How has it been I hear you asking? What changes has it brought? Let's start with the good stuff. I love knowing what I am going to do in broad terms three days a week and being able to rely on regular money coming in. I enjoy being in London and having a 20-30 minute walk each way twice a day. Yesterday was a good example of the freedom I now enjoy which was the chance to meet up with a friend, who is back from Hong Kong, for a coffee at short notice without the girls. It is also lovely to be part of a team that is responsible for large scale change and it is very exciting especially as I believe in what I am doing. The bonus has been receiving compliments about my creativity and my ability to add value from the start.
So what am I less sure about? I do not enjoy the fact that 9 out of 10 women wear black or grey suits in the City, occasionally they add white and beige to the mix! In an act of rebellion perhaps, or just to ensure that I never lose sight of who I am, I have been wearing a lot of orange and coral these first couple of weeks. My girls have had to do two to three days a week at nursery and often 10 hours. Thankfully because of support from my Mum, this has happened less frequently then it may have done. I miss my girls and they miss me and the only good thing is that they greet me with peals of delight every evening when I walk in and both want to be picked up and hugged at the same time.
The least likeable aspects are the politics which are rife in most corporates, I just find the whole thing pointless and energy zapping. Even more concerning is the extent to which fear drives employees and how they behave. People have already talked about being "judged" if the project does not deliver. This is unhealthy on so many levels.
My tips to any other parent in this place is:
- Be very clear about why you are doing this.
- Ensure that the time that you do spend with your children is quality time wherever possible. It assuages the guilt.
- Recognise what you are gaining from being in the workplace - for me I am regaining some of my identity which got rather buried over the last three years!
- Talk through how you are going to make it work with your partner if you both commute and if they are visual, have a week or month's view that shows who will do the pick ups and drop offs; the dinner etc.
- Monitor how the new set up is working. If it really does not work for any of you then change it. If it is tough but works then be grateful for what it gives you and your family
Love to hear your thoughts on this below.