At the age of 20, the career I have ahead of me is inevitably exciting. As an ambitious person I am forever excited by the potential opportunities that await me and this is what motivates me to work harder day by day. But inevitably as we grow older, some of us are faced with an equilibrium; to work until our state pensions or to switch up our careers completely?
With these thoughts in mind, I spoke to a friend of a friend, Kim, who decided to take the plunge and left her job to start her own PR company. Age 21 at heart, (almost 40 on paper), Kim is a PR Guru to say the least. With 15 years experience under her belt and now a successful PR Consultancy business owner, Kim is the perfect person to chat with. “I suppose you could say I run a boutique PR agency but that’s probably a little bit grand. I am a PR consultant for small businesses,” she begins, as bubbly and insightful as ever. “I have a number of clients; most are retained clients on a monthly basis. I work with some beautiful kids/nursery brands such as Bobux, Loogun, Emma’s Diary and Bookabees, as well as a number of health clients. I try to get these brands in the papers and magazines; I do lots of blog outreach and reviews, as well as occasional events if required … Basically I just work for small clients who don’t necessarily have the budget for a big agency, but they want a really passionate, very good PR girl, to get them coverage and raise awareness of their brand.”
With this I delve a little deeper and ask Kim where it all started: “I never really had a career change, I went from working with a PR agency for 15 years, to then going in house with a brand called Brother Max after baby number 2. It was then, after working with my them for 2 years, that my second child was soon to begin school.” Kim’s business was not only born out of a passion for what she does, but out of practicality and a desire for a flexibility that would work for her family life. “That was when I thought you know what, I can do this on my own without worrying about child care. I can still continue PR by working from home, whilst doing the school runs, enjoying my family life, and managing to maybe just have it all.”
But Kim informs me that working from home is not all smiles and sunshine, as she outlines the more difficult side of being both a full-time mum and a savvy business owner: “It’s definitely great on one hand that I feel I can be involved with my children’s life and school life as much as I want, without the guilt of using a nanny. But, it is hard juggling everything to be honest. You end up trying to do it all, and I frequently work until ridiculously late at night. Last night I went to bed at 2AM! I must get out of that habit.” Kim laughs. “One week you’ll do a good job and feel like an awful mum, and then another week you’ll be a good mum but might need to put a little more effort in work. So you’re constantly having to wear these two hats – and whether you can wear either successfully is another question. The other downside is that obviously I don’t get that interaction that you would have with your colleagues.”
I feel truly inspired by Kim’s homemade business and it makes me really consider what my own future may hold. Kim’s advice is: “If you’re ambitious enough to create a business working from home, then I say do so, but it just depends if you really want to go for it. The set up I have is where it’s just me at home, and I like the idea that I don’t have to worry about what my employees are doing, I don’t have to think about delegating certain work or worry about how they’re working. The freedom in the job is really and truly appealing to anyone.”
A chat with ‘very good PR girl’ Kim has enlightened me on the life of a home business and motivated me to always strive for what I want in my own career. You can really see that Kim’s home business blossomed due to her love for PR and her happy, flexible family life. There is no specific time for women to make changes within their jobs, however we must all remember that full-time employment is not set in stone and that we have control over our own family and working lives.