“Employers aren’t looking for someone who thinks three days a week would be nice, they are looking for the skills and experience to do a job.”Lisa Unwin, co-author of She’s Back
Flexible working is on the rise and so it should be! There are a growing number of careers that don’t require being stuck at a desk in a rigid 9-to-5 regime – Social Media Management being one of them. Yet we know that finding flexible work can be tricky at times, which is why we believe it’s all about a mindset shift…for everyone!
Let’s start with the mind
Don’t think you have to settle for something less just because you don’t want to stick to the 9-to-5 office culture. To get you motivated, have a listen to the fab podcast by Mary Portas in which she interviews Flex Appeal campaigner Anna Whitehouse AKA Mother Pukka.
It’s no wonder it can feel like finding a needle in a haystack when looking for flexible work – we’ve still got a long way to go! As Anna Whitehouse says, there needs to be a change in how both businesses and individuals think about flexible work, but it can be done if we change our attitude.
“I’m not campaigning for it [flexible working options] to be there, it already exists, it’s the mindset that isn’t there!”Anna Whitehouse – AKA Mother Pukka
Everyone wants it (we know you know this!). According to research by recruitment agency Capability Jane, 92% of Millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting and 80% of women and 52% of men want flexibility in their next role. Yep, we’re not surprised either by these figures! We’ve seen it with our own TechPixies coming through our programme who want to work more flexibly and use their newfound skills to do it.
However, the 9-to-5 culture still dominates and it can feel like there is a lack of decent flexible jobs out there. Bit of a depressing statistic, but did you know that only 11.1% of jobs over £20K FTE are being advertised as open to flexibility? Argh! So you weren’t going mad when you were job searching and came up with zero! You’ve just got to look in the right place… and there are places!
Think ‘flex’ right from the get-go!
Don’t assume that full-time means flexible working won’t be considered. As Lisa Unwin co-author of She’s Back says, “walk into a conversation where flexibility is on the table”. It’s about productivity, not presentism. How you’ll get the job done is what’s important, not asking how many days you want to work.
Be confident and let your skills do the talking. Many women seeking flexible work have years of experience under their belts. It’s too easy to settle for less. If you can do the job, what does it matter about when and how you do it? We know it’s not always feasible, but it’s worth a shot and a change in mindset for sure!
We love this from The Flexible Movement. It’s our new mantra!
“People who work flexibly are committed and keen to progress their careers. Organisations who aren’t enabling flexible working for all seniority levels are missing out on some very talented people.”Pauline Yau, The Flexible Movement.
Know your market
We meet a lot of women who return to work from a career break without an established network. That’s ok, you’ll build it back up in time. However, it’s important to know what type of work is right for you – whether going straight into a salaried role is better than starting out as a freelancer for example. Freelancing can be great and truly flexible, but without a good network set up in advance, it can be a pretty fierce upward struggle. At TechPixies we have our own views on this and how a salaried role can really help you get back on track when returning to work following a career break. Go check out our blog series on freelancing to learn more about what’s right for you.
Do the maths
It’s important to earn at the level of your experience. Why would you settle for less? We’ll say it again…it’s all about the mindset! If you are looking for roles that use your digital skills, to help you know what you should be earning, go check out our Pro-Rata Calculator.
Be strategic with your search
So on to the job search (cue a rollercoaster of feelings). Hands up if you have started looking for a job to suit your circumstances, only to come away feeling disheartened at the lack of flexible jobs available? Or worse… you thought it would be too difficult to ask for flexibility from a full-time role? We’re guessing there are a few of you! What if we told you, you were looking in the wrong place?
So what do we mean by ‘flex up’ your job search?
There are lots of job boards and recruitment agencies that specialise in flexible working opportunities. Start your search by focusing on them. Get a sense of the type of work out there, the pay offered and who’s hiring. To make it easy, we’ve added a list of some of the ones we love!
Flexible working recruitment job boards
Recruitment agencies specialising in flexible roles/returnships
The TechPixies Pro Rata Calculator
Whether you want to work in a salaried role or go freelance, it can be difficult to know what to earn or charge. So here’s a neat little tool we’ve created to help you KNOW YOUR WORTH. The TechPixies Pro-Rata Calculator, which tells you exactly what the hourly rate equivalent should be for the various salary levels. We hope you find it super useful and will also consider receiving our weekly tips if you aren’t already.
“When our kids grow up to be future leaders, it will not even cross their minds about when, where and how they work.”Gill Stewart MD, Capability Jane