In an interview with Rhonda Bennett, Head of IT business change at Pinsent Masons, we, Attune Flexible Jobs, asked her how she has worked flexibly for many years, as well as being promoted five times in a career that has spanned twenty years ensuring that working flexibly has never held her back …. When you
Top tips on how to find your perfect part-time / flexible job
Increasingly companies today are waking up to the importance of embracing flexible working. We spoke to Talented Ladies Club, a website for working parents, and shared our top tips on how to find your perfect part-time or flexible role.
It’s easier than ever to find interesting flexible roles
Research in recent years has shown a steady rise in the numbers of working mums. So you’ll be pleased to hear that finding an interesting part-time role after being away from the workplace for a few months (or even over a decade) is easier than it used to be.
Increasingly companies are beginning to promote their flexible working ethos (especially with initiatives like the Women in Finance Charter), and many will be looking to recruit women returners who they know have a wealth of experience and knowledge.
So how do you find your perfect flexible or part-time working job? Here’s some helpful advice.
Returning to the workplace after any kind of break can be daunting. But be assured that many other mums before you have felt just the same, and have successfully transitioned back into work.
Easier said then done? Of course but this is the time you need to be your own advocate. Write down all the skills you had before and since having children, such as project management, technical skills and managing relationships.
Then think of an example that explain how you delivered that skill. What was your role? Why was it successful? What did you overcome? The more you remind yourself of your skills, and how you achieved them – the more confident you will feel.
You might need to find yourself a coach or you could work with a friend or former colleague. You may also have previous appraisals that will remind you of what you did and how well you did it.
Sign up to specialist part-time and flexible working job sites like Attune Jobs, so up to date jobs will go straight to your inbox. They will also have many jobs from different firms so you only need to look in one place.
Don’t be put off if the ideal job isn’t advertised on the flexible basis you were hoping for. Firms are becoming more open-minded in terms of the flexibility they will offer. If they like you, the chances are they will discuss the logistics.
Some firm advertise their jobs as open to flexibility. This means that the employers welcome discussions in this regard. This doesn’t mean that they would turn a full-time job into two days a week. But they are very likely to consider one or two days working from home or flexibility in start and finish times to coincide with children’s drop offs and pick ups which give you more control to determine what arrangements you would need to successfully meet both home and work commitments.
Rediscover your working self
If you’ve been out of the career game for a while, you may want to take some time to reacquaint yourself with the working world.
Reconnect with former colleagues and read the trade press. Review job descriptions to identify what skills you may need to sharpen up and identify refresher courses that might be worth attending to get back on top.
Tap into your networks, including friends, family, former employers and colleagues and ask them for help. Most people will be happy to have a coffee and share ideas. You can also add in your profile that you are looking for, for example ‘HR Manager, part-time three days a week’ job opportunities.
More and more companies are using LinkedIn to find new employees. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from former colleagues or even your mums network – they are all likely to have worked before children and may know somebody who could help you.
Embrace social media
It might seem a little alien, but technology and social media may have moved on; I know it did for me. But follow job boards and employers on Twitter. It means you will be up to date with all their vacancies, as well as their latest news, which you can use to prepare for your interview.
Look out for any groups that might help
There are many organisations out there giving advice and supporting women returners. The OnRamp Fellowship, for example, helps high performers re-enter the legal industry and professional services sector after a career break, supporting them to find 6 or 12-month placements.
It is far from the only group of its kind and some firms have their own women returner’s initiatives. Keep up to date with any alumni group too.
It’s not easy – but it IS possible
Returning to work after having children isn’t necessarily easy, but the options are growing and you may have to be persistent.
The key is to have confidence – not only in your abilities, but that in this more varied working world there is a great job out there that can and will meet your needs as a working mum.
Need more help returning to work after a career break?
Need more advice to help you find your perfect flexible or part time role? Check out these articles:
- How to make an impact and nail your interview
- Making a success of job sharing
- Best tips on how to create a stand out CV
- How to return to work after having children
For further information please contact Sarah on email@example.com.