Monday, November 24, 2014

New Work Arrangements: Making Adjustments

As some as you know, I left public accounting in May of this year to take a step into the private accounting world. My goal was to allow myself more time with my kids, and to get home at a reasonable time. The company I decided to work for is a large public company headquartered in my area, and I was excited for the opportunity to be a part of their team.

After much discussion I had a separate meeting to discuss my desired hours and the need to be present at home with my children. I even went into detail on my sons medical condition and his recent hospitalization, weekly therapy appointments, monthly doctor visits, and quarterly cardiology appointments. When everyone agreed it would be a great fit, I was thrilled.

The next 3 months were very difficult for me. Not only was I a new employee trying to learn the systems and gain efficiencies, I realized the work environment was very different than the 37.5 hour work weeks I was communicated about in my offer package. My group worked through lunch arrived well before me, and still were in the office at 8:30pm after I left. They worked hard, and they were great at what they did, but this environment left me more stressed than I was in public accounting, and I became very depressed about my working situation.

I'm very glad that I took the step and confronted my management on the reality of the role versus what was initially communicated to me during my hiring process. I think this is the step a lot of working mothers are afraid to do. I wanted to do it all, I wanted to be successful at work and at home, and I didn't want to confront management to let them know I couldn't do it. But I just kept seeing my children's faces, asleep tucked into bed, fed, showered and sleeping peacefully by the time I got home (thanks to my super supporting husband), and I knew this wasn't what I wanted out of my life. I needed more balance.

Now, the confrontation did not go as planned, and I was told things that were hurtful and disrespectful not just as a female in the workplace, but as a mother as well. But that's okay... I'm a mom first, and no matter what was said to me, it just solidified the decision to move on with my life.

Thankfully after conversations with my old Firm, I was hired back into an extremely flexible position. And it works! I feel horrible for abandoning my department and then silly for making a switch back so quickly but I'm so glad I was able to find something that works for me and my family. My schedule fluctuates during the year, but outside of peak season (peak season being January through April) I work 3 days a week, with goals set for me each month. Goals that are attainable and manageable, and it feels great!

Things I learned from this experience...
It's okay to not be able to handle it all. Just because someone chooses to work out of the home, doesn't mean they have to keep up with the persona that they can multitask, take care of sick children, be on 5 conference calls, and prepare 5 reports, all while saving the world. It's OK to not give up, but move on. Finding balance is not something that can be done in every situation that is given to you. It takes adjustments, every day.

Are there times that I still feel like I couldn't do "it"...that I couldn't be a full time "working mother" and do it all? Yes, but then I remind myself I AM doing it all....just in my own way, and that's good enough for me. The thing is we ALL do it all, every day. We manage, whether we stay at home with our children, or work the 80+ hour work weeks, we still love our children with all of our hearts, and that's what my goal will always be.


No comments:

Blog Design by Caked Designs