😂 No, this isn’t the start of a Les Dawson joke.
My mother-in-law may not remember this but she once said to me that I was institutionalised.
It was a while ago now and it was something she said when we were talking about careers.
She didn’t say it in malice. It wasn’t a criticism. It was just an observation on my career path with a tongue-in-cheek use of the term.
👩🏫 It was when I was a full-time teacher and hadn’t been anything else by this point (aside from summer holiday jobs as a student).
I was a school kid, then I was an English lit student, then I studied to become a teacher, then I became a teacher. That’s all cool. (And Diane witnessed ¾ of that journey.) That was a career trajectory I was happy with as I’d always been comfortable in the classroom.
I started to get itchy feet around five years ago. I wanted to see if I could do something else. I still wanted to be surrounded by books but in a different way, so I began retraining.
I started to reduce my hours in school to give me some time to invest in myself and my future.
I joined the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (now the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading) and worked through their suite of proofreading courses.
I joined LinkedIn and started to form relationships and gain clients for my fledgling business. Fledgling corresponded with my entry-level status in the CIEP. I then moved up to intermediate membership once I gained more training and experience hours. This next year I hope to submit my application for an upgrade to professional membership – I’ve got enough hours under my belt now, and enough training credits. It’s just that my work has been for indie authors not traditional publishers so I’ll have to either get some freelance work in trad pub, or take the editorial test (probably the latter…)
But, to go back to where I started: my mother-in-law said I was institutionalised. And, removing any negative connotations of the word, I was. That was just a statement of fact.
And school is an institution I still have a lot of time for. I’m never going to stop admiring it, respecting it or supporting it.
I’m still in the classroom for nine hours a week. That’s a choice and not a compulsion. I love working with young people. I love helping them uncover the joy of literature and honing their own craft as writers. Honestly, I swear editorial training has given me renewed vigour in the classroom. I’m all over story craft these days – far better at teaching it. I digress.
Nine hours a week over two days is enough at present. Enough to feel the joy. But enough to have my own space to work on other projects too. I spend three days a week working on my editing business. I’m gaining momentum and I have every confidence that I’m on the right flight path for me. I will need to tweak coordinates every now and then – that’s a given – but I’m taking charge of the controls.
So, Diane Cronshaw: I don’t know if you remember saying that to me and I don’t know if you realise that it’s something that stuck with me and made me think.
Diane is new to LinkedIn. She’s in the process of setting up a counselling business. I’m sure she’ll say things to her clients that will make them stop and think, like she did with me.
Side note: if you think Diane is WAY too young to be my mother-in-law – surely she must be my sister! – nope, she is indeed my mother-in-law. She won’t mind me saying that she was 17 when she had Jon. Not many people can say they attended their mother-in-law’s 40th birthday, but I did. Back in 2005. Ha, giving your age away! Ah well, not long until we get to have another dance at a 40th – mine this time.
Diane Cronshaw is dipping her toe into LinkedIn, creating content about mindfulness, relationships, reframing and things of that nature. Head to her page to connect.