Regardless of whether or not you have a list of resolutions or goals you want to work towards in 2012, the beginning of a new year is a good time to pause….maybe even for just a minute.
- Do you like where your headed professionally or personally?
- Have you tackled things you said you would last year?
- Do you want to make changes?
I made a big change in my professional life by leaving a full-time job and starting my own business several years ago. As a freelance writer I worry about when the next job will come along and sometimes don’t juggle work and home well when everything is done from the same dining room table! But I’m happy to be able to be home for my kids and work for myself.
I’ve noticed that many people have looked for other working arrangements outside of the typical 9 to 5, commute an hour twice a day in rush hour type deal. More and more people are working from home and/or working part time to achieve a work/life balance.
I recently learned about a company that actually specializes in placing people in flexible jobs called Mom Corps. I sat down with Houston-area President, Meera Naehr to find out about what the job front looks like, what’s out there for moms and how her company is different from other staffing firms.
Q: How is your staffing firm unique from others and in what way do you cater to moms?
Mom Corps: We’re different because we specialize in flexible workplace solutions. For example, if a start-up company needs an amazing marketer but doesn’t have the cash to hire one full-time, Mom Corps can offer them a flexible resource who can work fewer hours but contribute more because of their experience. We cater to Moms (and Dads!) in that parents often seek flexibility in their work so that they can meet familial obligations. There are so many talented people out there who want to contribute to the economy and will give it their all if they have some flexibility!
Q: What kinds of jobs do you offer?
Mom Corps: We source professional-level jobs in finance, accounting, HR, general management, IT, and most everything else. We do get some telecommuting positions — especially for smaller companies that are being economical with their office space.
Q: What are moms who are looking to rejoin the work force looking for right now?
Mom Corps: They want flexibility! This can mean several things: some want flexible hours like part-time, job-sharing, or designated ‘offline’ hours; some want flexible locations such as options to telecommute; and some want flexible duration such as working contract assignments in the Fall and Spring. I also find that many Moms are just looking for more family-friendly companies in which the results of their work will be held in higher regard than their face-time. They are willing to work full-time but would like to be able to work a few of those from home after the kids go to bed so they can be available for after-school events and family mealtimes.
Moms come looking for jobs for a variety of reasons. For some, the need is purely financial while some are looking to reclaim the person they were before they had kids. This is especially true for Moms whose youngest kids have started school. I also hear from Moms who are currently working but are looking to scale down their hours or commute times.
Q: Can moms make a lot of money…even working part time or from home and if they’ve been out of the workforce for a while?
Mom Corps: It’s important to remember that part-time work usually equals a part-time salary, so the biggest hurdle is getting over the fact that pay will be less in a part-time position than a full-time one. However, pay doesn’t necessarily have to be less in a flexible position. Moms can certainly make lots of money working part-time — it just depends on their skillset. Consultants and accountants working contract assignments on an hourly basis do really well. People who have been out of the workforce for a while can get jobs and make plenty of money — they just sometimes have to take time to update their skills and mindset for the new job market. I firmly believe that if you were a valuable employee once, you can be again. Time off from work doesn’t change your innate abilities.
Q: What are employers looking for right now in employees?
Mom Corps: Honestly, I’m finding that the dip in the economy has resulted in many companies being very specific about their hiring needs. They have a very specific skillset they are seeking to fill a very specific hole in their organization; they often don’t have the budget to create new less structured roles. Having said that, I also find that with limited budgets, there is a lot of scope for reduced hours because it makes sense economically.
Q: Are you a mom? How many kids and how do you make it work (working and raising a family and Living Your Dream?)
Mom Corps: Yes! I have a 5-year old girl and a 3-year old boy. I have a great partner in my husband, which helps with the juggling act. At Mom Corps we talk about work-life synthesis, meaning that we figure out a way to bring personal and profeessional endeavors and family together in our lives. I wouldn’t say I have found a balance, but I’ve definitely found a synthesis. I absolutely love what I do and what it can mean for the working world, which makes me a happier and better person, wife, and mother. Specifically, I make LOTS of lists, keep a family calendar, do much of my shopping on the internet, and plan ahead on meals so that I can be as present as possible for the time that I spend with my family.
So tell me….are you looking for a new job this year? Have you explored options outside of the typical 9 to 5 model? Are you taking a risk and striking out on your own? How do you achieve work/life balance? Are you living your dream?