I stumbled across this lovely lady and her blog this week, and in the two days I’ve been reading her posts, she’s done a bit of an ‘Opal Fruits became Starburst, Jif became Cif, Marathon became Snickers’ type thing and changed her name. So as tagged by Pret-a-Mummy (formerly known as Bargain Mummy Buys) this is my addition to A Mother’s Work Meme.
Please post the rules
Answer the questions in as much or as little detail as suits you
Leave a comment on mother.wife.me so we can keep track of the meme
Tag 3 people and link to them on your blog
Let them know you tagged them
Tweet loudly about taking part (well ok, that isn’t a rule, but how about if we start a
hashtag – #amothersworkmeme)
1. Did you work before becoming a mum?
2. What is your current situation?
3. Freestyle – got your own point you’d like to get across on this issue? Here’s
- Did you work before becoming a mum?
I’ve worked since I was a sixteen, first as the Saturday girl in a stinky shoe shop, then a fuller weekend gig bagging up buns in a bakery. Then, when I went to University I had two part time jobs in a Golf and Country Club, then latterly in an Estate Agents, which I adored, neither felt like work, both felt like I was a little girl playing grown ups. These jobs saw me through University before I then took on a graduate role in the Financial Services industry. I’ve changed companies twice since then but have worked full time from the age of 21 until I had my first child at 27. I went back to work part time and set up a small business and then eventually took on another full time role before having nipper number two. I returned to work after the little monster came along working four days a week, and packing quality family time into all other available waking hours. With a boy who prefers our bed to his, there were plenty of waking hours to fill!
- What is your current situation?
I work flexibly, having just reduced my hours to 22 hours a week to allow me to drop off and collect my daughter from school four days in the week. My job is challenging, relatively demanding, requires me to dress sharp and have polished shoes, and I really love it. I’ve only just discovered I’m really quite good at it too which is a bonus. Career is important to me, and I’m hugely fortunate to be able to work part time and still be on a career path. I would say though this is by design and not default as I’ve previously written. And it’s been bloody hard work!
I read recently that part time work restricts women’s
opportunities to progress in the workplace. I know I am incredibly fortunate to work part time and work hours that suit me and my family. I feel truly valued by my employer, and I’m properly engaged as a result. There is no doubt in my mind that building a flexible work force is a sound commercial decision. The traditional 9-5 working pattern is significantly out of sync with consumerism and global working. Businesses who leverage a flexible workforce have a competitive advantage in my view. Notwithstanding the commercial benefits, (round the clock working, meeting customer demand when its needed) the increased commitment, engagement and productivity from those supported to work flexibly makes for better business sense all round. Whilst flexible working opportunities may be most requested by parents, particularly mothers, opportunities to work around ones family life, or indeed other pursuits should not be the sole domain of women. Over the years I’ve heard a variety of reasons given, yes, mainly to women, as to why flexible working can’t be supported, and unfortunately many of those reasons fail to include a robust business rationale. I do believe it’s the responsibility of the employee – female, mother or otherwise- to demonstrate how they can make flexible working work for the organisation, not for the employer to show how it can’t work. I appreciate this approach can’t apply in all industries and jobs, but where it could, I think employers should dip their toe in the water and suspect they’d be pleasantly surprised with the results.
The long and short is, I’ve found that part time working didn’t signal the end of my career. I’m hopeful I’m not in a minority and there are lots of other women who have been able to make this work.
Has part time working stunted your career or have you been able to balance the career ladder with the school run? And more perhaps more interestingly and importantly, what do you sacrifice to do this?