Management Consultancy and Motherhood
I have enjoyed a varied and rewarding career as a management consultant and prior to starting our family, I had many concerns, such as:
- Would I be able to get back into the ‘swing’ of work?
- Would I be able to progress in my intended career path?
- Given the majority of childcare institutions have a specific last collection time, would I be seen as always trying to leave the office early?
- If I concentrate on my career, will I be leaving it too late to start a family?
These were just a few of my thoughts that passed through my mind pre- and post-having our daughter.
Since sharing the news that I was starting a family and becoming a parent, as well as returning to work, I have learnt that there is no reason why I cannot succeed as a management consultant, progress in my chosen career path and be a parent at the same time – whether this be part of a partnership or on my own. Based on my experience, I can offer the following tips to help you succeed at work as well has having a family without feeling the fear of returning to work:
- Be organised – plan your day/week in advance, know where you need to be and when.
- Time management – if you know you need to be somewhere at a certain time or to pick up your children from their place of childcare, manage your time to enable you to return on time. Late meeting? This shouldn’t be a problem with the amount of collaboration tools available in 2018! Request an online meeting, leave work that bit earlier, pick up your child and log into the meeting from home.
- Be flexible as a manager as well as an employee and colleague: be understanding of others’ situations; if you need to leave early, arrange to come in earlier, take less breaks, shorter lunches, log in if there are unfinished tasks from home once you have been able to organise your children; be willing to stay late on the odd occasion, whether this means asking someone on the rare occasion to collect your children from childcare or sharing the responsibility with your partner/ other care givers where appropriate.
- Know your limits – it can become easy to push the boundaries you have agreed with your organisation/client, ensuring you are not pushing these too far and are only requesting for understanding where completely necessary.
- Own your responsibilities – you will have responsibilities both at home and in the office, it is essential to be dealing with both, without one the other would not be possible.
- Remember you are their role model – if you show your children that you can have a family as well as aspirations which you follow, they are more likely to want to aim to achieve high, there is no reason why you cannot progress and look after your family.
Written by Harpreet Minhas,Senior Consuant at Piccadilly Group