One thing that has become abundantly clear over the last year is the need for parents to have flexibility at work, to enable them to juggle life, work and childcare.
While we clearly advocate for flexible working for parents, it’s apparent that the desire for flexibility at work cuts across genders and generations. From millennials to those approaching retirement, everyone is actively seeking more flexibility.
So what are the best ways to go about finding flexible jobs?
1. Define what flexibility means for you
Flexible working does not mean the same thing for everyone:
- For a mother with young children, it could be a job that only requires her to work when her kids are in school.
- Perhaps you don’t want to go back to commuting, and want the option to WFH.
- Or maybe you want autonomy to work to a schedule that fits around your home life.
- Or maybe you want to have the freedom to freelance, or you want to job share.
Refining what flexibility means for you will help you narrow down your job search to roles that match your professional and personal needs.
2. Seek out advice
If you need support, there is a whole heap of resources for you to check out.
From Pregnant then Screwed, to Mother Pukka’s Flex Appeal, to flexible working for teachers, to the charity Working Families.
If you’re a parent looking for inspiration to get back to work, to go freelance or to build your own business, check out Mum & Career, or have a gander at Talented Ladies - a site for ambitious mums looking to carve out a career while enjoying family life.
3. Juggle Jobs - designed for finding flexible roles
Since 2017, Juggle has been on a mission to make flexible work the norm. Discover flexible roles at fully vetted, forward thinking companies who understand the benefits of flexible working. Get accurately matched to relevant jobs at businesses who are looking for someone, just like you.
Sign up to their site and join a community of professionals also seeking flexible careers.
4. Don’t ask, don’t get
Here’s the thing, don’t assume your current role can’t become a flexible one. Just because your company doesn’t openly offer flexible work, doesn't mean you can’t ask for it.
According to Equal Pay Negotiations, most flexible work arrangements are organised on a case by case basis, because of each employee's unique needs. So if your company doesn’t routinely offer flexibility, approach HR with your request.
To make your case more appealing for flexible working, if you’re new to the company, you could suggest a trial period of 2-3 months, so you can both establish whether it’s working or not.
If you’ve been with the company for a while, point out how great you are at your role, but how much more productive you could be if you had flexibility.
If necessary, prepare a list of reasons how flexible working can benefit the company, and they might look more favourably on your request:
- It improves retention
- Reduces employee turnover
- Saves money on recruiting and training new employees
- Improves employee engagement
- Improves employee satisfaction
- Increases employee productivity
5. Gig work
If you don’t want a full time flexible position, consider gig work instead.
Gig work is typically short term contract roles, side hustles, or they can be individual, one off jobs, such as:
- Driving a car for Uber
- Renting out a room in your house through Airbnb
- Selling items on eBay
- Offering cleaning services through TaskRabbit
Gig work affords workers greater flexibility to balance work and childcare, the downside of course, is that it might not be regular work.
The point is, flexible roles can alleviate the difficulties of balancing life and childcare. And if you’re struggling with childcare, just get in touch with my Tamarin today.
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