I lived abroad, got a Master’s degree, had a satisfying career, but all that changed when I had children. We made the decision that I would stay home with the children (which we could do if we were careful money-wise). As my children got older, I did think about the possibility of working again.
And then one day, everything changed. My husband was laid off. He is an engineer so it’s not very easy for him to find a new job. I knew that I could find some kind of work quickly. Something to help our family. At first I worked a full-time temporary job and then transitioned into a flexible part-time job. I started working part-time for a research and development company in their Intellectual Property company. It was a temp job that turned into a permanent part-time position. It had flexible hours and a lot of interesting people. I learned a lot of information about patents, trademarks, etc. I love to learn – so it was a great fit. So my return to work after children came earlier than I anticipated. My Second Act started early – but allowed me to learn new skills, revive old skills, and both work and spend time with my children.
We eventually relocated ( my husband found a new job in another state). I no longer had that same job opportunity. Once we got settled, I decided that I did want to work. We could always use a little extra money, but it was more about me using my “brain” again – in more of an intellectual capacity. Why did I go and get a Master’s if I wasn’t going to use it? So, at first I was a virtual assistant for a small business. I was always able to do virtual, administrative work, as I had kept up with software and computers, etc. So, it wasn’t a hard transition for me. Sure, I did have to learn somethings…but it wasn’t too bad. I was hired through a employment agency for this small business. It seemed to make a lot of sense for her since she didn’t have to deal with payroll, etc. The only thing was that the difference between the money the small business paid and what I actually received was $10.00 difference per hour. That really adds up. And after working for over a year, I decided that I wanted to go out on my own. I had already done some virtual work now and thought that I should try it on my own. I realized was that the Internet and technology allowed me to create my own new act. I ended up starting my own company – basically being a kind of virtual assistant for patent attorneys. That’s when I embarked on the journey to create my own business. I made a lot of mistakes. I took a long, roundabout path. But I have eventually created a flexible, part-time business. It doesn’t gross 6-figures, but allows me to work, take courses and spend time with my family. Some days it’s crazy, but for the most part it gives me the best of both worlds. I like being able to use my education, work experience, intellect as well as my mom brain and heart.
Have you made the transition back to work after children and being out of the workforce for awhile?
What has been hard for you?
Or if you would like to start a business – what’s holding you back?