AT LAST I KNOW WHAT TO CALL MYSELF
I have just become another statistic. A good one. One I’m proud of. I have joined the 1500 women who have retrained through Digital Mums. I have spent six months learning about social media and digital marketing in order to re-position myself as a Social Media Manager and find #workthatworks.
Another much mentioned statistic for you: I was the middle-aged mother who had very little direction in her life. We won’t call it a midlife crisis because that would suggest I sat there tearing my hair out over what to do. My hair is fine I”m happy to say.
I just knew that after thirteen years in the TV biz, fourteen years in the voicing biz, twelve years in the swimming teaching biz, and five years in the holistic therapy biz, I felt like a jack of all trades and a master of none. (I should add, these years didn’t run concurrently. That would put me at about 64 which I’m not. I’m 51, thank you.)
Anyway, I digress. So I never really knew what to call myself. I know labels aren’t that important but I wanted to sink my teeth into something and stop dabbling in bits and bobs. Plus, some of those industries I’ve worked in are, shall we say, a little on the ageist side and if you’re out of them for too long – forget it. I guess I was feeling what author, Johnathan Rauch, describes as that “midlife slump“.
Along came Digital Mums. I wasn’t a huge social media user. Bit of a luddite if I’m honest but I’d tried out doing some marketing for a therapist friend on Instagram and got a bit of a buzz from it. Once I started on the course, I felt I had bitten off more than I could chew though. It seemed intense. Or maybe it wasn’t. Just that my 50 year old brain hadn’t been in a “classroom”, albeit a virtual one, for quite some time and added to the fact I was having brain fog and memory loss as part of my menopausal symptoms, well let’s just say, it wasn’t the best combination.
However, I did find that I was now definitely being given direction along with deadlines and once I got my head around juggling studying and family, I found a renewed sense of purpose. I also found that creating posts and content not only fed my love of writing but was also the digital equivalent of my other joy in life – sticking and pasting!
The course was laid out in modules, some more challenging than others but along the way I had support from a group of like-minded mums who started out as an assigned peer group and then became friends.
I also discovered through Twitter an amazing group of women from whom I learnt a lot about menopause and midlife. I found I was not alone. There are so many talented and inspiring women out there, all in their middle years and, like me, moving in new directions. I discovered that social media can be just that: social… and supportive and caring and funny and informative.
“One of the great things about studying at this time of life is proving to yourself just how much you are capable of.”
So that’s (dare I use the word) my “journey” over the last six months. I have cried when I thought the volume of work impossible to do; I have worked late, late into the nights scheduling and creating; I have wrapped my brain around metrics and KPIs and I have loved every minute of it.
Many times, I have also doubted my ability but one of the great things about studying at this time of life is proving to yourself just how much you are capable of and, as predicted by Digital Mums, my confidence has soared. I am one of life’s procrastinators and really felt that at 50 it was probably a bit too late to bother with a new career. So I feel proud that at this stage of my life I have stepped out of my comfort zone and achieved my goal.
So I’m happy to be a statistic in this case. I’ve rediscovered my middle aged years and I’m ready to go out into the world as a Social Media Manager.
If you are thinking of starting out afresh, retraining or repositioning yourself, I urge you to just do it. At this stage of our lives we have a wealth of talent and experience and life wisdom that really can take us to new places. Go and be a statistic of your own.