Do you know what a ‘shecession’ is?

The phrase was coined doing Covid to highlight how the recession had resulted in far more job losses in women than in men.

It was against this backdrop that in July this year I did something I’d never done before – I left my (relatively secure) public sector job for my first ever private sector role.

With my 47th birthday on the horizon I realised if I didn’t take the plunge now, I never would.

Everybody’s circumstances are different but in my case my husband Marc launched Redmoor Health in 2017, specialising in supporting health and social care staff to deploy technology.

I’ve always been involved in the background and have watched with pride as the business has grown to 20 staff, won UK-wide clients and picked up several awards.

Redmoor Health’s turnover has grown to £2m with plans to reach £5m by 2024, prompting us to move into new offices in Strawberry Fields Digital Hub in Chorley.

As the business grew so the need for greater governance increased to the point that Marc created a new role of corporate director and said he had the perfect candidate in mind – me!

But here’s the thing. All my life I’ve worked in the public sector, first in healthcare and then in local government, so what did I know about the private sector?

I’ve held a number of senior roles that have taught me a range of skills around governance, stakeholder engagement, policy development, managing partnerships,  HR and ‘soft’ skills like patience.

Although I knew I could do the job I was scared about making the switch in my mid 40s.

A friend said there was a term for this – imposter syndrome – and it’s especially common in women.

Thankfully there is a happy ending to this story. I’m proud to say that I took the leap of faith and joined Redmoor Health as corporate director.

I found my public sector skills were transferable into the private sector and I’m involved in a range of things from doing staff wellbeing checks to finance and HR.

Although I loved my previous roles there’s no denying that working in a family business gives you extra motivation, it’s exciting.

One of the biggest differences I’ve found is that when you run your own business you have so much more freedom to generate and implement ideas, rather than being constrained by bureaucracy and hierarchy. I’m passionate about ensuring that there are no such barriers at Redmoor Health – we want ideas from everyone as that will keep us agile and creative.

Changing careers in your 40s is a big decision and it’s scary but don’t let talk of a ‘shecession’ or imposter syndrome hold you back.