I know I am writing a lot about milestones at the moment, but feel they are pretty key as I take each day as it comes, as you truly never know what to expect. We have been really lucky so far that Clara hasn’t got ill and so I haven’t had to take any time off to be at home with her. Also that Ryan, luckily apart from a couple of trips a few weeks back when I wrote my blog about amazing single mums has been around, which has been a massive support. Especially as I am about to go into a very busy tennis season, the next six weeks are going to be a little crazy.
I wanted to use this blog post to capture any work learnings I have had, but also talk in a bit more detail about my job and what it entails, as we build up to the biggest sporting event in the world…Wimbledon (well I am a little bias).
The last two months
For any mum going back to work after having a baby it’s an unsettling time. On the one hand, it’s not like starting a new job, so you have to do all the meet and greats and getting to know what everyone does and how they fit into the organisation – so that’s an easy one. In most organisations, things don’t change that radically in terms of day to day process or people, so again another easy one to slot back into work. What isn’t so easy is perception and what magic you bring to that role, that in your absence has been forgotten.
After nearly two months, I feel like I am slowly and finally settled back in and I don’t think we give ourselves enough time to do that and I really do feel like a phased approach, should be offered to any mums returning to work. Obviously it’s your choice if you want to take it based on your circumstance and I have found incredible value in having my Monday’s off at the moment.
What I have learnt in the first few weeks and months of going back, is that you are going to have to get a backbone about work (not that you should have to) but at the moment, whilst many businesses and people are still not properly set up for returners and just people’s general perception of returning mum’s, you are going to have to face some personal and professional challenges. Some may be big work ones that need addressing at a much senior or legal level, but most are just having to overcome your own perceptions of yourself, as after all your priorities will have changed. If you are a bit of a worklover as I like to call it rather than a workaholic, one of the biggest changes I realised is that I couldn’t take on as much as I did before. However, really this is about balance, for me now it’s about doing less but really bloody well, as my role has changed and the organisation has changed, so there is a lot more value I can add, but also just saying a supportive no. I am working closely with my team at the moment about processes and planning to make sure time isn’t being wasted on unnecessary work or doubling up.
I am using this time to take a fresh pair of eye’s on my role, our team and the business to see what may need tweaking. Using the excuse of not being there means you haven’t been involved in the day to day, so can take an overarching look at things and what might need a slight change, to make things easier for everyone but at the same time benefit you the most. As I always say, just take it easy, don’t rush into anything and be kind to yourself, you have grown and kept a human alive these last few months and so enjoy going back, but just enjoy it for what it is, if you can.
My next six weeks
As I head into the next six weeks which is the busiest time of year for us, I am going to be juggling a lot of balls and so thought it would be nice to write a bit more about what I have been up to, the exciting projects coming up and what exactly I do over Tennis season. Wimbledon as everyone knows is the pinnacle of the tennis world and there are a number of events that the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA or British Tennis) put on to give the players enough time on the grass courts to get them ready for Wimbledon.
These events take place in Nottingham, Birmingham, London (Queen’s as most of you will know it as ) and Eastbourne. In the lead up to all of these events including Wimbledon and post Wimbledon, my job and my teams is to promote tennis to a consumer audience (so everything but the sports media) in a way that makes people want to go and play it. Now all the hard work that we and the business have been putting in is working, as tennis a few years ago was in heavy decline, but currently is in a 9% increase year on year – which is amazing news.
So what exactly do I do, well I head up the PR team which not only includes PR but also the Social Media for British Tennis (which you can find us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter), Content and Video & Photography – so it keeps we quite busy. However, anyone that asks what do you do for the rest of the year when Wimbledon isn’t on, is well a silly question as we really are busy all year round. If we don’t have Davis or Fed Cups on then we are planning, implementing and building relationships with key stakeholders over the year, which we can then activate and get us to support during our key period which is May – September and sometimes even earlier. Plus we also have the ATP World Tour Final’s in November so it really is a year round job. However, like I mentioned, we are about to go into our really busy time, so wanted to let you know what we mainly do then:
- A number of stories about the benefits of tennis including a story about why you should continue playing when you are pregnant. Also promoting our British Tennis Awards and our newly launched British Tennis Membership.
- Photographing and videoing all of our events to support our social channels, website, live blog, emails and to keep for promotion in the future.
- Our Live blog and news updates on our website here
- Working with a number of celebrities and social media influencers and our own tennis stars to promote tennis in a fun and engaging way – which you will be able to see across our social channels during the summer
- Hosting media, celebrities and social media influencers at our events including Wimbledon and talking to them about British Tennis and the work we are doing to gain their support.
- Attend and supporting our events like our President’s Women & Girls Lunch at Wimbledon and a She Rallies event which is one of Judy Murrays projects.
- Working with the BBC and a number of other partners to promote tennis and Wimbledon.
These are just a few of the more fun things me and my team will be doing over the next six weeks, so to see what we get up to on a daily basis remember to follow me on my social channels (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter) and also follow my team on our British Tennis social channels.
Lauren – workingmummablog