I count my blessings that I was able to be a full time Mum to my children for twelve years, but all that time, I couldn’t fight the niggling feeling that kept coming back to haunt me – something was missing! I longed for the sense of self-worth, value and purpose a job can bring. Being Mum is great, but when my children started seeing me as nothing more than that, I started to question my choices. I wanted more for myself and to be a role model for them too.
My biggest barrier to returning to the workplace was that I needed a great deal of flexibility to make it work around family life. One positive from Covid is that is seems to have smashed through so many of the barriers around flexibility that had been holding me back. The post pandemic working world suddenly had a lot to offer and it appeared some of the fundamental requirements of the office had become more “human”
Finding the right role for me wasn’t easy – there were a few laughable interviews where the expectations were completely unrealistic and work ethic and business culture just didn’t match my preferences. I used them as good practice and they helpled my job search by enabling me to clarify and solidify the kind of role, environment, and business I wanted to work for and highlighted what was essential and where I was prepared to compromise. I came up trumps in the end when I found a role advertised for Hasson Associates.
I knew from my first interactions with Anna, the Operations Manager that this role and the company was exactly what I was looking for. My skills and experience matched the criteria, and the company culture was spot on. Meeting Sinead, the MD firmed up my initial impressions that this was a forward-thinking business that appreciated diversity amongst its workforce and invested in its people. Personality wise, it felt a great fit! The offer of working school hours and remotely most of the time, with monthly days in the London office was an attractive proposition and I couldn’t wait to start.
Transitioning into a new role can be challenging and having been out of the workplace for such a long time, I feared how I would manage to navigate the process. I needn’t have worried though because Anna organised a seamless induction process and the business has been incredibly supportive and set me up to succeed from day one. Morning link up calls have embedded a feeling of teamwork and give each day some social interaction, which I think has been essential to me feeling part of the team. The support and encouragement the team gives has been a winning factor to me enjoying the role.
Remote training has many benefits and none of the distractions that occur in a busy office. I was able to focus and be attentive. I could also break when I needed to and take time to reflect. With Teams, WhatsApp, Email and good old fashioned telephone calls available I knew I could easily ask questions or get any information and guidance I needed instantly.
Three months into my new role and I can honestly say I am happier than ever. It’s great to be using my skills and experience in the workplace again, I feel appreciated and valued and have a renewed purpose and focus in my life. Being able to financially contribute to our family and have independence is important to me and the children are interested in my work and that brings its own sense of accomplishment. I’d even go as far as to say my mental health has improved and surprisingly, I stress less. I don’t sweat the small stuff.
In essence, remote working has changed my life for the better. It’s enabled me to follow my dream to return to the workplace without having to be in a specific physical location. Being a working parent is always going to be a juggling act but being able to work from home and avoid the wasted time of a daily commute alongside the flexibility that remote working brings has made my return to work more manageable and has allowed me to create the work/life balance I’ve been craving for a long time. I am truly thankful to Hasson Associates for the opportunity to prove that just because I am a Mum who needs a flexible approach to work doesn’t mean I can’t be an integral colleague who adds value to the business.
I hope remote, hybrid and flexible working options continue long into the future and long after covid is forgotten (not that I think it ever will be!) There is a whole sector of society who can benefit and in return contribute greatly towards a business’s success.