As Workingmums.co.uk celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, we thought it would be a good idea to talk to some of the people who have got jobs through the website to find out how working more flexibly has impacted them.
Around five years ago Karen Day was the general manager of a media company, working full time with a young family. “I loved it, but it was full on,” she says. “I wanted something more family friendly.”
She was leaving her home in Hampshire at 8am and getting back between 6 and 7pm. “It was a battle to get back before my children went to bed and on occasions I also had to event manage workshops at weekends. If a deadline was looming I sometimes had to stay late and might not get back till midnight. I enjoyed it.
There was a lot of buzz, but it didn’t lend itself to a happy family life,” she says.
At the time her daughter, now 10, had just started school and her son was a toddler. She was paying £2,000 a month in childcare fees.
She decided something had to give and handed in her notice. She had a six-month notice period which gave her time to look around. For a short period Karen worked for an international healthcare company promoting their natural products as a stop gap. “But, I wanted something more career-oriented that I could get my teeth stuck into,” she says.
She signed up to receive regular job alerts from Workingmums.co.uk and says this gave her a lot of ideas. “It was like I had a blank sheet of paper and Workingmums.co.uk threw up ideas that might work for a more family friendly way to earn a living,” she says. “Initially I just wanted ideas to see what was out there, but one day a role caught my eye.”
It was contracts manager at a new driver recruitment start-up, Temp Find. She liked the idea of the job and the fact that she would be part of the founding team and help it to grow. She was also attracted by the fact that she could work 75% of the time from home or remotely and would also get to travel up to London on occasions for face to face meetings and business development work. She got the job which is also part time during school hours, although she is happy to do extra.
“It is so much easier as I can fit it around school and family life. Everyone is happier,” says Karen.
She thinks working from home is ideal for those, like herself, who are motivated to make it work. “It makes things like children being off sick much easier to manage. For now it is the best fit for me as my children are my priority. I’m not sure I could do it indefinitely as I’m a very sociable person, but it works for now,” she says.
Being one of the first into the business she has been able to help shape the company. For instance, the company set up a driver training school after struggling to get good qualified drivers. Inspired by this, Karen has recently passed the first stages of her lorry driving qualification. “This role has brought me amazing opportunities,” she says. “There’s been a lot of change since we first started and a lot of that has been understanding what has worked and what hasn’t and making changes accordingly. It’s fun to be able to have such an input into the business.”
Now the business is in a position to expand and grow Karen is going back to Workingmums.co.uk to recruit others who want a similar flexible role. Temp Find is currently looking for a home-based recruiter/sales consultant.