Becky Willding-Jones from Career Coaching - Parents in Business
Welcome and welcome back to our first series about parents in business.
In these blog posts, we will introduce you to the achievements of wonderful parents who also run their own businesses. We hope you enjoy finding out about them and what they do.
Name: Rebecca Willding - Jones
Business Name: Coaching Partners
Nature of business: Career coaching for mums
Years in Business: 2 years
Tell us about yourself..
Hello, I’m Becky Willding-Jones. I live with my husband John and two children, Thomas (6 years) and Sophie (2 years.) We live in Ewhurst in the Surrey Hills and love a good family walk in the countryside!
My background is Human Resources, having spent the last 20 years working in London for a range of companies from Energy, Financial Services, the art world and retail. I am a professionally qualified coach and CIPD qualified. I now enjoy running my own business with Rachel Veal, we formed Coaching Partners in early 2019 to support career break mums.
Tell us about your business..
I set up Coaching Partners with my colleague Rachel Veal in early 2019.
Whilst raising young children, we witnessed the struggles parents faced when thinking about returning to work. With over 30 years in Human Resources between us, we often found ourselves supporting friends to regain career confidence, search and apply for flexible roles, refresh CVs and practise for interviews.
We knew there were organisations out there providing career coaching but there didn’t seem to be an offering which delivered this support flexibly for mum’s. This led to the idea of delivering career coaching virtually and a suite of career coaching and e-learning programmes began.
We help mums gain clarity on what to do next when they cannot return to their previous career. We believe in using your transferable skills and expertise to pivot and find new flexible career paths. We also provide support with CVs, job search and interviews.
How do you balance work, personal life and parenthood?
This can certainly be challenging! I try to carve out my week to spend time working, organising the household, exercising and
spending time with the family including looking after my youngest daughter who is not yet at school. I find allocating time really helps me stay organised and on top of things. I have also got a lot better at asking for help.
Setting up my own business has given me the flexibility to work around my children. I work in the mornings before they are up and later in the evenings when they are asleep. I am also then carve out time during the day in the week. It requires a lot of juggling and organisation but I love what I do.
What did you find was the hardest challenge about having a business and how did you overcome it?
Setting up my own business meant developing a lot of new skills. I knew I had the skills and expertise to deliver the end service - career coaching, but I soon learned that I needed to develop other skills which were new to me from website building, social media marketing and delivering virtual webinars.
There is help out there including business networking groups which you can join, ask questions and share knowledge. I also found that somethings are worth paying to outsource.
How did you find home schooling your children during the first lockdown?
My appreciation for teachers and tutors grew enormously in this time! I struggled most with the juggling act between my son of 6 who needed my support with his school work including attending virtual lessons, and then my toddler who wanted me to play with her.
On top of this there was the business to run. I found developing a routine and structure really helped us all as a family. Luckily the business was already set up to deliver coaching virtually and having a business colleague to share the work with really helped.
What are your top three tips for parents who are thinking to start their own business or have just started their business?
1. Starting a business can be tough so make sure its doing something that you are really passionate about (energy boosting not draining)
2. If you are not sure what business you want to set up spend some time mind mapping all the expertise and skills you have, all the different avenues you could take. Do this over several days or weeks so that you keep building on your map and come up with lots of different ideas before settling on one. Test the market - spend time researching and talking to friends and connections to get feedback.
Plan - its so easy to spend time on so many different things when you run a business. Plan and focus your time on what will really make a difference to your business and profitability line (if you are commercial).
If you are interested to contact Becky to see how she can help elevate your career then you can contact her via their website www.coachingpartners.co.uk.