Submitted by Kathryn Twine
When I returned to a part-time work role after taking a break to look after my young children, I was offered a full-time role. Striving to achieve balance in my life, I asked about the possibility of doing the work part-time. “We don’t think that would work,” was what I was told. After a long decision-making process, I gave up the job and went in search of a position that would provide the flexibility I wanted.
I found an advertisement for a job at the Louisa Fleet Recruitment Consultancy and couldn’t believe my eyes. After a quick interview process, I started a new part-time, flexible recruitment role the week after my youngest daughter started school. I had enjoyed the time I spent looking after my children full-time, but I get a different kind of satisfaction from being at work every day.
My children know I care about them deeply. They also see mummy working beyond our home, and early indications are that they admire it as evidenced by my daughter's recent statement, "When I grown up I'd like to help people find jobs just like mummy ... or maybe be a ballerina." (I can't take the credit for the ballerina aspiration though :)
People ask me why I work. We all have days where we don’t feel like working, and sometimes I’ve been working around the house for four hours before I start my recruitment work, but I feel lucky to have a flexible job doing what I love. I like that my kids can see that I go to work on good days and bad days, and I hope that one day my example will provide the reminder they need to persevere in a challenging situation.
Friends and family see that I have a great job that fits in perfectly with family life. But what they don’t see is the rush every morning as I get the kids ready for school, start the laundry, make the breakfast, do the dishes, and take the kids to school before starting my recuitment workday. Working from home may sound like a luxury, but I am often too busy to notice where I’m working. I’ve got a limited number of hours to get the recruitment work done before I need to log off, divert the phones, jump in the car, and be at the school gate with a smile on my face! On good days I can get home in time for a cup of hot tea, help with homework, prepare dinner, help with baths, and put the kids to bed. Other days I need to squeeze in a supermarket run to be sure everyone gets dinner!
Flexibility goes both ways so I sometimes find myself working in the evenings and after school to be sure everything gets done. I’m willing, able, and happy to do it. Because without a business, I don’t have a job at all. And I like my job.