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“My work-life balance couldn’t really be better”

Jessie's story

I used to have a high powered job in the City. I did IT support for the trading floors of top banks. But when I had my first child, I wanted a part time role afterwards and they weren’t having any of it. I got told I could come back fulltime to my 40-hour-plus a week role or not at all.

 

I chose my family and quit my job. I couldn’t justify the childcare cost and not being part of my son’s life.

 

It was virtually impossible to go back part time or flexibly then, just five years ago.

 

I did manage to go back two or three days a week for a while. But I was effectively on call, so I never knew when I’d be working and need childcare.

 

And I managed to find more regular work with a law firm on a fixed day. But while it was good for my brain, the finances weren’t adding up. It wasn’t worth it financially.

 

Then I came up with my business idea, Simply Mums. I realised there was a gap in the market with not enough employers taking on part time staff and issues for parents about finding the right childcare to go with a part time job.

 

Simply Mums does both. I help parents find part time jobs and childcare. It’s a one-stop-shop for parents.

 

I started the business in 2014 and we’re growing rapidly. I’ve got about 15 business clients who work with me to find mums who want part time work and I’ve got lots of recommendations.

 

There’s a greater sense of the value flexible working offers working parents now for business. And better technology means it’s easier to work from home and still take part in conference calls or meetings.

 

I work two or three days a week now from home. I can pick up the children from school or nursery and be around whenever I need to be. My work-life balance couldn’t really be better. But it took a while for me to find the right opportunity.

 

Now I want to help other mums get the balance they want and need.”

 

Jessie shared her story for National Work Life Week 2016. Read more stories of how people manage their work life balance.