Setbacks after setbacks - will I ever be working again after DC1?

(34 Posts)
uberconscious Wed 27-Jan-16 12:25:47

I've been in good professional jobs and have a solid track record, a robust up to date CV highlighting recent projects while on mat leave, got to final stage at interview and either job was put on hold or no feedback after reaching a point where I would expect an offer letter etc...

I'm limited because of childcare costs so can only apply for jobs that allow working from home / flexible hours as we cannot afford full time childcare fees even after my second income.

I've become deflated. This has been going on for over a year and it's turned into a pattern. I've looked at changing my thinking, attitude, (positive visualisation) I always got the job before and I don't understand what's going on. feeling low as a result and feeling defeated.

How long did it take to find a new job after first child?

P.S. I resigned from a very global role due to medical problems due to pregnancy.

Are companies secretly discriminating mums?

CountryLovingGirl Wed 27-Jan-16 12:34:04

Do you tell them, at interview or on the application, that you are a mum to a young child?

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jan-16 12:37:52

I don't think that there are that many jobs that allow home working etc that you are looking for.
Who will be looking after the child whilst you work?
I do work from home but my children still go to after school club, ho,I day club etc. I work 3o hours per week and do not have the children around during those 30 hours so still pay for childcare.
I think you need to review your options unfortunately.

CountryLovingGirl Wed 27-Jan-16 12:44:14

Would you not fancy a career change at this point? Something family friendly? Or, can you afford to stay at home until your little one is at school?

uberconscious Wed 27-Jan-16 12:46:24

I am clear about being a parent / young family and have had hiring managers adjust their brief in return for the experience I can bring to the company. They have allowed working from home but never make an offer in writing after giving feedback I'm selected. These are sort of senior roles where most people have families at this level / age.

My husband was going to come hime at lunchtimes to allow me to work and also I would have to wake at 5am and work late from home as we cannot pay for childcare. No disposable income. I really want to work. Frustrated.

FemaleDilbert Wed 27-Jan-16 12:52:45

I think companies will be reticent as you aren't working standard business hours I.e 9-5 and perhaps need you during this time. Sadly most professional jobs tend to expect this.

Can you go freelance/self employed? That was the only way I managed to work with two preschoolers? Then I could set my own hours.

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jan-16 12:54:35

I think it's your restricted availability that is putting companies off. Having an employee that works at five am, lunchtime etc may not work for many businesses.
If you are applying for senior level roles I am confused as to why that level of role does not pay enough for childcare to be afforded.

OllyBJolly Wed 27-Jan-16 12:55:27

I think you are being a bit unrealistic. Firstly in expecting there to be many jobs that fit your very specific lifestyle and secondly in thinking that home working is compatible with childcare. I worked from home for several years (salary 60k+) and still had my kids go to a childminder before and after school. How could you possibly fulfil the responsibilities of a senior role while looking after children?

Home working is not yet that widespread and tends to happen on a case by case basis by people who establish themselves in a company, earn their credibility, and then put forward a case as to how working from home will benefit the business. Very few senior - or even middle - level jobs are advertised as work from home, and if there are, they will be hotly contested.

On top of this, the job market is fierce. You can't get disheartened early on - and you are early on. Be clear and realistic about what you want, and then work out the plan to make it happen.

ChessieFL Wed 27-Jan-16 12:56:14

I think most companies are happy to allow home working on a flexible basis (where role permits obv) but won't want to commit to it on a formal basis. They may be concerned that you won't be flexible enough to attend training or meetings etc. I can work at home but I am expected to change days or give up a home working day if I'm needed in the office.

museumum Wed 27-Jan-16 12:57:39

Most jobs working from home or flexibly go to existing employees I'm afraid.
If you are applying for rofessional jobs then there must be a way to afford childcare. Have you looked at ft hours over 3/4 days?

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jan-16 12:58:41

Just to add I work in HR and have hired thousands of people and I would not agree to the shift pattern you suggest.
Hiring managers may be adjusting their requirements because they are impressed with you, but none of those conversations are translating to actual work .

nulgirl Wed 27-Jan-16 13:03:47

I think you are being completely unrealistic. Why would someone employ someone with such a restrictive working pattern (WFH, early mornings and afternoons ) when there will be other candidates who don't have these crazy restrictions

If you are looking for a professional role then you should be able to pay for childcare. It is necessary evil to pay childcare and is what most working parents have to do. When my kids were both pre-schoolers, our childcare bill was more than our mortgage each month.

If you came into an interview with me requesting that working pattern I would try hard not to smirk but would instantly write you off as a serious candidate (and we'd probably have a laugh about it as soon as you left the room)

eyebrowse Wed 27-Jan-16 13:06:37

I don't think you can do good quality work (or good quality parenting if you are working in the house with preschool children so even to work at home you would need childcare.

uberconscious Wed 27-Jan-16 13:48:39

So I was not very clear before what I meant by my working hours is that in addition to standard working hours, I am willing to log in at early mornings for example at 5am to read global emails for exampole from the US which came in overnight and also continue staying logged on after normal working day has ended to cover Asia Pac regions because I am conscious that I may not be able to work as efficiently between the hours of 9-5 as I would without a child to look after (meals / nappies etc) which in my mind offsets coffee breaks and lunch breaks.

Also I have a supportive partner who would come hime for lunch to tace DC out to the playground. This is what I have proposed to employers and they have accepted this. I have been the final candidate so actually my point is not that my arrangement has been an issue to managers but that companies have put jobs on hold for months with no feedback as to why the contract did not come through. Seems there are lots of angry eelings in the comments which has not helped at all. What I am asking in other words is what is happening in the job market from the inside? Whe are people not decent enough to communicate?

uberconscious Wed 27-Jan-16 13:51:26

Why don't hiring managers just explain the cause of the delay? Surely the job market has not changed so much that decency and common courtesy cannot exist?

uberconscious Wed 27-Jan-16 13:57:19

And yes I am deflated because I am human trying to do superhuman things. I admire the other mothers out there doing it but judging from the angry tones in some of the comments from posters I feel that perhaps it makes people lose their human self in the competitive workplace where they are also being super human and finding it tough and therefore lose any sense of compassion for others

nulgirl Wed 27-Jan-16 13:58:06

I am very surprised that anyone is considering employing you if you are in charge of children during working ours. That is an absolute no-no in everywhere I have worked (except if it is a one-off for child sickness) . I don't know how old your dc is/ are but you simply cannot be working properly whilst looking after kids and having your husband home for lunchtime is not enough. Do you really think that looking after a child is only changing nappies and feeding? Do you plan to shut your child in a room for the rest of the time?

With regard to the angry replies you have received. It may well be because we probably are working parents who have paid for childcare, take our jobs seriously and think that you are being unrealistic and giving other working parents a bad name.

wannaBe Wed 27-Jan-16 13:59:17

No decent employer would take you seriously if you want to work from home and look after a baby as well. It's just not possible to be productive while you have a baby, essentially, you want an employer to pay you to be a sahm.

Employers want to pay someone to do a job, not do a half-hearted job while looking after a baby.

It's one thing to do a job which involves working from home fitting around the children I.e. In school hours, but most employers would understand working from home to still not include the children being present.

You need to adjust your expectations. If you want a job working from home look to go freelance or self employed.

wannaBe Wed 27-Jan-16 14:04:54

Fwiw I expect the managers haven't said anything because they're not allowed to talk about your childcare arrangements as part of the interview. Afaik it's illegal to ask a candidate about their arrangements for childcare, but given that you've asked about the working hours it's fairly evident why you want to work those hours. So they have to nod and smile and then just reject accordingly.

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jan-16 14:13:18

You say that employers have accepted your explanations re your working day, but none of them have offered you a job so I would guess that actually your proposed arrangements do not suit them. They are not going to say outright to you that your proposal is unworkable, but not being offered a job in a year of looking must tell you something.
I don't see any angry comments on this thread, just people explaining to you why your proposals don't work for an employer.
Can you explain why even in a senior role you can't afford childcare?

mouldycheesefan Wed 27-Jan-16 14:15:15

I really can't see a toddler looking after themselves with the exception of meal and nappy breaks equivalent to coffee breaks. This statement shows that really you are deluding yourself as to the feasibility of your proposal.

titchy Wed 27-Jan-16 14:17:27

What wannabe said. No employer is going to say you were rejected from the job because of your caring responsibilities - that would be discriminatory. But your wants are ridiculous. You CANNOT work AND look after a child at the same time.

I don't see why you can't afford childcare tbh - most people manage to cover their costs even if on fairly modest salaries.

MargueriteA Wed 27-Jan-16 14:21:55

I don't see it as a matter of people losing their compassion.

But realistically, the hours you are suggesting that you work are really those of someone working for themselves, either on a freelance or consultancy basis.

It is a big ask for a new employer to go for an employee who will never really work in the office. It sounds as though you get down to the final candidates because you have the skills and the personality to match the job and undoubtedly they like you as a candidate - but if everyone is turning you down, then your suggested working hours are just not what an employer wants.

Tbh, even reading a few posts I'm not clear how you are suggesting you can put in 40 hours work(?) a week. Is this working while caring for a child? Or just early mornings and evenings?

Can I ask how old your child is? Working from home with a young child might be possible. Working from home with a 3yo is probably not. Maybe some of the potential employers have children themselves and so know how unworkable it is to suggest working while also going childcare?

With so many rejections, it sounds like time to rethink what might be possible on the job front. Part time? Freelance or consultancy? Or using a childminder for some childcare, which can often work out cheaper and more flexible?

MargueriteA Wed 27-Jan-16 14:27:04

Though I am confused, haven't you just chosen a nursery for your child?

RB68 Wed 27-Jan-16 14:28:31

Fundamentally you are trying to work whilst looking after a child - sorry but that DOES NOT WORK

I would suggest looking at an au pair or Mothers help that works during working hours and you have a separate office area where the child has no access.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now