A Bit About Me
Written by Abbi on January 19, 2019
Thanks for visiting my website and taking time to browse through it. I'm chuffed that you have found this page as my 'Notes' section are intentionally written in a less formal style compared to the rest of the website to help you get to know a bit more about me, so if you are thinking of working with me than I hope that you will feel more comfortable with getting in touch.
I mention in the 'About' section that I completed a masters in business in the autumn of 2010. What I didn't mention was that my husband and I scooped our two very young boys away from the South East and relocated the family to the South West of England. I then project managed the building renovation works to our house and settled the family into our new life whilst setting up self employment. For over six years, I worked as a freelance business management trainer and mentor on a part time basis; working in between childcare commitments. This was a great work model at the time, as it meant that I had the best of two worlds; being a mother and having a job. Being able to work on my terms in my professional career during the critical stages of caring for our growing children was an honour and also a faff. Let's be honest, there are many challenges that come with having a career with children in the mix. In fact, all 'working mum models' mean some form of compromise.
Whilst I was hungry to grow my business, managing to secure new contracts as well as working on existing contracts required more than skill alone. It required having a network of close family and friends about me to help out. I also needed to keep overheads lean. Yet, I also found it difficult to 'let go' of being around for the children. On whole, I found I was becoming frustrated with juggling time for work and mother roles. Then, sadly, our younger son had an accident at a childcare club, where his thumb broke, which meant a step change for the family during the nine month of repair. It was a blessing that I was working from home as I was able to ferry him to the hospital four times a week, and I was able to do all the personal care for six months because I worked from home, so was able to be there for our little laddie... yet I also felt frustrated at the loss of work throughout this period of time. I guess it was around this time when I started to explore the possibility of changing my work life around.
When our boys started to become more independent, I decided to change my work situation as I wanted to work as part of a team. So I have kept freelancing as a sideline and started to work full time. For my first employed position, I worked as a Pathways Coordinator at Ruskin Mill, a specialist further education college for 16-25 year old young adults, where we deliver a unique craft and land based therapeutic curriculum. In this role, I arranged student transition plans ensuring they had realistic aspirations, which matched their abilities and would enable them to progress, securing places to go onto once leaving. The role involved working with students, parents, carers external education and social care agencies, and local authorities, to ensure students' careers plan were in line with individual goals as indicated on their EHCP (Education,Health and Care Plan).
A year later, I was promoted to admissions manager, which is now my current role, where I work with parents, carers and local authorities ensuring there is a steady flow of students through the pipeline. This role involves assessing possible students, working with senior managers and organising and hosting open days with a range of colleagues.
The mentoring and lecturing is an aspect of my profession which I feel very accomplished at therefore reluctant to ditch, so I have kept this on as a sideline. However, I have paired down what services I offer so that I don't compromise on quality of input and outputs for either my day job or my sideline. I tend to carry out mentoring on Saturdays only and I will take the odd day off work to do lecturing. So, if you are considering hiring me then please be aware that my availability is limited, however the quality of my work is never compromised.