Flossie – name of a new, super cool band? No, although if anyone wants to adopt it as a band name I’m copywriting it here. What I’m actually referring to is the “Flossie” trap, a situation which many people find themselves in both in their work and home environments. It’s when you’re the reliable go to person that always says yes and does any task thrown at you. You never let people down. It sounds like a good thing right? No, it’s not. It’s the doormat end of the spectrum of getting it done. I first heard about the concept when I undertook the Springboard Development Programme for women, an inspiring series of workshops for women who want to reach their potential. Don’t let my horrible experience of the module on personal branding and style put you off. Everything else was amazing! Although I found the workshops fascinating at the time, it’s only now, that I’m realising their benefit. Why? Because sometimes it can take a long time to really process your current situation and apply tools fully. Sometimes, your path changes and what’s relevant at one time of your life, is less so at another. So what or who is a Flossie? If you’re someone who always takes on extra work, works hard and hopes that you’ll be noticed, takes on the undervalued roles and makes yourself indispensable – then you’re probably a Flossie. As I reread that sentence it doesn’t go unnoticed that I could easily insert the… View Post

Flexible working can include a range of options to enable you to better manage your commitments while completing the duties of your job. It can include: • Working an agreed number of hours per day but with flexible start and finish times • Working at multiple locations or home working • Compressing your hours, so you can work your contracted hours over fewer days, or vary the number you work each day. • Varying the weekly hours you week, so some weeks you work more than others. • There’s also term time only working, career breaks and more. All workers in the UK have the right to apply for flexible working and do not have to be carers or parents. Having these commitments however is likely to be the thing that prompts most of us to ask for flexible working. I’m incredibly fortunate that I have tried several flexible working patterns since returning to work from maternity, encompassing both flexible hours and home working. I now work three long days split, primarily in the office with a few hours at home. So far it’s working. But how do you put your case forward to apply for flexible working? Each employer will have their own set of internal policies and processes for how this is administered. You will have to follow these, but in almost all situations you will have to make your case as to why they should give it to you. This “business case” usually sets out the benefits… View Post

If this is the first post you’ve read of mine, let me introduce myself. I’m Helen and I’m a working mum and a parenting, food and lifestyle blogger. My son is two. I returned from maternity on a temporary promotion  in July 2017. As the end of the temporary promotion loomed, I knew that we couldn’t afford childcare and a large drop in pay. What followed after several spreadsheets and negotiations with my line management at that time, was a return to full time hours, but on a flexible basis to accommodate childcare.  Little did I know that I’d end up having my promotion extended, and another promotion after that meaning I didn’t have to return full time at all! If you follow my blog regularly you might be familiar with my weird working pattern but might not know how I got here.  I thought I’d share it to help other parents have the confidence to ask for flexible working, or at prepare them for what the possibilities could look like. This is the story of how I returned to work after my maternity leave, how I struggled to find a flexible working pattern that fits, and why I’m juggling it differently in the New Year. my attitude to work post baby I had my son at 41 (Small Boy is now two) which makes me a geriatric mum by all accounts.  We went through a lot to have him so spending as much time as I could on my… View Post