The New Way of Working for Women
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In some ways, today hasn’t quite gone to plan.
You see, one of my children was poorly in the night and couldn’t go to his childminder today, which has meant I’ve had to rapidly reassess my priorities for the day (putting a lot of soiled sheets through the washing machine on a hot wash being something that was added to the list at the eleventh hour! Or around 3am anyway….)
I speak to women all the time who have to ‘dig deep’ in these moments, because they work a corporate 9-5 job which means either balancing caring for a sick child while working from home, or using their annual leave days so they can spend the day at home focusing on being there for their little one.
It’s a classic conundrum of the modern age, and it affects all parents (as well as those who are carers for special needs children or elderly parents), and let’s be honest, most often, women.
In those moments, we can end up asking ourselves, ‘who am I – in this moment?’
And the answer is – it’s complicated.
I’m a parent.
I’m an employee. I’m a person who works.
I have responsibilities that conflict in this precise moment, and only one can win.
And it can feel like, whoever wins, you all lose.
That’s why I’m so interested in the new way of working that more and more women (and also some men) have begun to choose instead.
When you’re self-employed as an independent consultant, flexibility is built into your working agreement.
Hours missed don’t have to be repaid or docked from your annual leave allowance in the same way. Even when you are working an hours or days-based project, there is often more flexibility than in a ‘presenteeist’ office culture. And work is often results-based, not time-dependent.
You don’t even need to have a binary divide between a ‘day off’ and a ‘day in the office’. Some appointments can be moved, others cancelled. Video calls can mean some meetings can go ahead without breaching the dreaded 48 hour quarantine that is the bane of working parents’ existence (both because it is imposed on them at the most inconvenient times, and because other parents NOT observing it often causes school and nursery bugs to be so widespread in the first place).
You can even use your flexible working hours to cover your OWN illness that often follows having a poorly child at home, and often has to be ignored because you’re expected back at the office.
Having an ill child is nearly always exhausting and causes increased anxiety for parents.
But I couldn’t be more thrilled – and thankful, especially on days like this – to be able to embrace a different way of working that makes being a parent AND a person who works that little bit more bearable.
And I’m especially glad that I CAN be present for my kids when they need me (even if I’d rather not have to deal with the gross extra laundry)
Does this resonate with you?
Have you left a corporate career to set up on your own because of the pressures caused by family illness, or maybe even your own ill health?
I’d love to hear your feedback.
Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear your feedback and future topics you’d like me to feature. You may also enjoy The Seven Figure Consultant Podcast, the show that takes you from booked up and burned out in your consulting business to THRIVING as the CEO of your 7 figure enterprise.