PPE blog post

PPE- Productive, Perspective, Educate

Throughout the pandemic, we have become accustomed to a lot of new terminology including PPE and relating that to the front line workers equipment. Instead to me it also means something else entirely, it means- Productive, Perspective, Educate.
Productive- Most certainly, Perspective – I changed mine, Educate – Free online training.

Throughout the pandemic, I decided to try turning something negative into a positive. The negative – the pandemic and its long term effects, the positive – starting a new business.
My business is writing and although it has always been part of my life, I have had to put it on the back burner. Life can get in the way and children can delay your dreams for a little while. In January, I wrote down my goals for this year; I am getting through some of them. One of them was to learn more about social media platforms and find the right one for me and another goal was to network.

Before the pandemic, I was teaching creative writing classes in my local community centre so when everything closed, I brought my writing class online. I felt if people were scared, perhaps some of them could find a way through writing- to cope. I needed an outlet as well to keep me focused and busy and I kept the classes up for eight weeks.
My friend who is successful in her own business ventures suggested also to join linkedIn. I did in February. Slowly, I made connections and learned about this type of platform and what it has to offer.

Next was zoom, which was a simple set up and a whole new world opened for me. I also couldn’t believe all the free webinars online. I went to them all, to see which ones suited what I needed. I didn’t really know how to say what I could offer a business. I knew I could write but how could I market it as a business and how was I different than all the great writers already established out there? Every writer has their own voice and that is what makes you stand out. I had to find my vocal voice to add to my written one – I had to tell people what I could offer them that was unique for their brand.
Through meeting other business owners, I found the right groups and community and began to network. From this networking environment, my writing ideas began to grow, and I developed an interview style article for an online platform. I asked people I found interesting and who I wanted to know more about if they would be a guest. All were interested. To date, I have over twenty five interviews and wonderful connections. I called it Talk Learn Connect (TLC) as I wanted it to be a softer version of interviewing and more about the person behind the brand and just enough content for lunchtime reading.

From another suggestion in March while on as a guest on the Ryan Tubridy radio show, I had an interest also to learn about women in politics and topics around councils, active citizenship and how to become more vocal in your community. Of course, there must be a reason why you want to be active; mine has always been the lack of support for lone parents. I have struggled with financial insecurity and also childcare was always difficult for me therefore prolonging where I wanted to be career-wise. I took part in many webinars in this area and listened to conversations hosted by compelling interviewers with powerful guests including Samantha Power and Senator Lynn Ruane. I always felt my boat had sailed in that I would never progress career wise as opportunities didn’t come my way, only obstacles.

By the time, I got my Journalism degree, I was forty and felt I was too old to go and work for a paper/magazine etc. There was just so much competition for freelancers.
My path went on a detour for the next five years, as I fell pregnant with twins, two months after I graduated from college. I felt I would never reach my goal of making something of myself. I continued writing while bringing up the children and managed to set up a blog on lone parenting twins and a teenager. It kept me kind of on track and active in writing.
Moving on to when the twins started school, I also went back to do a Post Grad in teaching for Adult Education. It revitalised me and put me on the right track, a completely different one. I swore I would never study again after my college degree, but education never stops. If you have the learning compulsion in you, courses will always come up that interest you. I’m a firm believer in life-long learning.

Having a journalism degree and a teaching accreditation has opened up ways for me to design strategies, to plan out projects, to brainstorm ideas and most of all – to write. There are more projects to come as I seem to find new ones each week. I think from networking, you can quietly observe what people need and then see if you can offer a solution applying what you do.
For anyone who has wanted to reinvent themselves and try something completely new, my advice is go for it now, don’t procrastinate. Support and advice are there now, you just need to find your community and you will.

Productive- Most certainly, Perspective – I changed mine, Educate – Free online training.

Posted in Community, job ventures, Lone Parenting, Parent support, Twins.

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