I am so excited to have joined the DaddyJobs.co.uk team. I have a long and personal interest in promoting flexible working and I think the website has re-launched at just the right time.
Before I get into why I think DaddyJobs.co.uk has re-launched at the perfect time, allow me to introduce myself and explain why I am so interested in flexible working. It’s a long and personal story, but I’ll give you the highlights.
My Flexible Working Story
Way back in 2011 I was your typical, full-time working dad. My wife and I had the one young daughter at the time called Helen (our second daughter, Izzy, arrived a year later).
My employer gave me a certain degree of flexibility, but I didn’t feel I could properly balance work and family. Things came to a head when I was told it had been noticed I had missed a few meetings that had been put in my diary when I would typically be on the nursery run (either very first thing in the morning or very late in the afternoon).
I worked in a department of 80 people yet I could count the married people on the fingers of one hand and even fewer had children. My face didn’t fit any longer, so I suggested to my wife that I leave full-time work, reduce Helen’s nursery hours and concentrate on looking after our daughter and running the family home.
When I raised this with Mrs Adams, it didn’t get the warmest reception. We had a huge row in Pizza Express in central Glasgow. After a short while she came round to the idea and we haven’t looked back.
I initially took a part-time job with a local charity a few rungs down the career ladder. When Helen started school, I needed even greater flexibility so even that job became unviable.
This is where my career path, until this point in a terminal, downward spiral, took an interesting turn. For a few years I had been writing a blog called Dadbloguk.com. It followed my journey as a man who ran the household and “held the babies.”
I was now a stay at home dad with no income, but I did have a well-established blog. I wanted to contribute financially to the family and so the natural thing to do was to try and make money from Dadbloguk.com and so that’s what I did.
Fast forward to 2020 and blogging has taken me everywhere from Canada to Australia and I’ve interviewed Hollywood greats including Michael Douglas and Steve Carell. I won Best Dad Blog at the 2019 Online Influence Awards and Dadbloguk sits at No1 on the Vuelio Top UK Daddy Blogger list.
A real highlight happened just a few weeks ago when I was appointed a LinkedIn Changemaker. I am one of seven people LinkedIn has chosen to promote change in the modern workplace. Recognising the issues I had in the past, I am campaigning to make flexible working more widely available to mums, dads and carers.
I don’t tell you any of this to boast, but to make a point. Working for myself is hard, very hard. It would be much easier to have an employer and everything that comes with it: Sick pay, holiday pay, employer pension contributions and so on.
Instead I have withdrawn from the workforce. The skills and experience I have, I am keeping to myself by working for my own company and fitting my work around my family commitments. My skills and experience have not been available to an employer for years because I could not get the flexibility I felt I needed to balance work and family.
Flexible Working Is For Women And Men
The other point I’d make is that I am both a man and Generation X. When most people think of flexible working, they associate it with mums or women with caring responsibilities.
As for being Gen X, I stand out for leaving the workforce. It’s not unheard of for men of my age to leave a job because of a lack of flexibility, but it is rare. It’s a different picture with younger men.
Younger guys will think nothing of leaving a job if they can’t balance work and family. According to the DaddiLife Millennial Dad at Work report, a third of Millennial men left their job within a year of becoming a father because it didn’t offer the flexibility they wanted, while a further third were actively looking for a new job.
That is the great thing about DaddyJobs.co.uk. There is increasing demand from men for flexible working. It is meeting the needs of men who actively want to balance work and family life.
The Impact of COVID-19
I’ve somehow got this far without mentioning the seismic impact of COVID-19! Over recent months huge numbers of men have been working from home.
The signs are that flexible, remote working could be here to stay for two reasons. Firstly, many employers simply cannot have all their employees back in the workplace because of social distancing guidelines. Secondly, everyone’s got used to working from home and very few people want to go back to the office full time.
I think DaddyJobs.co.uk has re-launched at just the right time to capitalise on this. Men increasingly want flexible working and COVID-19 has massively shifted a whole chunk of the workforce in that direction.
In the months to come I look forward to exploring the various issues men face when wanting to work flexibly. I hope to encourage more reluctant men to accept that flexible working is ideal for them and their families.
Finally and most importantly, I wish you the very best with your job hunt.