Wednesday 7 December 2011

Part-time Jobs for Mums...Please!

I am sat here, with my bowl of yoghurt and blueberries (I got jealous of Missy's breakfast), feeling a little disappointed and angry. Time for a mini rant, I think... I am only now having my breakfast, despite the fact that I have been up since 7.30, because I turned my computer on pretty much the moment Missy left for the childminder, trying to find a job.

Looking for jobs, is a job in its self. It is stressful, time consuming and very frustrating. Looking for a part-time job, as a new mum is pretty much impossible; I should know, I have been doing it for almost two months now. Well, it seems to be impossible in my area of work; Architecture and Urban Design. Please let me know if I am wrong and I will happily accept it (if you do so, please tell me the company you are thinking of, so that I can apply!). And before you think or say it, yes I am looking in other areas of work as well. Admin, Marketing, Business Development etc. There seem to be no part time jobs for professionals!

The only luck I have had, has been through applying for full time positions. On the few interviews I have managed to get, the moment my '4 day a week' issue crops up I am out of the run again. I attended an interesting group interview last week. There were 25 of us in the run for 2 marketing positions. After the process, 7 of us were shortlisted for the next stage of interviews. I was extremely proud to be one of those 7! What recognition! After the next interview I was told that I did not make it to the next (yes there was another stage) stage of interviews. I was extremely upset. I knew I could do this job and after asking for feedback, the only reason I was given was that I would only be able to do the 4 days. I can appreciate that this can put people off - a working week is 5 days, hence if you can't work the 5 days, you can't do the job, right?

But how many people actually work the full 5 days. You check your emails a few too many times, your lunchbreak runs over by 10 minutes every now and then, someone wrote something on twitter that you have to check, you started some on-line shopping and get a little engrossed by it for, well, 30 minutes or so. What I am trying to say - and what I tried to explain to them - is that I am working the 4 days, so that I can focus 100% on the job for those days, and spend the rest of the time with my daughter and doing all the other things I feel need to be done, without any resentment either way.

I am not sure if I am convincing you now, either and I would really appreciate some feedback on this. I feel completely stuck in this situation, where I know there are so many jobs out there I am perfectly capable of doing, but the fact that I want to dedicate an extra day to my family seems to be a stumbling block. I guess I am mainly writing this, so that I can vent, feel a little better and hopefully convince one or two of you that flexibility in the workplace is an extremely important issue that we, as a society, are still behind on. If a better work-life balance were offered by the employer, then the employee would be much more open to committing to their job wholeheartedly.

Now can I have a job? Please? OK, I 'll go back to my blueberries then...

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