“I didn’t want it to end.” Louise Sloan on taking her enthusiasm for social media straight into freelancing

Meet Louise, a TechPixie who just didn’t want her experience of social media to end! Louise says TechPixies was the catalyst to finding passion after a long career break. It’s taken her to the next level – employment! Louise has now successfully become a freelance Social Media Manager. Louise is adamant that without discovering TechPixies, she would never have found flexible working opportunities that fit around her family life and given her career fulfilment she now has.

Before having her two children, Louise worked as an Office Manager overseeing events and internal sales support for a software company. After the birth of her first child, her office moved to a new location which meant returning to the company was not an option. With her husband travelling extensively for work, Louise, chose to put her return to employment on hold and became a stay at home mum instead.

Just when Louise was on the verge of considering a return to work, an opportunity arose for the family to move to Italy for a couple of years. It was a move that would prove successful for all the family. Having studied Business and German at university, Louise learnt Italian to help become the interpreter for the family. This official role helped secure a new found confidence and encouraged Louise to seek out a route back to work when she returned to the UK.

Obstacles to returning to work…

After having their son Alex, Louise wanted to get back to work, but as time went on, knowing which jobs to look for was proving tricky.

“To be honest, when thinking about getting back to work, it felt like a brick wall was in front of me. I didn’t know how to go about searching for the right role or what skills I could really offer to a new employer.  I had always been in roles that required very specific skills for a particular job or company. However, I didn’t feel I had skills that specialised in a particular area, such as digital marketing, that would be recognised and attractive to employers.”

Discovering TechPixies…

Louise got talking to a fellow mum at the school gates. It turned out to be Anna one of our TechPixies Alumni. Attracted by how Anna was able to juggle the course and childcare and go on to have a successful career, Louise decided to take the plunge and join the Face to Face course. From the outset, making the decision to take the course helped Louise to recognise she was making a formal step towards returning to work. Even just the physical nature of meeting each week was good for Louise to recognise that she was making a conscious effort.

“The face to face aspect was important. I felt as though I thrived in that environment… The fact that you make the effort to go to the course (I wasn’t just in my jogging bottoms running after the kids), it all adds to feeling more confident. It made me feel like I did when I was working 10 years previously and that was a good feeling.”

The energy of the group…

Louise describes her growing confidence in social media as the moment when everything just clicked. Throughout the weeks on the course, Louise enjoyed meeting each Friday with her fellow TechPixies and course facilitator. As with a group environment, everyone comes with their own experiences and Louise enjoyed the fact that everyone worked as a team to help each other learn more.

“I found all my anxieties of being able to understand and learn again disappeared – I actually loved learning a new skill again. I loved being in a group of like-minded women. Getting out of the home and learning a useful skill – I thrived on it! I didn’t want it to end to be honest!”

Our Face to Face courses are run out of Grant Thornton’s London and Oxford offices within their learning space. It offers a unique learning environment with a range of spaces including excellent presentation facilities to hold workshops and breakout pods to encourage interaction and collaboration.  

“The PowWow space at Grant Thornton’s Oxford office was a lovely relaxed open space to meet and learn with my fellow TechPixies.”

The ongoing support…

Louise believes that without the support she received from the get go, she would never have advanced so quickly. From immediately signing up to the course, to the continuing support she receives through the private Facebook group and TechPixies events, Louise feels the TechPixie team support is very special and makes you feel part of the TechPixies network right from the start.

“The energy and the support of Joy Foster and her team is quite special. I think you really can feel that and it certainly filters down to Joy’s whole team. The TechPixies team are very approachable, there are no barriers, which is actually quite unique compared with other courses. I think it really has an affect on people.”

A new start as a Social Media Manager…

It’s fair to say that Louise found her passion and became an avid fan of social media. Shortly after completing the course, Louise got the opportunity to work freelance managing social media platforms for her newly acquired clients. Not only was this a great way to put everything into practice, but it also helped Louise earn back her investment in the course in a matter of months.

“Having the opportunity to work on a client’s social media platforms straight away is when your learning curve really increases, it really is the best way to advance.”

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