In celebration of Digital Mums storming new campaign to #CleanUpTheFWord (that’s FLEXIBLE by the way 😉) we asked some of our team for their own flexible work stories.
Hannah Smith, PA
Since having my children and returning to work, I had spent my life racing from one thing to the next and had a knot of anxiety in my stomach with the constant to do list nagging in my head. When I first started working for Designated PA I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, no more wasting precious time on the daily commute, or paying out ridiculous fees for after school clubs. Working for Designated PA means I have the flexibility to manage my own work load and look after my clients to fit in with my life. This means I can take my children to school and pick them up every day, help them with their homework and cook them their tea, something that was always done in the past in a hurry and too late at night. It’s the little things that make a difference, like being able to put the washing on or walk the dog in my lunch break, even vacuum the stairs.
With the advances in technology working virtually is becoming more and more accessible. Gone are the days where to be productive you have to be in an office between set hours. My working hours are flexible depending on the needs of my client and their requirements, that might mean an early start some days, but no one cares if you’re at your laptop in your pyjamas (I found this was generally frowned upon in the workplace!) In addition, I can work wherever I want to work (provided there is reliable internet connections) sometimes I head to my parents’ house in the Cotswolds and hole up there for the day whilst my Mum brings me coffee and we enjoy catching up over lunch. Other days it might be a coffee shop but mostly it’s my office at home.
Working for Designated PA means I can be totally flexible with my life whilst still having a career.
Sophie Brown, PA
When I found out I was pregnant I was always SO sure I was going to go back to my job once my maternity leave had finished. I wasn’t going to be one of these people that let having a baby change the way I went about my day to day life (not too much anyway) plus who doesn’t need a pay cheque??
I know that’s naive but I think that’s how a lot of Mum’s-to-be think. But boy did I have a 180 turn when my son arrived into this world, the thought of going back to work made me nervous and sad, I didn’t want to be away from him 5 days a week and not only that, working in events I would be out on week nights and some weekends too.
It was only a few months after making the decision to leave work that I decided that actually I wanted to do something, but something on my own terms, I love being at home with my son but I needed something for myself also. I started looking around at options of which there was basically none. It was five days a week in an office or don’t bother.
I then came across a company called Designated PA, it’s a virtual PA company specialising in providing small businesses, entrepreneurs, consultants and private individuals with a dedicated personal assistant, on a remote working basis. I hadn’t seen anything like this before, it was basically offering clients flexible, reliable and first class support without the commitment of a permanent employee and from the PA side you could ask for as many hours as you wanted to and heres the clinch point, you could do it all from the comfort of your own home, thus still being able to spend as much time as I wanted with Rex. I didn’t realise how much I would enjoy it! The company is made up of a small(ish) group of like minded extremely professional women most of whom have children and wanted be with them as well as be able to work – aside from the fact I love my clients it also feels great to be part of this group of women breaking the mould.
Kay Olbison, Social Media Manager
I would probably not be working at all had I not been introduced to Designated PA. I quit the nine to five 7 years ago when the eldest of my 3 children was born. I was happy (and busy!) as a stay at home mum for a number of years, but always felt like I wanted to do something else – something for me, to get my brain working again, to interact with other adults, and to make a contribution to the household finances. I searched and searched for any opportunity that might allow me to work AND be there for my kids, but never had any luck. It seemed that I was asking too much. This kind of work just didn’t exist. Either you stayed at home with the kids, or you forked out for expensive childcare and physically went out to work.
So, I resigned myself to the stay at home mum role and told myself work would have to wait til all the kids were in school. But then a friend introduced me to Designated PA. Finally, a chance to work a realistic number of hours, when and where it suited me – flexible working at its absolute best! Could it be too good to be true..? I didn’t care, it seemed like the perfect step back into work and I was sold.
For me, working at Designated PA truly is #workthatworks. I am committed to a number of hours that I can realistically fit in around my family life. Because I work for Designated PA themselves, rather than a client, I can choose when to fit in the work. For me, this is during nap times and sometimes in the evenings. I don’t have to commute, or pay for childcare, and most importantly, I am always able to do the school run, take my kids to their after school activities, and be there for dinner, bath and bed (OK, I’ll admit there are times I’d rather be elsewhere!)
I never feel like I have to play down my ‘other role’ as a mum, because so many of the team are mums too (including managing director, Jane) and understand the reality of juggling work and a family.
Designated PA loves flexible working
If you are an experienced Personal Assistant, Social Media Manager or Bookkeeper and looking for a company what will support your desire for flexible working please get in touch. firstname.lastname@example.org Our current vacancies are here – please register to be the first to hear of our latest jobs.