Saira Aspinall, Head of Marketing at Barefoot Coaching shares why she is so excited to be attending the 2016 Mumsnet Workfest Conference, as well as some insight into what it’s like working for her mum, Barefoot Founder and MD Kim Morgan.
My daughter was born on 20th June 2014 and the first time I left her for a whole day was 16th May 2015 to attend last year's Mumsnet Workfest Conference.
I was at the bitter end of my maternity leave, determined that I wasn't going back to my old 9-5 but unsure about what to do next. Workfest reconnected me with my professional self. Half way through the opening keynote my thumbs started twitching; it was time to reignite my twitter account. That small step reminded me how much fun content creation is, how much I love engaging with others and how, despite first and foremost identifying myself as a mummy, I was still a marketeer too.
Workfest also gave me something else; it opened my eyes to the inspiring female role model that had been right in front of me all my life.
For years I had followed the success of my mum's business but truthfully, my interest had lacked depth. As a reasonably successful, happy, childless twenty-something, coaching didn't feel all that relevant to me. But now, I was listening with rapt attention to women who represented exactly what Barefoot Coaching stands for. The achievements of many of the Workfest ’15 speakers echoed those of my mum, the things they were saying were things that she had been saying to me for years but I was suddenly taking note!
My new role as a mother and the strange cocktail of doubt, insecurity and empowerment that it brings made coaching suddenly feel very relevant to me. I could see how invaluable it is in helping women navigate important life events like returning to work from maternity leave.
And with that eureka moment, I felt I could do something that I had discussed many times but never acted upon; I could join Barefoot to set up our in-house Marketing Department.
A year later, I am beyond delighted that Kim Morgan, MD of Barefoot Coaching and my mum, will be speaking at this year's Workfest along with a whole host of brilliant women; Jo Wiley, Gaby Hinsliff, Jess Phillips MP and Karen Blackett to name just a few.
This event is as close to Kim's heart as it is to mine. Through 25 years of executive coaching and coach training, she has maintained a passionate commitment to women's development. Speaking at Workfest 2016 represents Kim’s dedication to the ethos instilled by her original training with The Springboard Consultancy many years ago.
If you're returning to work from maternity leave or, like me, juggling part-time work, full-time parenting, guilt, dog training, ambition, perfectionism and maybe even a relationship then leave it all at home and come to this year's Workfest. I know you won't regret it.
Kim's self-esteem workshop will run from 2-2.50pm. She will also be available for 1-2-1 sessions in the Career Clinic throughout the day. www.mumsnet.com/events/workfest/2016 for more information and tickets.