Saturday, 3 December 2016

This Part-timer is Revolting!

I do like to try and find the humour in whatever I write about. It does us good to laugh, doesn't it? But sometimes, just sometimes, I have to be serious, even if the subject topic itself is laughable.

I was recently made redundant after six years at the same company. It didn't take me long though, to crack on with trying to find a new job. I sent off a few applications and, a few days ago, had my first chat with a recruitment agent. 'Anthony' was very nice but I have to be honest - I came off the call feeling pretty miffed.

At my now previous company, I was incredibly lucky in that after having Little O I was able to return to work on a part-time basis, whilst still remaining at the same experience level. I am grateful for that.

However, now that I find myself on the market again, I realise what a pot of poop the part-time job market actually is.



I'm not going to blow my own trumpet here. This isn't the place for me to be dropping my CV. But I do have a bloody good degree, and since qualifying as a CIMA accountant five years ago, have accumulated some pretty impressive industry experience. Plus, according to Anthony, I'm a 'great communicator', which is reassuring in more ways than one.

So there must be jobs a-plenty, right? Hundreds of employers looking for someone with my skills and background?

On a full-time basis, yes. Part-time? Not so much.

Running a search on an online job site for roles at my experience level, salary range and preferred location, yielded 1 part-time vacancy for every 34 full-time equivalents. That's 3% of the total. Sad, isn't it?

Don't get me wrong, I know there are part-time finance jobs out there. Many, in fact. That is, if I wanted to return to doing the type of thing I was doing eight years ago, before I even qualified. 

Umm, no thanks. That's not really what I spent three years studying, sitting exams and giving up evenings and weekends for.

But wait a minute - this is a marvellous opportunity for a career change, n'est pas? Time to sling off those reins forged of Excel formulae and scamper away to find something more flexible, something more family-friendly. Creative, even.

What an awesome idea. There's just one small problem. Feel free to flick your wrists and shimmy 'Beyonce-style' when I say this, but... 

I'm an independent woman. 

I want to be able to buy my own shoes. I want to continue making a meaningful contribution to our household expenses. I don't want to have to ask my husband for a tenner if I need it.

And, unfortunately, career changes mean starting at the bottom. Or they mean working evenings and weekends, building up a business or working freelance, and missing out on family time. What's the other choice? Oh, yeah. Work part-time for peanuts whilst paying what feels like a billion pounds for childcare.


This isn't about the issue of whether to leave your children and go back to work. This isn't about whether or not to embark on a career change (because I'm not completely against the idea). It's when you've already made that decision and you just want to go back to doing what you were doing before you had kids. Except this time, part-time. Preferably at a company which recognises that becoming a parent hasn't numbed your ability to add up, act professionally or think proactively.

So you, sitting there with your cuppa and your resource gap - get with the program. There's an ocean of talent out there. Don't be nervous. All you need is courage. Courage to think creatively, to think 'outside the box'. Courage to take a long, hard look at your organisational structure and challenge the status quo.

Because there's thousands of highly skilled parents out there with the courage to jump back into the working world. All they need is the opportunity.


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36 comments:

  1. Nicola this is SUCH a good post! This topic gets my blood boiling. Employers are just not open minded enough - often they get more for their money with a brilliant part-timer, especially parents who know how to prioritise and be super efficient under time pressure! Good for you. Really hope the right opportunity comes up for you!
    Kimberly x

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    1. Thanks so much! Yes this really gets my back up and it's easy to understand how so many SAHP just don't go back to work. Something really needs to change.

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  2. I totally agree - makes me so angry when I think about it. My school run is a network of untapped talent - intelligent, experienced, skilled, creative, hard-working women who just don't want/can't manage their previous full time hours. Businesses are missing out BIG TIME.

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    1. Thank you! It's ridiculous isn't it? And it applies whether you're a SAHM or SAHD. Thanks for reading x

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  3. Fab post! I was made redundant last year and now I'm in the same position as you. Masters degree in Engineering, but no where willing to hire me part time #bestandworst

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    1. Good luck with the job hunt. Hope you find something eventually! Thanks for reading x

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  4. The part time job market is utter shit. I'm lucky that I've been in the same role since I had my son 3 years ago and I'm lucky with its flexibility, however, I'm under no illusion this may change one day. Having worked in the recruitment industry for a long time I keep an eye on the market and it's really not great. Things will change in the New Year & I really hope something comes up for you - keep positive. #bestandworst

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  5. Excellent post and you are SO RIGHT! The part time job market is ridiculous. I have been fortunate to go back to my old job on reduced hours like you did before you were sadly made redundant. But I've looked at what is out there in case the worst happened or I decided to move. Nothing.

    I think it is such a shame that companies don't embrace it. They all pay lip service to the idea but in reality they don't want the hassle. The irony is that a lot of dads or non-parents would actually probably consider a reduction in hours if it were common practice.

    Wishing you lots of luck in finding something. It's such a shame your skills are being wasted because people are so narrow minded. Don't they realise that a working parent, especially a part time one, is usually the most productive member of their team??? #DreamTeam

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    1. Well said! Yes I almost felt trapped knowing that if I left I'd struggle to find anything similar. Thanks for reading x

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  6. I absolutely know where you are coming from. Like you (at first) I was lucky enough to go back to my old job but just 2 days a week, but when ever I have tried to search for other options there is nothing out there for part time work! Unless you can afford to drop to a much lower wage (which with two children and astronomical child care costs - who can?) Companies really do need to start looking at more flexible ways of working. Hope things work out for you soon hon. Thanks for linking with #DreamTeam x

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  7. I absolutely LOVE this post and I'll be sharing it. When are more companies going to realise and offer more part time and flexible working for parents???! xx #bestnworst

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    1. Thanks so much! It's silly in this day and are that this is still an issue. X

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  8. I hear ya! I've worked for the same company for almost 11 years now, the majority of which was full time. Now that I'm part time since having children, I feel so out of loop at times. I've looked at other jobs, but there just aren't many opportunity out there for part timers. #bestandworst

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    1. Back again just to say thanks for joining in with That Friday Linky #ThatFriday Linky

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  9. It's so hard to be a working Mum isn't it. I'm lucky to work part time now but my job after Alfie was full time or nothing at all, not at all like being supportive eh. Thanks for linking up to this weeks #bestandworst

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    1. You're welcome and thanks for reading x

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  10. THIS. I am fortunate I have a part time job in a management postition thanks to flexible working. I would never find a job as a manager on a part time basis otherwise. I'd have to take a huge paycut if i wanted to go elsewhere. I've heard accountancy is a good job to do freelance? Maybe that could be an idea? xx Good luck! xx #coolmumclub

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    1. Thanks! I'm not holding out much hope. Quite sad it means my career is effectively over. Unfortunately my experience doesn't lend itself well to doing bookkeeping freelance but thanks so much for the comment and for reading x

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  11. I love this post hon - there is so much wasted talent out there because there just isn't enough flexible working provision for us mums and it's a crying shame. When will everyone catch on?!

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  12. This is so apt right now as I am trying to go back to work part time after my maternity leave and getting bugger all support. Jobs are all are nothing and there's very few part time jobs out there for people with a brain like us. So frustrating #thatfridaylinky

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    1. Thanks hun. Good luck with your search - hope you have some good news soon x

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  13. Totally agree wasted talent amongst parents great post Thanks for linking to the #THAT FRIDAY LINKY come back next week please

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  14. The part-time job market is absolute arse and even worse if you're educated to a certain levels or have specialist experience in a specific field. They want you full-time or no time. Have you considered making this your job? Flexi-hours, creative, it ticks some boxes. Sure, it takes a little while to build and a lot of hours to get your name out to PRs, but it might all be worth it in the long run.

    http://accidentalhipstermum.com

    #EatSleepBlogRT

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    1. You know what? I have actually given this some serious thought and I would love to make this my job. I love writing and it does give the flexibility I need. Being made redundant is actually a great opportunity for me to reevaluate my options. I just worry I'll become a slave to my blog for monetary reasons and it'll take the fun out of it. But if I don't try I won't know right?? Thanks for commenting xx

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  15. Oh, yes! I couldn't agree more! I am fortunate to have a very flexible workplace, but I hear all too often about women struggling to find part time work. Employers need to open their eyes - there are many ways to run a business and they are missing out on so much talent! Good luck with your job hunt. #EatSleepBlogRT

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    1. The problem is there's no financial incentive for employers to give highly-skilled part timers a shot. Such a shame. For them as well as us. Thanks so much for reading and for the well-wishes xx

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  16. I couldn't agree more - as a nurse I am pretty lucky that I can drop my hours easily but I know in other areas this is not so easy. I think workplaces are really missing a trick here - part time working can bring so many excellent employees to the table and you can get twice the innovation with 2 people in a job share! All the best for your job hunt #eatsleepblogrt

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    1. Ah thanks for reading. I have a lot of respect for nurses, it must be a tiring job but very rewarding x

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  17. Great post. I've a similar problem. 25 years experience in call centres up to management level, but my current situation means I need a work from home position.
    I can live on a normal agents salary as there wouldn't be travel expenses, but there is nothing.

    all the jobs in my field are Dublin based which is an hour at least commute and would cost nearly 150 euro per week in expenses.

    Have you considered free lancing. I know the income can fluctuate quite a bit butI'm sure with your qualifications and experience you could get enough clients.

    thanks for linking up to #wineandboobs

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    1. Thanks Alan. I have considered freelancing but I would have to invest in bridging a slight skills gap for that area of finance. Keeping my options open though. Hope your situation improves too x

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  18. So true. I've ended up working full time again.

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