From Banking to Babies – Business client Mish30th November 2020
Even as a teenager, student and young adult, I loved taking care of babies and working with children. I did lots of babysitting in my neighbourhood, and took a gap year in the US, on an “exchange type programme” working with babies. It is a source of great joy to me that I am still in touch with many of the families I worked with; some of the first babies I cared for now have families of their own! Not surprisingly, I did a degree in education, and I qualified as a primary school teacher.
In my early twenties, one of the mothers I worked for, as a nanny, worked in finance. Her company was successful, forward-thinking and vibrant. I was hooked! I began researching what I needed to do or study to follow suit and advanced my career, and eventually I made the leap into Financial Services however my love for working with babies, my true passion, never went away. In fact, after achieving most of my professional goals in finance, I took some time away to reassess my life goals. During that time, I volunteered for various organisations, and personally set up a food bank, thereby winning an award for innovative volunteering. One of my volunteering tracks involved supporting new mothers and families, particularly with their babies. I absolutely loved doing this. After numerous “hands-on” days and nights spent with babies, I realised my jaw actually hurt from smiling so much! This experience encouraged my lightbulb moment – an idea for my own business that engaged my passions, the care of babies coupled with my teaching and training background to coach and assist young mums and families throughout the early stages and various aspects of childminding and baby care.
Although I have extensive professional experience in the finance sector, everything “IT” has moved and changed, in leaps and bounds so quickly that my skills were becoming rapidly outdated. My subsequent lack of exposure to IT made me feel like I was constantly playing catch up. Even my youngest 5 year old nephew seemed to know more than I did in some ways! I knew that upskilling in this area was something I wanted and needed to address.
After seeing a general Work Avenue email, I took the plunge and signed up to join some of their IT courses: Excel, Microsoft Office, and Strategy for Social Media. While I had some basic knowledge of these programmes, I was still a little apprehensive and overwhelmed. Everyone I spoke to at Work Avenue was so friendly and welcoming, I immediately felt at ease about this new undertaking. The calibre of the course content and presenters was so impressive. Really the whole experience was better than any of the high-profile, expensive options on offer in the City. As a result, I felt empowered: doing these courses taught me so much and boosted my confidence immensely. I feel proud that I was proactive in this aspect and acted swiftly to improve my skills. It is not an exaggeration to say that what I learned on these courses will change my life, and for that I am beyond appreciative.
I also realise how much more there is to learn and I am ready to embrace that. And here is where Work Avenue’s ongoing support and engagement comes into its own. I am working with one of their Business Advisors, Jo Sadie, who is so helpful. She is a ready source of friendly and accessible advice. She is supporting me as I set up what I need to launch my brand and business. I have a Facebook page already – www.facebook.com/MishyPoppins – and am working on creating an Instagram page @MishyPoppins and a professional website too www.MishyPoppins.com . For now, I am incredibly busy thanks to word of mouth. Helping families with their babies, whether it is through maternity nursing, night nursing, sleep training, Bris support, weaning workshops or any of the other services that Mishy Poppins offers, well I just couldn’t be happier. I am at this point thanks to my own efforts, evolution and Work Avenue’s services.