One of the very first parents to use bubble (and de facto office hero), Phanella Fine, is in on a mission to empower women, helping them take control and add rocket fuel to their careers. Along with Alice Olins, she’s created The Step Up Club, and we got to hear from them how they do it, why they do it and what their club has in store for women who join.
1. Firstly, tell us a bit about you and your families
Hi, we’re Alice and Phanella, Co-Founders of the Step Up Club, an online and in-person destination for women who want to create change in their career or business.
Alice started Step Up Club after 10 years in journalism for the countries top broadsheets and glossies, and has 2 daughters. Phanella came to Step Up after a decade in the City and now has 3 children.
2. What is the Step Up Club all about?
The Step Up Club is the voice to listen to when it comes to women’s careers, (according to Stylist Live!). Via our Step Up School, weekly newsletter, high profile brand collaborations and social media, we deliver practical, accredited career advice and inspire our members to achieve more in their careers. Step Up School, our biggest project to date, is an innovative online learning program and launches on 18 June.
3. What Inspired you to start the Step Up Club?
We were both experiencing crux points in our career: Alice was coming out of maternity leave into an industry – journalism – that had completely changed focus. Phanella, meanwhile, was facing a return to an industry that no longer catered to her desire for a balanced working life. Since then, we have termed this stage the mid-career crisis. Research shows that a dip in career happiness is very likely as we hit our mid-thirties. The good news is that, with the right advice, the tip is not only preventable, but can actually become a powerful catalyst for change. We wrote our book, (Step Up: Confidence, Success and your Stellar Career in 10 Minutes a Day. Random House), with this in mind. Everything we do has built on the success of the book.
4. What are your top tips for Mums looking to either get back in to work or start a new career?
Do Step Up School!
Seriously, rebuilding confidence is the first step. After we’ve been out of work for a while – as we both were – your confidence takes a knock. But if you combine an honest assessment of past successes, with an acknowledgement of how much you have grown and learned as a mother, you’ll find that confidence gradually start to grow. We have a whole module devoted to confidence in Step Up School because it’s the link between our thoughts and what we are actually able to achieve.
5. Does being a Mum make it easier or harder to run your own business?
There are obviously challenges: sometimes we have to say no to events, because they coincide with a sports day or parents evening and we definitely have less time than we did before.
But motherhood has also been incredibly powerful. We are more focussed and balanced versions of our former selves. We are forced to be more strategic with our time – we just can’t work constantly and we’re so much more effective and creative for it.
6. How has bubble helped you, how/why do you use it?
We were introduced to Bubble by friends a year ago and we are genuine fans. Time out with friends or our partners is so important: we firmly believe that to our best as mothers, we need time to ourselves as well. Bubble allows a well-earned night out, without worrying about our kids.