15 August 2010

My life's going to the dogs...

On April Fool's day this year, I received a letter notifying me that I was likely to be made redundant.  Unfortunately, this wasn't an ill-conceived April Fool's joke and 13 days later I was officially out of work.

Now, you may think that's enough of a reason to describe my life as "going to the dogs" but you'd be wrong. On the day I received my letter (great timing - not - as it was before the Easter bank holiday weekend), and once I'd recovered from the shock, I hit Twitter.

"Redundancy for all" by Brian CK/Digital Leica on Flickr
I didn't really want to tweet all my woes (honest), but I remembered seeing a tweet about a job at the Kennel Club and wanted to find out more...

...The application deadline was the following day, and after speaking to my husband, parents and the Kennel Club, I decided to apply. The post was for 3 months, covering sabbatical leave, and was based in London - hence the conversation with hubby, who'd be on hound duty whilst I was away, and my parents, whose house and creature comforts I'd be taking advantage of if I was lucky enough to get the job.

To spare you the to-ings and fro-ings, I did get the job and once I'd finalised my termination date from my old employer, I started on 16 April.  However, whilst I was in doggy heaven I did need to find work for when my time was up and I returned home.

I live in a lovely part of the UK -  rural Lincolnshire really is very beautiful - but it is a part of the UK that isn't exactly flush with Senior Marketing Communications jobs.

"Yellow is the New Green" by Lincolnian (Brian) on Flickr

I need a job that allows me to work flexibly so I can start my University studies in Canine Behaviour and Training this September. I also need a job that will help pay for my University studies and help keep me, hubby and the hounds in the manner to which we'd like to become accustomed!

So, I've done several things...Firstly, I've set up my own Marketing Communications business - SJM Marketing - essentially, 'rent a Marketing Director'. The SJM element happens to be my initials, but in a happy coincidence is also the initials of the hounds - Stevie, Jasper and Mina.

The aim of the business is to provide marketing and PR advice and support to small companies which may not be able to afford a permanent, full time Marketing Manager/Director. Hopefully, I'll be able to work with companies within the pet care sector and I'm already in discussion with one such company.

Running SJM Marketing also means I can work from home with the hounds taking over regular 'office guarding' duties and keeping me company. I'm working on the website, but if you're reading this and would like to email me about marketing/PR, you can contact me on: susan@sjmmarketing dot co dot uk

Stevie taking his 'office guarding' duties very seriously!

Secondly, I've just been accepted to be trained as a tutor for National Puppy School, which is very exciting. I'm a firm believer in the importance of socializing puppies and can't wait to start the training, which begins in September.

I'm hoping that the Puppy School and University studies will complement each other.

I should be able to start running Puppy School classes in 2011 and complete the foundation part of my degree by 2013. I'll then need to study a further 2 years to obtain a full Bachelor of Science degree in Canine Behaviour and Training.

So there you have it -  whichever way you look at it -  my career is definitely going to the dogs, but thankfully for all the right reasons.


  1. Hi Susan, Brilliant, rather than let the redundancy get you down- you've gone out and started a whole new career - congratulations. I hope the studies go well and you find a niche in the dog-world.

    Our best wishes, Spiffo (me Peter) & Cami (the new hound).

    Oh and we'll be back to see how you and your band of fur-friends are getting on.

  2. Thanks Peter, Spiffo & Cami. I hope I find my niche too - after all, someone's got to keep the hounds in fancy collars & food!

    I'll be popping by & checking out your blog too :)


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