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

Firstly please tell our lovely mamas about your coaching/ consulting practice?


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…


Question 1:


After taking a career break to have children, I now want to return to work. Ideally, it would be a role that is flexible so that I work only when my children are in school.

However, after being out of work for 4 years, my confidence is super low. Can you help?


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.

Question 2:


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….

Question 3:


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…

Thanks Penny!


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:

Her website

And get social with her here:

Twitter | LinkedIn