Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Career Mums, the book. You can win it right here.


Once I thought I had heaps.

Then things happen and you have none, somewhere along the way you lose faith in your own abilities and skills.

Like returning to work after you have a baby. The job isn’t working out but you stay there anyway, miserable and hating it, because you have slowly been trodden on to the point where you have no confidence left.

You think this is as good as it gets for a Mum.

Then one day, you just resign and hope that maybe a retail store or someone somewhere will be so desperate to get someone that maybe they will pick you.

Sounds so stupid to think that I really thought that way, but I did.

When I saw a call out for stories about working Mums I put my hand up. I have come a long way from that time and one of the websites I used to get me back on track was the career mums website. I had a few interviews from the site and they were the kick start to get me back on track. Advertisers, as in real employers using the site, really wanted me. Part time. 

Career Mums has just added another tool to the working Mums belt of weapons. A book. I wish someone popped it in my hands five years ago so that I was more aware that I wasn't alone and that I could make the changes I needed.

Career Mums (the book) includes all the stuff you need to read if you are thinking about working again. What you need to know, how to organise yourself, case studies of other people that have been through it all before, including me, you can read about me on page 116!

If you’re a Mum and thinking about work, or currently in a position and thinking of changing, you should really get your hands on a copy of this book, and for one lucky person, I have a copy to give away.

All you have to do is tell me (in as many words as you want) about your very first job. Tell me anything, how you got it, what you did, how badly you were paid. I will get the author Al Tait (who also writes a blog over at Life in A Pink Fibro) to pick a winner.  As for me, my first job was at the Meredith Sheep Dairy, where the papers were covered in sheep poo...I have come a long way baby.

Giveaway open to Australian people only. Entries will be accepted until 9pm Sunday 12 Feb. Judges decision is final. Please leave someway of me contacting you. PLEASE.

The fine print:

I was not paid for this post. Neither was I paid to be included in the book. Nor do I receive income from the book. But without the career mums site five years ago, I might not have the job I have now (and the income it brings). 


  1. I have not been in paid employment for the last 6 years, spending this time raising 3 little girls at home. With the littlest scheduled to start school next year I really want to get back into work, whether it's finding a suitable position with a fabulous and flexible employer who understands that I'd need to work around my family, or going out alone and creating my own work and business. Either way, Confidence is key (and I'm lacking it a bit at the moment).

    My very first job was as a deli assistant at my local supermarket. I was 14 years old and wanted my own income so that I could pilfer it on Smash Hits magazines and Kylie Minogue cassingles. One of my best friends from high school got me the job so that we could work together after school. I hated it and only lasted 2 weeks. The deli manager was a very mean and strict Polish woman who never smiled. She told me off on my first day for wearing black stockings instead of the obligatory nude/flesh ones. I hated wearing a hair net and a tres chic hat made out of paper. The pay was only about $6 an hour (child labour rates). Everytime I shop from a supermarket deli I'm always extra-nice to the assistants, I know the hell they go through slicing the virginia ham and topping up the tzatziki dips xxx

  2. Oh cassingles!! And they were so expensive.

  3. My first job? At 14, a girl in my class asked me if I wanted to work at her step-dad's bakery on Saturday mornings. He'd asked her for a "reliable girl" who might be interested. For 18 months my mum would drop me off at the shop at 8am, I'd work at the counter till we shut at 1pm, then her step-dad would drop me home with $5 pay and a few leftover rolls or finger buns. I learnt how to make garlic bread there. The Christmas I was there, the boss and his wife gave me a pretty letter writing set and a blue Schaeffer pen. I still have the pen after more than 20 years.
    These days I have an unused engineering degree and a school aged child, wondering if I'll ever get past the usual rejection email for even the simplest jobs. Apparently a 10 year gap in your work history and a lack of referees from employers is too hard to look past. So I'm looking at returning to study just to have a piece of paper to prove I can type. The joys of motherhood.

  4. My first job was in a bakery. I was 14 and excited to be on the track to grandeur. Silly me didnt realise that 12 hour days every saturday and sunday would be exhausting rather than well paid. I remember dropping so many trays of buns and pastries in my first week. I also remember having to deshell boiled eggs by the bucket load (ouch on the fingers).
    Cleaning the cold room was the foulest thing I have ever had to do it was literally covered in 3 inches of sludge. When I asked when it had last been cleaned I was met with shrugs.
    I lasted 9 months at that job before my family moved away and I can honestly say I have had no ideas of ever working in a bakery again. I'll be a school teacher in 2 years and am looking forward to that!!

  5. Oh my! I have a job. Okay, I'm ready and reading the entries with great interest. Just to be social, my first job was at Thomson's store, Friday night shift, thanks to a good friend's family. When times were slow, I worked my way through my boss's bags of M&B romance novels. My mum always reckoned I majored in romance reading for my HSC. The start of something big!

  6. My first job was at an ostrich farm, and I was the chick hatchery assistant. I loved every minute of it and stayed until the farm closed a year later.

    As a 16 year old I was really thrown in the deep end and learned on the job. On my first day I hatched and tagged well over a hundred chicks - a real baptism of fire! Not long after the lady who I worked with changed jobs and I was working on my own, or with the boss when she wasn't at their other farm.

    I was repsonsible for candling, stacking and incubating the eggs in special heat controlled rooms, and when they were due to hatch I would move them in baskets to the incubator, where they were sealed in big heat rooms that looked like giant freezers. The next morning I would open these up and almost all the eggs would have hatched, and the chicks would be cheeping at me like crazy! I had to record their breeding pair (written on the eggs) and tag them in the stretchy skin of their neck, and check for any birth defects before carting them off into the baby room where they all ran around like idiots all day.

    You can imagine the cleaning that went with all of this, but it wasn't as terrible as it could have been. All the racks and baskets were cleaned with a high pressure washer which was great fun. All the cloths and towels were boiled in an old copper and run through the wringer (no, I'm not THAT old, just the machinery was!).

    At the end of the day I cataloged all the new hatchers into the database - the first one I had ever seen - and turn all the eggs in the heated rooms before I left.

    It taught me so much, and was always fascinating. There was not a day when I woke up and said "I don't want to go to work today". It taught me hard work doesn't hurt (much) and that there is always something new to learn right around the corner. It gave me an "I can do it" attitude which has contributed to the wide range of jobs on my CV through the years.

  7. I don't think I can beat the ostrich hatching job!

    At sixteen I dropped my very professional (!) resume off at every shop in the local shopping centre. I got picked up by the dodgy independent supermarket at the back, as did my bestie. We used to get sent to different aisles to tidy up because we would chat too much. The supermarket gradually went downhill, to the point where we used to play cricket and twister in the aisles; it was that slow. I still have friends from that job though, almost twenty years later.

    Now, I've been out of my career (physiotherapy) for five years and I really don't have the confidence to go back. I feel like my skills have slipped away and I'll be starting over again. I'm considering a change, but feel bad to waste my very expensive degree (that I'm still paying off!)

  8. hi Tam, what a shame you have lost your confidence, surely bodies have not changed in the last fewe years. I bet you could still do the job, just like riding a bike really.

  9. My first job was restocking shelves on a Sunday at our family country Pub. I loved it. It took me about ten minutes and I got paid $1. I was 9. LOL.

    I then moved on to unpacking orders at my family's next venture a gift store. The pay was a little better $2.

    My first real paid just was at Human Services as a part time admin assistant and my introduction to government departments. I was soooo bored. Everyone took coffee breaks every five minutes (or smoke breaks), noone was motivated, they were all jaded and here I was fresh out of TAFE enthusiastic and wide-eyed. And the pay was pitiful, although at the time I thought it was like winning the lottery. Needless to say I didn't last long and was fortunate enough to score a full time job as receptionist at a local chiropractic clinic which lasted over 5 years.

    Now I have just headed out into business after working from home for 6 years. A huge step, but such an amazing experience for me personally.

  10. It's tough for mums. I am happy to work part-time but also have to and there's the fact that a long break away from my career would kill it. I like what I do.

  11. Wow, what amazing stories!

    My very first officially paid employment saw me don a most attractive little ensemble and play Santa's Little Helper in a shopping Centre Christmas cave.

    I was paid about $10 an hr for the privilege of helping kids find suitable pressies for their extended families - all seemingly only wanting to spend $2 a pop ! I learned to improvise well ...

    As well it was the year Mariah first released All I Want For Christmas Is You so we only were made to play it, oh, 36 times a day...

    And how was I found qualified to do this job I hear you ask?

    The fact I am five foot nothing may or may not have worked in my favour...


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