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Career Insights Blog & Articles

Posted by on in Working Mums
Why I Started Career Insights

Like many women, having the flexibility to organise my career around other commitments became increasingly important once I became a Mum.  Most of us want better flexibility, irrespective of gender or whether or not we are a parent, with work-life balance recently becoming the primary motivator for Kiwi job seekers when considering a new job or career.

That illusive flexibility can be difficult to secure however and is a major reason why so many time-strapped women opt out of the workforce, choosing instead to combine running a business with looking after their children. According to a 2013 MYOB survey around 40% of Kiwi self-employed small businesses are owned by women.  Many of these women created their business to spend more time with their children, to save on childcare and achieve a better work-life balance.

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Posted by on in Working Mums
Tips for Returning to Work

The prospect of returning to work after taking time out to have children can be a difficult and challenging process for many mums.  Our confidence has diminished, we worry our skills are out of date, we feel guilty that working might negatively impact our children and we worry how we will structure our work to ensure we continue to accomplish our obligations on the home front.  Not only that but the longer we’ve been out of paid employment the more challenging it can be to get back in.

Our reasons to go back to work vary – for some it will be a simple financial decision and for others it will have more to do with wanting a renewed sense of value or needing some stimulation and social interaction that doesn’t involve children. Regardless of the reasons there is often some apprehension about the unknown and a fair amount of uncertainty about how to move forward. So here are our top tips for getting back to work after having children.

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Mainstreaming Flexible Working is the Best Solution for Mums Returning to Work

It’s official, work/life balance is what we want most from our careers!  According to Hudson’s recently released Hiring Report, work life balance has just edged out higher salary as the primary motivator for Kiwi job seekers when considering a new job.


Long thought of as the domain of mums returning to the workforce; it seems the need for work/life balance is no longer gender biased and is valued by both men (48%) and women (52%) almost equally. 


Timely then that the Employment Relations Amendment Act 2014 has recently extended the legal right to ask for flexible working arrangements to all employees as opposed to just caregivers.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out.  It’s fair to say that it hasn’t always been easy for mums to get the big tick for our flexibility requests.  It’s often easier for an organisation to say “No” than it is to create the perfect flexible arrangement.  The prevailing view (for some) seems to have been that if we say “yes” to one we will have to say ‘yes” to all.  So much easier then to offer up excuses.  You know the kind I mean - “it’s not the sort of job or company where people can work flexibly” or “it’s not fair on the rest of the team or the customer”. 

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The Juggling Act – Balancing Motherhood and Self-Employment

The last seven weeks have been fabulously fun and busy in equal measure.  But it hasn’t been without its frustrations.  As much as I have enjoyed having the little people in my life around, it has been a constant juggling of way too many balls.  Trying to fit in client meetings, write CVs, up-date the blog and social media sites while creating some new workshop material has been something of a balancing act and has often taken a back seat to the more important tasks of baking, refereeing fights, dealing with sick children, organising playdates, beach and park visits and a bit of Lego building.

I’ve had a few conversations recently with other working mums who, whilst they love being a mum, also need to be earning an income and spending time on building their business.  When you are working for yourself and are responsible for doing everything this can sometimes be overwhelming.  So how do you please everyone and maximise your time when you have the summer school holidays to deal with?

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