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Fitting work in around the kids

Fitting work in around the kids

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Leaving the workforce permanently isn’t a feasible option for many working parents, but trying to balance work with raising young children can be a mammoth juggling act. Contracting is one of the alternatives a growing number of parents are using to achieve a practical and fulfilling work/life balance.

By working as a professional contractor, you are essentially your own boss, which means you can fit work into your schedule, or your child’s for that matter.

Debbie Randall recently completed a 6 month part-time Accounting contract in Auckland. As a Chartered Accountant with over eight years experience she was at a senior level in her career when she took a break to have her first child.

“After a year’s break I wanted to continue working, it’s good to keep yourself intellectually challenged and up to speed with your industry. But full-time permanent work is not an option, especially while I have a young daughter - I want to have time to spend with her.”

After researching her options, she came across Crackerjacks – specialists in professional contracting – and secured a part-time flexible contract with a private investment company. “It was pretty straight forward; I registered as a contractor on Crackerjacks and began the part-time contract a few weeks later.”

“It is a common dilemma a mother faces, trying to achieve the right balance between family and work. Obviously, your children are your priority, which can make it hard to hold down a permanent job, even if it is part-time. Having rigid hours, just doesn’t work. I was lucky to find a contract that let me do the hours to suit me as long as the work got done” says Debbie.

Contracting provides the ability to sustain a career while still having flexibility to work from home. Depending on your profession, contract work can be completed off-site; this is becoming increasingly common for IT, Accounting and HR contracts according to Antonia Haythornthwaite - HR Partner at Crackerjacks and Managing Director of Blue Dot Consulting.

Antonia explains that contracting is coming of age, as more parents use this as a viable option for returning to the workplace. “Companies tightened their belts on a whole in 2009. Unfortunately a lot of highly skilled people found themselves out of work, which is reflected by the unemployment rate which is currently 7.3%.”

“But companies now must recruit extra staff, after cutting numbers last year, which is great news for the contracting industry. As project work inevitably increases, more contracts are created, and these all come in different shapes and sizes, providing excellent flexible working options for contractors.”


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