Like many working parents I breathed a sigh of relief this week when holidays ended and school went back.
It’s always a juggling act to balance a healthy dose of fun for the kids whilst maintaining some semblance of a constructive work routine. I’ve been doing this juggling act for eight years now and felt like I had it down to a fine art until I found myself without a babysitter on a workday these holidays.
I’ve been self employed for a decade but after recently selling my Recruitment business to Fuse Recruitment, I have joined their busy Melbourne head-office team. Being self-employed since having my children, I’ve always had the luxury of setting my own hours and handling the school holidays on my own terms but now everything has changed.
So, I found myself last week, walking (somewhat nervously) into our Director’s office to have a chat about my situation. Without a babysitter for the following day, I could either take a day of leave or bring my daughter to the office for the day. I got half way through this ultimatum before I was stopped and told to do whatever works “for me” and then it was made abundantly clear that I didn’t need to seek permission to manage my time or my “work life integration” as we refer to it at Fuse.
What followed was “the best day of my life” according to my eight-year-old daughter. She came into our office on a very busy Wednesday and was warmly welcomed by the whole team. Like all good parents, I’d packed a fully charged iPad and headphones so I could sit her at my desk all day but I needn’t have worried. She was entertained all day, helping to set up our Wednesday morning tea, going on a mail run, learning how to prank call everyone on their desk phones, playing with our office games (normally used for Friday night drinks), creating a photo shoot with our Marketing Manager and teaching one of our Directors the moves she has been learning in hip-hop lessons.
As for me, I took the opportunity to sneak out and see a client who engaged me to work on five new roles in their Customer Service team … So, as it turns out, not only the best day of my daughter’s life but also a pretty good day for me too!
Working in Recruitment, I often hear stories of inflexibility from employers and at worst discrimination towards working parents. I’m glad that after putting my new employer to the ultimate test, they passed with flying colours and lived up to their promise that I would be able to continue to work in a way that fits with my busy life. Well done Fuse Recruitment, I’m very proud to be part of your team! In return, I’m halfway through filling those roles that I wouldn’t have been engaged to work on if I’d had to take the day off and cancel my meeting! Win/win.