How can mums find flexible jobs?
For new, or not-so-new mums who have left work, getting back on track and into the nine-to-five – or any job they’ve held for that matter – can be quite the task. From finding the motivation to allocating time, energy and resources, re-entering the work force means different things for every mum.
For employers, hiring a mum after a long hiatus isn’t always the most comprehensible of concepts either. “You’ve had a four-year break,” David Mackenzie Jones, founder and managing director of Mackenzie Jones Group told a mum friend who wanted to come back to work after having her child.
“My DNA hasn’t changed,” the then ex-lawyer responded. Mackenzie was convinced, and decided to use his years of experience in the Middle East to help talented mothers return to work by helping them find flexible opportunities. Then, Mums@Work was born.
“I had known David for nine years and, being a mum of two young boys myself alongside working in a very busy digital comms director role, I fully understood the importance of flexibility to be able to continue with your career after having children,” says Louise Karim, managing director at Mums@Work.
Karim and Mackenzie knew, however, that they would face some challenges while setting up. “We launched with a small team and budget, and had to be very creative to achieve our growth. I’m very pleased with where we currently stand, with a community of 70,000 women, over 3,000 trained and hundreds placed in new roles via Mums@Work. We’ve changed the way many businesses view flexible work and opened their eyes to the mass of talent that’s in the region, which had unfortunately previously remained untapped,” adds Karim.
The comms professional and her partner have managed to consistently support mothers, connecting them with employers who began to embrace the changes that were taking over the market upon realising how invested the mums had become into making ends meet with hiring managers and business owners.
Mums@Work advises mums to up-skill for an easy re-integration into the workforce. “Make sure you’re up to speed with your skills. This can mean technical ones from your industry or computing packages and social media. There are lots of options both on and offline to help you get back up to speed, in addition to signing up to industry news,” explains Karim.
The Mums@Work team and their expert partners hold regular events for mums, which also help them network – another important factor to keep in mind.
“Relationships are everything, especially in this region. If you get this right and connect with the most relevant people, it will take you a long way into your job search. Step out of your comfort zone by attending events. You can also use digital channels such as LinkedIn, becoming a thought leader by sharing or creating content can really lift your profile when it comes to your field,” she adds.
Karim also advises mums to consider “returnships”. Sound appealing? It’s a concept that Mums@Work brought to the region in 2017, consisting of a 12-week strategic project set within a business for someone who has been away for a long time, with the possibility of landing a permanent role after – full adaptation goals achieved here.
“As expats in the region, it’s difficult to be without family and your support network becomes ever more important, be it in your career or personal life. Having communities of like-minded people can be a great resource for all, especially mothers.”
Article written by Time Out Dubai