This is the 2nd part of a two part article with pointers for working mums looking for a decent flexible working job. The biggest point I want to reiterate is this: If you want a decent flexible working job, don’t rely on seeing an advert for the perfect job. It rarely happens and you’ll be waiting a long time to find it! Instead, you need to proactively approach employers.
Here are the next 5 tips for working mums who want to find a decent flexible working job :
- Think like your Boss. Create a business case for flexible working and outline any potential objections and how you will mitigate them. When you are creating your business case, imagine you are the CEO of your company – put yourself in his or her shoes and imagine what their concerns might be and what would reassure them? How could you make it an almost risk free decision for them to offer you flexible working?
- Get with the lingo. Google terms such as “teleworking”, “digital nomad”, “Location Independent Parents”, “Workshifting” (you’ll find me as a blogger on www.workshifting.com) etc. You’ll find there’s a whole brave new world out there under the broad heading of “flexible working”. By educating yourself, you’ll not only be better equipped in your search, you may also whet your appetite for a completely different career and get inspired as to the amazing realm of possibilities we have today.
- Don’t apply. Shine! Once you’ve created your top twenty list of employers, create your application. Wow them – do something different. Send them evidence of your work, not just a CV. Write a covering letter that grabs their attention and gets them curious to know more about you. For example, if you are a Project Manager, you might want to send a file with a PDF copy of a Project Plan you have created. If you are a secretary, send them a “before” and after” document that you have proof read and edited. Think about how you can get the employer’s attention and demonstrate your ability right from your initial contact.
- Be open-minded. As a mum, if you want to “have your cake and eat it”, you might need to try a different sort of cake than you are used to! Think outside of the box and put all those creative juices to the test when looking for a flexible job. Remember that we always have a choice; flexible working demands flexibility from both sides and comes at a cost. Decide where you are willing to compromise and what is “set in stone” for you before you embark upon your search.
- If you can’t join ‘em, beat ‘em… set up on your own. With the incredible growth of online business, the opportunities to start your own home based or location independent business are endless! Drop me an email if you’d like some ideas. I have compiled a guide called “101 Home Based Businesses for Mums” and I’d be pleased to let you have a complimentary copy of it. You can email me at amandaATcoachingmumsDOTcom and I’ll zip it back to you!
Above all, just go for it. If you find a flexible working job that is ideal in every way except that it doesn’t appear to offer the flexible working scenario you want, apply anyway. It’s a judgement call for you as a working mum as to when you reveal that you are looking for flexible working, but my rule of thumb is to wow the employer first at interview and treat the question of flexible working just as you would salary negotiation. I believe that the more working mums who do this, the more employers will realise that it is possible and even desirable to create more flexible work environments for all, not just working mums!