My Working Mom Win

So I have not sat down to write a blog for a while now because I really didn’t have anything I wanted to talk about but now I do. A lot has changed in the few weeks and I’ve just been feeling by what I have experienced this week.

I started a new job at the beginning of this month that allows me to work remotely at home or wherever I want to really. Everyone who works for the company works from home and we are scattered across South Africa and the USA.

When I saw the job being advertised I really couldn’t believe it was true because I had always imagined anyone who worked remotely was freelancing or running there own business. I never thought I’d ever be employed full time and be able to work from home.

There are two reasons why I applied for the job, one being I wanted to see if it was real and two I really wanted a change in my everyday routine that allows me to spend more time with my children. Well turns out the opportunity is real and I got the job. Most people asked If I was sure this was not scam and I would smile sheepishly and say of course it’s not! I had done enough research on the company to know it exists and didn’t find any negative information so I was comfortable with decision to accept the offer in the end.

Fast forward to my second week on the job and I have been able to reap the benefits that working remotely offers. My son fell ill at school and was put in the sick bed so I had to go pick him up. I was at home working and I didn’t feel the anxiety I would have felt if I was working at my old job to have to drop everything and leave. I simply got into my car and drove to school.

As I was driving I was thinking to myself that the drive would have taken me at least 40 minutes if I was at my previous job. That would have been 40 minutes to the school, 15 minutes to the house from school and because I would have wanted to go back to work to finish the days tasks it would have been 40 minutes back to work and then again in the evening back home. Err that’s a ridiculous amount of time spent on the road not doing anything productive. I was able to get me son and get back to work in 30 minutes. Later that afternoon I was able to take him to the doctor without any worries about my work falling behind too much. Playing catch-up at work can be exhausting.

The next day I kept my son at home as able to look after him and give him medication and make sure he gets better while I was getting work done. Fortunately we have a full time helper who was present so when I was at my desk she was around. This would have needed to be a leave day at my previous job. All in the same day my daughter’s teacher sends a text saying she is not feeling well and might be sick. I got into my car picked her up from class and we went straight to the doctor. I kept them both at home the following day and was just happy to be able to be around for them when they needed it most.

My heart is full. I have felt so much at ease during this time and am grateful I won’t have to experience the kind of anxiety I have experienced in the past. Two kids falling ill and me having to miss work or forcing myself to be at work would have sent me into frenzy. The work life balancing act falls apart at times like this.

Apart from the flexibility working from home offers there are other benefits. Less travel for one, I don’t miss Joburg peak traffic. Cost saving! I will be spending less money on petrol and I’ve just remembered that I can save more on my car insurance too. I’m calling them first thing in the morning. I’ll be spending less on lunch as well. No more Uber eats and Woolies I go to my fridge and whip up a quick lunch. I’m eating breakfast now, I never used to.

It’s just been two weeks but I already feel like its been life changing. My company also encourages we block off time in our calendars to spend time with our families or do something we are interested in that brings us joy. Like, where have you?

What are your thoughts on remote does it work for you or do you see it working for you if got the opportunity? Let me know.

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Career Anxiety

Here’s the thing, you cannot plan your life and have it turn out exactly how you had dreamt about it and that can be rather disappointing. My life today is not how I had imagined it almost 10years ago when I was completing high school.

I don’t have the house and car I’d imagined and certainly not the job I dreamt I would have by now. I’m still hustling having bought a small place earlier this year and a car I at least like to drive that is in my price range.

In my six year working life I would like to believe I’ve done well and excelled having started as an intern and now managing a small team of four, I think I’m doing ok at this life thing. It may not be the dream job but it’s a start. However six years on I’m finding myself questioning a lot about whether or not this is really what I want to do. Am I in the right industry? How will I continue to grow as a young black female in this very white and very male environment? How will I continue to make myself valuable? These are just some of the questions I ask.

I’m constantly thinking about what my next big achievement in my career is going to be and trying to plan for this and I have to be honest I don’t know how I’m going to move on from where I am and it’s actually scary. Career anxiety! Is there even such a thing? I guess so.

I have a degree and would like to further my studies and pursue a post-grad education but studying in South Africa is rather expensive and it is an expense I simply cannot afford to take on at the moment. I try and focus on ideas that will propel me in establishing my own business however the idea of starting a business without funding is intimidating. I read a lot about how other woman manage and start there own businesses and find inspiration in learning about there success stories. A lot of your women are doing very amazing things in this country and there is no shortage of inspiration.

I guess it’s really about patience while seeking out all those things and simply watching how the story develops at whatever pace without feeling that there is a rush to be at a certain position at a particular time. It’s a long journey ahead. One just needs to keep at it, work hard and flourish.