The Ultimate Juggling Act

The Ultimate Juggling ActWorking Parent: The Toughest Job In The World

When you have kids your whole world shifts and your focus changes, forever.  BC or Before Children, you probably worried only about your career, relationships, and friends, but when a child comes along, you quickly learn a whole new level of responsibility and selflessness.

Having a child does not necessarily mean you have to give up your career though.  You have worked hard to gain skills and abilities that make you a valuable member of the workplace and you should continue to make use of them.

You can balance working and parenting when you have a plan to effectively manage it.  Here are some tips to consider when it comes to managing your career and being a parent:

  • You are a valuable addition to any workplace.  Even if you are returning to work, do not feel inferior and lacking as an employee.  Take stock of all the skills that you have and if you want to improve or add to them, you can take advantage of in-house training.  Remember, having a child gives you an advantage in experience and it should never be treated as a disadvantage.
  • Be prepared for flexibility requirements to change as your child grows.  Different stages of a child’s life mean different types of flexible work arrangements will be required.  An example is when your child enters childcare for the first time you can almost expect to take a few more sick days compared to other times of your life and you should prepare for it.
  • Your career’s health should also be evaluated regularly.  Take a look at your career and see if you’re where you want to be.  If you’re not, talk to your manager about other career options that may be more suited for you.  Don’t hesitate to request flexibility if you think it might work better rather than a rigid, full-time post.
  • Money isn’t everything, but… When you check on your career’s health, don’t forget to check salaries being offered for similar posts in the job market.  If you see your salary is below average, then prepare a proposal and present it to your employer.  Even if you’re on a flexible arrangement, this is not an excuse to be underpaid.
  • Get your home life organised.  When your home is running as smoothly as possible then there are fewer worries when you get to work.  This means you won’t be spending your time at work worrying about how things are at home.  Posting schedules and events on your fridge and using a chalkboard for this is dorky, but it works.

Preparation and organisation can’t be understated when it comes to making working and parenting a success.  If you’re not sure what to expect, speak to other parents.  Remember just one tip from a from a fellow parent can be the difference between achieving success and or just adding more stress.

 

 

 

Leigh Grigaliunas

Leigh is an owner and co-founder of School Hours Pty Ltd.Leigh's passion for helping others coupled with his desire to achieve a balance between raising children and earning a living, lead him to create School Hours Pty Ltd with his wife Yasmin.School Hours will be the place to go for Australian parents wanting to connect with progressive thinking, family friendly employers.

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