Jo from 2starsandaswirl took the plunge last year and went from employed to running her own business. Here is a post from Jo about it.
The conversation starts like this
Them “So what do you do?”
Me “Erm…I erm…”
And then I add in a long pause and get more and more flustered.
The quick answer to the question is that I am a cleaner.
The longer, make myself feel good reply is that 8 months ago when my last contract ended as a funding officer for a local charity I realised there were no part time jobs here, (well ones with fixed hours that allowed me to organize child care that is) so I had 2 alternatives, go on income support or become self employed.
Anyone I tell me story to say I should be proud; that I am not ‘just’ a cleaner, and I know this is true. To start the business I did the website, designed flyers, set up accounts and thought up the whole concept of the business to make it a bit different from the norm. But Monday – Wednesday I am a cleaner.
I have been a single parent for 3 years, I did have a good job that made a difference to communities in Northern Ireland, a job that I felt proud to tell people I did, that I could talk about for hours. Circumstances meant I moved and left that job and after 6 months of being ‘on the dole’ I got the funding officer job, I was again able to do it well, I knew what I was doing, it was again making a difference to a community. I got a really good result in the job and got the charity a fantastic grant. All things that other people thought were great and I could explain.
So back to today…
I have always enjoyed cleaning, with a tenancy towards OCD if I have the time and energy at home, and so I decided to go for it in working life and within 10 days of starting and advertising I was fully booked, and it has stayed that way for 8 months. It is hard work as when I go to work for 7 hours, I am working all the time, no lunch breaks, no chats over tea. But I do enjoy it and it is very satisfying and it DOES make a difference, I know this from the feedback. BUT I am a cleaner and I am just never able to just say that as I assume people will judge me for it. And I know it is also because I am a single parent that I feel judged more, a bit of a cliché I guess, single mum cleaner.
I don’t want to feel like this as it does bring me down and I worry people won’t see further than it. But why do I care? What does it matter what I do?