How to Find Flexible Work as a Mum
- Parents Only
By: Lisa Wolff, ellaslist
So you’re a mum! Yes, it’s rewarding and fun and we love our kids to bits. But there comes a time, when we need (or want) to get back to work. So we update our CV, search the job ads, apply and wait! But if we so much as mention the school run to a prospective employer – BANG! The door slams in our face. And if we are lucky enough to find a role, it’s often full-time and we land up resenting the long hours and plagued with guilt for neglecting our kids.
A close friend of mine had been a stay-at-home-mum for a few years but when the pressure was on to find a paying role, she got the cold shoulder over and over again. But her biggest problem, what caused her the most anguish was her career gap – should she hide it, or just be upfront. But after doing a whole lot of research, what she found out changed everything – when it comes to big, corporate employers, her career gap was no longer a problem, but a competitive advantage.
Companies need YOU!
At first this didn’t make sense, but then she explained it from the employers point of view. She told me that over the last year or two, there has been a big but silent trend in corporate Australia that they have all adopted gender diversity targets. Ever since the Workplace Gender Equality Act was signed in 2012, companies with more than 100 employees now have to make their workplaces more friendly towards women, family life and flexibility. The problem for these big companies is they can’t find enough women to fill these targets, especially at higher levels.
With unemployment now down around 6%, hiring working mums is now the only way that these big companies can reach their gender diversity targets – at the big end of town, mums are like gold dust. So what has ended up happening is that in order to be attractive enough to lure these working mums, companies have now been forced to offer flexibility for nearly all types of roles
Women Working Part-time are the Most Productive in the Workforce
According to a survey by Ernst & Young, women working part-time are the most productive in the workforce. They will give their all because they appreciate the opportunity to work and still be an active mum. In fact, the more benefits and flexibility an organisation allows, the more dedicated the ‘mum’ worker will be.
Flexible roles do exist
I just have to look at myself as an example. I am one of the fortunate ones to have nabbed one of those elusive flexible roles. My hours are tailored around pre-school runs and I can pop out the office to be there when my children need me. As a result, I bring all my passion and commitment to my role. When I am at work, I am 100% focused. Before kids, I was easily distracted by personal emails and phonecalls. It’s very different now, knowing that I have a reduced work day and a hard deadline – the school won’t wait for me to just finish up that email. I gladly put in work after hours and rather than resentment, I feel grateful that I have this opportunity.
You need FlexCareers
I really wanted my friend to find a fulfilling part-time role just like me. So I introduced her to FlexCareers and everything changed. They are a much-needed new company that help mums find jobs or training suited to their skill sets within companies that are familiar with the working needs of mums. Yes, they do exist!
FlexCareers also offer Relaunchships, which is an internship after a long period of absence (think pregnancy, babies, toddlers) in some of Australia’s most progressive organisations. It is a try-before-you-buy for both you and the employer, so that you can re-hone your skills and get your feet wet before diving back into the corporate world.
- Flexible/Part-Time Job Postings with hundreds of progressive organisations
- A vibrant social networking community for working mothers on their Facebook page
- Australia’s first Relaunchships – 12 week internships in some of Australia’s most progressive organisations.
- Classical recruitment add-on services such as resume writing and interview coaching.
- Fully integrated training and re-accreditation courses for skills enhancement once the site is fully functional in a couple of months
I really like the fact that your personal profile won’t be public (like LinkedIn) but will only be visible to FlexCareer’s business partners who are looking to find suitable candidates. So if you already have a job, your current boss can’t see that you’re looking for flexible work.
Even ellaslist is using FlexCareers to get access to talented mums for the flexible part time roles we need to fill.
So, this story has a very happy ending. My friend registered with FlexCareers and found a role that she loves with employers who allow her to structure her day around her kids. She is fulfilled in her career with a great work-life balance and a better mum because of it. She really feels like she has it all!
Want to go back to work? But have no idea where to start?
Create your FlexCareers profile and turn your career gap into an advantage.