Family life can take so many different, often unexpected, turns and trying to find work that meets those changes can be hard.
Alison has encountered several personal and professional difficulties since she had her son, including having to change her job for health reasons, moving across the country and post natal depression.
She and her husband moved to Cornwall just a short time before she had her son, following her parents in law who were running a pub there. That meant she did not have time to build up a good network of friends.
She had been working full time as a customer services engineer for BT Openreach, having transferred down from Coventry, until she had her son. As the birth was via caesarean section, she was unable to return to her job after her six months of maternity leave because she lacked the core strength needed.
She was also looking to return part time, but there weren’t too many roles available apart from in a BT call centre some distance from her home. With childcare to cover work and commute times, it would not have been worth her while.
However, being at home all the time was not helping with her post natal depression. “I needed time outside of being with my son,” she says.
She considered a full-time call centre job, but decided to start looking for alternatives.
Most part-time work was in retail in her area, but it was too far away to make it pay in terms of childcare costs. She looked on Workingmums.co.uk’s website and spotted an on call customer services adviser role at Lloyds Bank for between nine and 22 hours a month with an option to do extra overtime. “It was very flexible,” says Alison. “They worked the hours around me. I was becoming shy and my confidence was lacking and the job was customer facing. It forced me to interact with people, but didn’t put me under pressure. All the staff were really nice, friendly and accommodating. It was brilliant.”
However, her family circumstances changed again and her family were forced to move out of the pub and return to Coventry last January, moving in with relatives – one of whom had terminal lung cancer. “I was reluctant to leave Cornwall just because of the great job I had,” says Alison.
She transferred up to a job at Lloyds in Coventry, but she needed more hours so the family could save up for a house and at the time there were none available.
Earlier this year, she found a new flexible job doing customer surveys and has been able to progress in that role, for instance, taking on customer service work, such as processing orders and dealing with queries.
She will go full time in September when her son starts school, but the company will allow her to flex around the school run and work from home a couple of days a week.
The family have their own home now and Alison has the flexible job she wanted.
“I am happy with the way it has worked out,” she says.
*Workingmums.co.uk is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year and would like to hear from anyone who has got a job through the site.