honest feedback?

Flesh out your business plan – what gaps are there? How can you fill them? Read around other entrepreneurs – tonnes of examples out there. Did they succeed first time? Are they really any different to you..?? Will you kick yourself if you don’t try? I believe in you…

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Thanks so much Penny for taking part in our Expert Career Advice series for mums.

Find out more about Penny and how she can help you here:

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