Mothers everywhere often have a hard time with work-life balance, and it is made even harder when that work is done alone. Single mother Amanda Lim is living proof that it is possible to hold a flourishing career and still maintain closeness with her three children. The first time I met her, I was faced with a woman who immediately greeted me amicably, dressed in a stylish professional manner.
A few years ago, Amanda stopped being a stay-at-home mother and started venturing into the professional world. She recalled to me how unexpected it all happened. “I came across an advertisement in the newspaper for professional estate planner. I decided to just go for it.”
She started receiving training and learnt all about will writing and establishing trusts. Within 2 years of working, her effort was quickly recognised by her company. She started accumulating multiple awards, leading to interviews and mentions in the newspapers. The question is, how did Amanda manage to thrive in this new, unfamiliar territory within such a short span of time after being a stay-at-home mother for over 10 years?
How To Start
“I need to be a positive role model for my children.”
As a single mother, Amanda worked harder to provide her children with a positive role model. She was motivated to step out of her comfort zone and to overcome the difficulties as a single mother. As someone from a Chinese-speaking background, language barriers were evident in the beginning. She needed a better grasp in understanding and speaking English, as quick as possible. Furthermore, an estate planner also required an extensive network of potential clients. Amanda just had to start building from scratch.
“Just focus on growing, not fear.” This became her motto in overcoming the uncertainty and sometimes scary experiences.
“I had to drive home alone on dark highways late at night after meeting my clients. It was terrifying.” She recalled. Her earlier days at work were difficult before moving closer to the city centre. Most clients could only have discussions after working hours. This meant Amanda’s work hours had to often extend late into the night.
The meeting environment was not always ideal either. She recalled a client meeting where she had no place to sit and resorted to squatting. “I had no choice but to just adapt.” Amanda admitted that she started this role with very little confidence, but she knew she had to keep going. With her optimistic determination and penchant for meticulousness, satisfied clients started to grow in numbers and in return, it nurtured more confidence in her.
How To Stay Motivated
“Find meaning in work, love what you do.”
To stay focused and enthusiastic in her work, Amanda found that it was easier to treat work as more than just the means to earn a living. Focusing on the monetary gain was not as satisfying as making sure that her clients benefited from a well written will. “I really make sure that I understand what my clients need. We sit down and have a good, extensive conversation that allows me to understand how I can contribute to this important part of their life through my work.” With Amanda’s patience in working with her clients and by staying true to her craft, the outcome is often a rewarding one. Meetings are fruitful and clients find value in her detailed, accommodating service.
“My clients often get the impression that I have been working in this role for years. They are usually surprised when they hear that I am relatively new. I just try very hard to make sure I cover all details. I can only help them if I know my work well.” As she continued her work, praises started flowing in. However, Amanda maintains a humble and grounded approach to her success with clients. She is very grateful for all the meaningful interactions she has experienced in her line of work. She emphasises on keeping it professional by declining gifts.
“Be Kind To Everyone You Meet.”
But I was curious about one more thing – what about maintaining good relations with the people in your company? Amanda gave me a thoughtful answer: “Be kind. That is what I try to do since joining the company. Just be kind with everyone you meet, and don’t engage in gossip or schemes. Just focus on improvng yourself.”
To conclude the interview with this remarkably resilient single mother, I had a final question. Does she have any encouraging last words to impart, especially for other women out there struggling to find their footing? “When I first got married, I would never have imagined I would be in this position today, but here I am. It is hard and scary, but I got out of my comfort zone. Now I have discovered that I can be capable on my own. I have also learnt so many things, like the importance of having a support system and a good network. To keep going, I just needed to focus on improving myself, finding meaning in what I do, and just be thankful.”