Q&A with Rachael Gowing: Paving your own career path outside of the City

When looking for a job, most people head to cities to find more opportunities. Rachael Gowing overcame the lack of opportunities that came with living in a rural location. Regardless of being dismissed and undermined by employers, Rachael believed in herself and achieving her ambitions (with a lot of hard work, of course!)

Today, Rachael owns a Caravan and Camping Park which she runs whilst looking after her children. In our latest blog, we find out more about the barriers she has faced and how she managed to carve her career outside of the city!

Tell us a bit about your current role?

I own and manage a Caravan and Camping Park. It’s a very hands-on role, we do have some part-time staff but a lot of the work is done ourselves, so along with the ‘management’ side of the business, I have to balance the day to day running of it too. My days can often go from cleaning a blocked toilet to organising a yearly marketing campaign and vetting new suppliers, whilst checking in a new booking!

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

Well we took on our current business for exactly this reason, we needed to be more flexible with our children etc. So we work long hours but we include ‘life’ within work, I’m often at work with 2 children and my dog running riot around me, it isn’t productive but it’s life and that’s just as important sometimes. You also have to be able to say no when needed and trust others, they may not do it exactly as you would but it doesn’t matter. Unless you’re literally saving a life, sometimes you have to take a step back and say does this actually matter right now, if the answer is no – do it tomorrow!

How did you get to the position you are now?

Hard work, a willingness to take risks, a positive outlook and a good dollop of luck.

What barriers have you faced in your career?

One of the biggest barriers I think I’ve faced is my rural location, I love where I live and have no desire to live in a city but that doesn’t mean I don’t want the same opportunities. There are fewer opportunities in a rural area but there’s plenty if you look, what I’ve disliked in the past is when employers either dismiss my potential because I don’t live where they want or try to undermine me. I once was in a temp job and negotiating a longer contract and pay rise; the employer told me I should be pleased with his offer because ‘it was a good wage for a woman in a small town’. It was nowhere near what my skill set was worth and his comment simply confirmed that I absolutely did not need to work for someone with that mindset.

“Until women truly believe in their own ability, then we can’t expect others to follow suit.”

What motivated you to keep going?

I think there was definitely an element of proving to others that I could make it but also a strong belief in what’s meant to be will be. Whenever I’ve been turned down for a job, I’ve always chosen to believe that I wouldn’t have been happy there anyway, therefore the universe stepped in (or something like that).

Who are your inspirations?

Well apart from Beyonce who is basically God, I think I would have to say my friends and family. I’ve been fortunate enough to have some real gems of people influence my working life - both my Mum, my Dad and my husband all have very strong work ethics and it has definitely shaped how I approach work. You can achieve absolutely anything you want to – but it won’t fall in your lap, you have to put the hard yards in first.

What advice would you give to young females starting their careers?

It’s a generalisation but I think females are less likely to sing their own praises. Males are generally better at showcasing their achievements. So shout up girls, let everyone know your strengths.

Why is #YesSheCan important to you?

I don’t think I’ve experienced much sexism in my career but I also think it is a gentle background to everything we do. Until women truly believe in their own ability, then we can’t expect others to follow suit.

If you enjoyed reading Rachael's story about her non-traditional career, then you'll likely enjoy reading about Dolly Tattoos. A self employed woman making a living through her tattoo studio!


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