Flexible working – getting started

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So this blog started out as a place for like-minded mums to meet, where we could chat about kids, life, style, books, music and generally trying to be a mum and have a life. Then it became more about flexible working because that was my (and many of my friends’ biggest issue). Then once I’d decided to take redundancy it became ALL I could think about.

So while my main focus is finding and interviewing parents who have given up the 9-5, and trying to find tips and advice for balancing kids and career, I figured it’s also a blog about me, a mum of three small boys who has worked full time, part time and freelance with children finally jacking it all in and trying to do something different. As such I thought I’d keep a weekly (ish) diary so you can see how I’m getting on…

Maybe I should just get a proper job

So the main thoughts this week, are mainly and pretty much totally maybe I should just get another job. I take redundancy on 10 November and so have started looking around, putting out feelers (emailing everyone I know, updating LinkedIn, registering with job sites, reading emails from job sites and generally feeling rather depressed about the whole thing.) I keep seeing jobs I SHOULD apply for (great position, great location, looks good on the CV and sounds good when I mention it in passing) but then my heart’s really not in it. With both of us working full time life was becoming more and more tricky now our middle son is also at school. I’ve no idea how anyone finds the time to sort out school books let alone do homework, oh and we never have friends for tea. But that was fine. That’s life and you can’t do it all. It was more about me being able to do both – have a career but also have a bit of what I had, friends round for tea, some time with my parents before bedtime. But also because selfishly I can’t work in an office 9-5 anymore. My limbs are seizing up, I find myself looking out of the window and once you’ve had time off whether that’s freelance or on maternity leave, it’s quite hard to go back to a rigid routine.

If not a proper job, what?

So where am I? I’m doing some digital marketing training, to broaden my CV and hopefully open up some flexible opportunities. I’m also continuing to email people about flexible/freelance working. And there are two job applications on my desk that look great, but I would have to ask about flexible working. But there’s flexible and flexible. Flexible to me isn’t four days a week or even really compressed hours. It’s being given a job, a project and completing it to a deadline in your time (whether that’s during the school day, weekends, early mornings or evenings.) Maybe that’s too much to ask for just yet?

 

 

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4 Comments

  1. October 6, 2016 / 11:09 am

    I feel much the same. I was previously in a media job that provided structure and fairly stable pay. I was made redundant over a year ago and have been uncertain about what to do next. I did the digital training and have been rethinking my career. As a mother of two, I’d also like a truly flexible job, but I fear going freelance simply won’t provide enough security/money in my field, and I admit to being very reluctant to market myself. I also realized while working for a client that while the job was flexible, I was doing ridiculous hours. Not 9-5 but weekends, late nights, at dinnertime. It seemed worse than an office because there was no clocking off. So I am applying for F/T jobs again and it’s slow and laborious. I can see another year like this going by very quickly.

    • October 7, 2016 / 12:10 pm

      That’s my biggest concern – the lack of money especially going forward, and the difficulty of drawing the line (smallest is watching paw patrol at the moment as I catch up on stuff, bad mother!). There is also the question of sharing the load, so my partner would also love to work part time but obviously can’t unless I bring in a certain income, which I won’t do with a few hours a day here and there (which as you say turns out to be a lot more hours!)

  2. October 17, 2016 / 6:30 pm

    I agree completely with what you both say! I have been updating my CV, and I have spent the past 5 years doing various odd freelance writing jobs (for ridiculously low pay), and the obligatory free writing positions “for increased exposure” but none of them have reaped the kind of rewards or bonuses that I was expecting.

    I am now on a flexible training course but have reached a point where I need a cash injection to move my business forward, and I just do not have that freedom at the moment. My husband’s wage barely covers our household expenses, and i actually cannot afford to go out and work somewhere externally for 3-4 days per week because the childcare and travelling would be more expensive than the wages offered.

    It is a crazy situation, really. I am quite capable of working to a deadline in my own time, from home, without compromising the quality of the work. And yet, I still cannot find an employer who would give me the chance to prove it. Oh, and more readers for my published novels would be nice as well… 😉

    https://spookymrsgreen.com/2015/05/15/put-your-children-into-nursery-and-go-out-to-work-says-the-prime-minister-equality-workingfamilies/

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