While flexible working is gaining more and more headway, the same old culprits - redundancies while on maternity leave, bosses not agreeing to part-time requests, childcare costs - still present major barriers for mums finding positive work / life balances.
At Digital Mums, we think this is deeply unjust. We think every mum should have the right to find a work / life balance that works for their own situation, and not be forced into compromising one for the other. That’s why we’ve made it our mission to try and make flexible working a possibility for every mum, regardless of their professional experience or background.
So far we haven’t been able to deliver on that as well as we’d like. We know that Social Media Management is a career that allows a genuinely flexible working life, and we’ve built our entire business around that fact. But the first programme involves jumping in at the deep end with a live client from day one, which makes it fast-paced, challenging and intensive as all of our trainees can attest to. That isn’t for everyone and works best for students that have transferrable experience in the marketing or communications sectors. Is it amazing? Yes! Is it truly accessible for everyone? Not really.
But we've been beavering away to change that and make what we do is truly accessible for everyone. After an entire year(!!) of development, prototyping and testing, we’re now opening up our Digital Mums Community Manager Programme more widely.
This programme is an opportunity for anyone, regardless of professional experience or background, to explore Social Media Management as a career option. It’s more accessible and less stressful than our other programme, but just as powerful a learning experience. So far, we’ve had forty students join and the results have exceeded our expectations.
Digital Mums is the best thing I've done since having kids. It's full on, it's tough on the thumbs and the house is a mess, but I'm learning loads and the whole family is getting a right good #KickUpTheArts. Best thing about it - the #livelearning and the other mums. In a word? Brilliexcellent.
"I have gone from really nervous about my abilities to learn something new to having the time of my life. Learning, laughing and gaining the skills to work for myself and my family, it’s a winning combination! Oh, and did I mention that I am loving it!”
"After four years away from work, I approached the Community Manager Programme with a little trepidation. Looking back now, I'm so pleased that I made the step! It's given me a confidence I wasn't sure I could get back, and a focus away from my children. It's opened up a lot of avenues for potential work and (surprisingly!) friendships within my local area. It's been a great experience."
We’ve kept it pretty hush-hush during our testing, but now that we’re entering our final pilot phase we're ready to shout about it.
So who is it for?
A lot of mums are left with a stark choice: work full-time and pay exorbitant commuting and childcare costs; don’t work at all and feel like their skills and confidence are eroding; or take on low-skilled part-time work that feels like a stop-gap rather than progression for their career.
The concept of a job that is not just part-time, but flexible and that feels like a good career choice just doesn’t exist for most.
But this ‘holy grail’ does exist. Not only is Social Media Management a career that’s fun and fulfilling, it’s one that can be truly flexible. All you need to do it is a laptop or a smartphone, meaning it can be done from anywhere. And because the skills are so in-demand, businesses are willing to work with remote workers in order to get that vital expertise. That means you can set their working life completely on your own terms.
So if you’re:
- looking for a career where you have full control of your working hours;
- feeling like you’re in need of a career change for something new and exciting;
- wanting to get back into work but are worried about the gaps on your CV or a loss of confidence;
- on the hunt for a new challenge to feel revitalised by that isn’t as full-on as your current or previous career;
then this programme might be for you.
So what actually is it?
The Digital Mums Community Manager Programme focuses on students completing their own 'project.' They choose from a number of campaigns and then set up and run their own live social media channels, getting hands-on experience of how to run a successful social media campaign.
Campaigns can involve championing local events and businesses, supporting the arts, promoting mindfulness and more. One of our current students inadvertently started the #FireKitChallenge during her campaign, which was reported on by several radio stations and went global (the power of social media at work!)
While running their own campaign, students focus on building up their personal social media presence and learning how to ‘do the hustle’ to get themselves paying clients - absolute musts for freelancers in any industry.
Although it’s fun, the programme lasts six months and requires a significant commitment of both time and energy. This is not for anyone looking to do a short introduction or taster course.
But students that come out the other side are transformed. They emerge with new-found confidence, practical experience of running a real social media campaign and a step-by-step process on how to start identifying and finding clients.