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AIBU to think that flexible, family-friendly jobs do not exist.

(313 Posts)
MothersRuinart Sat 25-Feb-17 00:13:44

A job where you don't get penalised for having to stay home with a sick child, either by having to use annual leave or take unpaid leave. A job where you can leave earlier or start later at a short notice and be able to work up the lost hours another time. A job that would allow you to work from home regularly and/or often and/or at short notice. A company or a work environment that doesn't resent you for having to miss workdays due to childcare issues. Where you're not overlooked for a promotion because you're a parent.

I've never worked for a company like that, neither have any of my friends as far as I know. Tbf, most problems would be solved if more companies allowed their staff to work from home more often or were more flexible with their hours.

I understand that there are jobs where flexibility is not an option but I think most jobs could be much more flexible than they are now.

MiddleClassProblem Sat 25-Feb-17 00:15:49

Being a writer? An artist?

Pinksink Sat 25-Feb-17 00:20:50

I set up my own publishing business. I write and sell my own publication. I always do school run, go to plays am there for kids etc but often work v late into evening (unless I've just stumbled home from drunken Friday night out - thank god for autocorrect here...

MothersRuinart Sat 25-Feb-17 00:21:20

I have thought about writing jobs, they must be quite flexible, like content-writing kind of thing. Or maybe even technical writer. Shouldn't matter where you're writing as long as the result is on time and good quality. But never seen those jobs advertised.

SingingSands Sat 25-Feb-17 00:25:28

My job is not far off that, I'm a secretary in a law firm.

I don't ever work from home though, it wouldn't really be do-able for me, although it can be done with some advance planning.

But most of the things you mention come with years of service, building up trust and respect. I've been with my firm for 15 years and I've earned those perks, I didn't start off with them on day one!

I'm a civil servant, my particular job is pretty much like that - I work in software development which I think can lend itself well to flexible and/or part time working. Mind you, we get paid a lot less than those with the same skills in the private sector, but for me it's worth it for the family friendliness - and the knowledge that I'm doing something that is inherently worthwhile.

PuddleJumper01 Sat 25-Feb-17 00:27:01

working in a local school is good (not as a teacher, but things like receptionist or TA) because their holidays fit with local school holidays.

There are decent employers out there.

But it's give-n-take.

I make SURE as an employee I don't ask for too much... there are things I could claim for that I don't (because it would take more time to fill in the claim forms for 35p than it would be to pay in the cheque). So if I ever have to go in and ask for time off, I know there's a whole back story of "I did this and didn't claim for it" that I could throw at them!

IHeartKingThistle Sat 25-Feb-17 00:34:35

I'm a teacher but not in a school. It's pretty flexible and very family friendly. But I am being paid peanuts compared to what I would be getting in a school. Peanuts, I tell you. But hey, swings and roundabouts.

MiddleClassProblem Sat 25-Feb-17 00:37:23

I nearly did a longcroft cattery franchise which would have been fairly flexible although less easy to go on hol than running an independent.

KenAdams Sat 25-Feb-17 00:38:34

Mine is. It's a branch of the public sector but I earn half of what I would in the private sector. It's worth every penny to be able to pick DD up from school and be home with her when she's sick.

ExplodedCloud Sat 25-Feb-17 00:39:29

Like Kissing I have a job that's seen me through the little kid years but it's public sector and paid half of my private sector equivalent.

ExplodedCloud Sat 25-Feb-17 00:45:02

That's 200k lost to pt and potentially 600k if I'd maximised my earnings over 10 years shock

ceeveebee Sat 25-Feb-17 00:47:43

My job is exactly as you describe. I work for a very progressive digital business. And I get paid very well for it (6 figures for 80% week).

highinthesky Sat 25-Feb-17 00:54:17

Avon? Tupperware?

Ann Summers?

Pollyanna9 Sat 25-Feb-17 00:55:35

I think you're right OP and that this type of flexible working is probably only available in about 5% of companies (my raw estimation). Some do 'agile' working / flexible working and that is standard in their business - that's probably 3% of organisations. There are others who often do do it but it's down to individual managers and then often a lot to do with the organisation itself and how it's allowed it's staff to work historically so for example local authorities, councils, NHS. Where it's not shift work you can often build in quite a lot of flexibility just on the nod from the manager even though it's not a strict formal policy.

I recall MANY times where I've received 'the look' from a manager when I'd have to race out the door to a really poorly child and you're made to feel like crap just for responding in the way that a proper caring parent should respond - you can't win that's for sure.

Luckily in the role I do which is a type of specialist management role I get a laptop with remote access so for things like taking my car for service next week I've got permission to do a working from home day - and that's really helpful.

I really hate this dogged adherence to 9-5, 9-5, when my experience is that work expands to fill the time available for its completion - I reckon many people if they worked an hour shorter working day would simply get the same amount of work done in the same time. I also cannot abide sitting in traffic repeatedly every day so I choose to get up at 5.15am, I'm at my desk by 7 and I leave by 3/3.30. That works for me and I do feel very lucky to have that facility.

wizzywig Sat 25-Feb-17 00:55:38

Being self enployed

MrsApplepants Sat 25-Feb-17 01:09:52

I negotiated flexible start and finish times, a day a week from home and made sure that the culture was such that child related emergencies can be dealt with without any issues. I was clear on these requirements, without which I would not accept their job offer. My terms were readily accepted and haven't been a problem in my current or previous roles. My DH has done the same. However we are both in senior roles, with a smaller candidate pool so I appreciate this isn't possible for all. However, we are almost always contactable and work in excess of our contracted hours, so the businesses we work for are getting their side of the deal too.

nippey Sat 25-Feb-17 05:51:59

I've always worked for charities and they usually have family friendly policies and a good approach to flexible working.

I've negotiated shorter hours in my current role but have to work for an hour each evening after bedtime to compensate. Means I get to do nursery drop off and pick ups though.

If my DD is sick, I can work extra hours to make up the time, take leave or have it as unpaid days. I'm very lucky but I work really hard for them as I'm so grateful!

scaredofthecity Sat 25-Feb-17 06:23:22

I know this might surprise but I'm a theatre nurse and although my son is only 2, so far it's been very family friendly. Longer days means more time off, I can work exactly the days that I want and if I need to stay late and can't then 9/10 times the late staff can cover me. Plus discounted nursery fees and parental leave allowance. I think it helps that the speciality I work in is chronically understaffed so they do what they can to keep us happy as the alternative is agency staff £££££.
OK there's no working from home but I don't have the focus and self motivation for that anyway!

starsinyourpies Sat 25-Feb-17 06:37:58

Yes I have this (big corporate, very good salary). Basically because my boss is a human being and I've done my research on what the policies actually are, then used them.

BoredOnMatLeave Sat 25-Feb-17 06:40:58

My job is like this. I'm a finance manager. It's a combination of my boss having young children himself so understanding and just the way the company is run, everyone can work from home if they need to as long as the work is done by the end of the day.

Probably pure luck that I found the job before DD came along though, I appreciate it must be so hard for other working parents.

Micycle Sat 25-Feb-17 06:42:42

Civil service. From my experience the MOD are excellent for this. Friend works for the NHS and they've been bloody lovely to her.

Then again, equally, a private company I worked for were even more accommodating! People weren't penalised for having sick kids, childcare arrangements falling through, etc. They very much had the view that your family comes before your job.

I think they DO exist, but you are lucky to find one that is.

Enko Sat 25-Feb-17 06:44:02

I work in a supermarket and they have been incredibility flexible when I have had sick children. DS was very sick last year with a kidney issue and not once did they moan when I had to stay home to watch him. they moved shifts as needed for me and all I ever got was questions as to how he was. thankfully he is now fully recovered after an operation, I can pay back in kind when other people have issue with their children.

Thethingswedoforlove Sat 25-Feb-17 06:47:03

Public sector here. My job is exactly as you describe. And interesting and not badly paid either. I work an 80% week in an unusual way to maximise time with my school aged children. Including summer holidays off unpaid.

heron98 Sat 25-Feb-17 06:51:47

I work in a university. I don't have kids but my colleagues who do get loads of perks - dictating what hours they work, leaving early etc, getting paid leave to look after them when they're ill.

It's actually very unfair on those of us who don't have children but that's another thread...

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