Recently we spoke to Christine, a mum of two primary-aged children. Christine has enjoyed a successful career as an administrator, working her whole career in London. She chatted to us about her experiences with recruitment agencies in London and why temping allows her to give both her family and her career the balance she needs.
Realising it’s about balance, not doing everything
When my children were very young, I accepted that my career was on hold. But it felt like it was unrelenting. I was a stay at home mum, which I loved and wouldn’t change, but I completely lost sight of who I was. It was like I didn’t have an identity beyond ‘mum’ anymore.
When the children started school, I knew I wanted to get back to my career. With my experience, I was able to walk back into a 9-5 full time London role. It was a big mistake! I did it but I was exhausted. I rarely saw the children during the week because of commuting times, I wasn’t very patient when I did see them, and the weekends went by in a haze of life admin. At work, I felt guilty and didn’t feel like I was giving 100%. School holidays were a nightmare! INSET days brought me out in hives! I would work hugely complicated processes so that I could attend sports day or class assemblies.
With no local family support (like many Londoners) it felt like a full time job to work out wraparound care, holiday care, and then it would cost me most of my salary! It just wasn’t working. Something had to change.
Temp work in London was my solution
I started off by getting in touch with several London recruitment agencies and asking about term-time only and school hour’s jobs. Finding these roles is, honestly, nearly impossible. There are, of course, school admin positions but these rarely come up and they pay poorly compared to what I can earn in City roles.
Fortunately, one of the recruitment agencies I had registered with was Love Success. I was bemoaning my difficulties to my consultant and she suggested I take a completely different approach. She suggested that instead of looking for this elusive mum-favourable role, I instead consider temping in London. I was a little concerned about job security and pay, but it turns out that those fears weren’t founded in reality.
I’ve now been doing temp work in London for 5 years. My eldest is off to secondary school in September and I’ve no intention to change just yet. During term time, I take projects that fit in with my energy levels. For example, during the lead up to Christmas, when there are lots of school demands, I won’t work at all. But during obscure weeks at less busy times of the year, I can commit fully to a role. I use school onsite wraparound care that I trust and can work a full day, as long as it’s not indefinitely. During holiday times, I take time to focus on the children and have time as a family, without them being in childcare all of the time.
Based on my experience, I really recommend doing temp work in London for mums or dads who can work in office support. It’s been a game-changer for me. I feel like myself again, I’m proud of my career and my family. Oh, and I’ve never been unable to find work when I want it!
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