On Saturday, I attended a re-union party for a company that I used to work for. I talked to some people who last saw me as I waddled off on maternity leave for my first baby.
From which point you don't have to look very hard to find the reason(s) behind the subsequent patchy CV and awkward working hours. My career (and I really hesitate to call it that) hasn't exactly turned out how I expected. I think I fit into the "no regrets, but sometimes wonder if the right choices were made" category.
Right now I need to make my business work and it has been a bit too quiet recently. I initially sort of enjoyed the lull, but now I can feel the financial downside. Looking at the options, running my company does still seem to be the best way I can be home when I want to be for my children and still earn some reasonable money doing something I am good at and mostly enjoy.
So I need to drum up some new business and to "network" (shudder). The party invite came at just the right time.
The evening was kind of fun. But, stealing from Don Draper, I did feel that I was "at work disguised as a party". It was as much a business event as a social thing and I had to force myself to venture out of my comfort zone, which was sitting talking to the people I know quite well.
I wore my new dress and very high heels. My bag had lipstick and business cards in it. I drank two glasses of champagne early in the evening but did the rest of the evening sober. I'm really, really not a natural at these things, but I came home thinking it went fairly well - at least I don't think I made any terrible social gaffs and I managed to let people know my company was still very much alive. I tried to drop a few impressive names into the conversation, and implied to half a dozen potential new customer contacts that while I was always on the lookout for new business, and definitely had time for them, business was still ticking along nicely.
And when I went home, my bag was a few business cards lighter at least.
Well, perhaps I did something right. Today, I got a call from the Important Managing Director husband of someone I gave my card to. There was talk of interesting projects and possible money exchanging hands. All very positive and exciting. Hopefully.