Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Transitions and Compromises..

Back in September when things were getting a bit too demented with school entry exams, a loss of a sense of control over my career, and an abiding sense of Working Mothers guilt, I made some promises, to myself, and I hinted at them in my Twitter Tribes blog

I didn't really dare voice them here, but this is what I decided to do:

Find time to spend with the girls so they get the best out of life and school.

Find a job that I would enjoy doing and would therefore make me a better (read nicer...) person, even if that meant leaving my long term employer.

Free myself up to do more writing and find some ways of making myself, well, a little less 'corporate'.

I had a sense that Social Media, new technology and even blogging might help in all three, and inspired by such fabulous people as Margie Clayman (@MargieClayman) Paula Thornton (@Rotkapchen) Kelly Craft (@KRCraft) and Daria (@Mominmanagement) have made some changes.....

Taking a deep breath, I applied for and got a new role in my company - in Technology Research, where I get to do what I have been doing in my own time for the last six months anyway - looking at Social Media, and mobility and its implications for the particular enterprise I work for. This is the chance to do a job I know I will really enjoy, and one that will free me up to spend more time at home.

The transition is in full swing, from old job to new job, from traditional office supervisory to home based virtual team member, I am getting to use every piece of technology you can imagine to make it happen - Mobility, telepresence, unified communications, corporate social media - Our team get to try them all out first, so I'm having a ball!

And the compromises?

Well, I have baulked at changing my Linkedin profile because the role seems so at odds with a lot of what I have been doing for the last few years - moving from Manager to Analyst is a change in brand... But that is to the outside world and I need to be comfortable in my own skin

Membership of a virtual team with a six hour time span means that we have all had to shift our days to get a better overlap.

But still this new job helps me keep my promises...

I can have breakfast with the girls and take them to school
If I am working from home I can pick them up too, or at least be right here when my workday ends. They have signed up for activities that they wanted to do but I was always too busy to take them to.

I have better organised myself to spend time with them on their school work, so things are (only slightly) less demented.

I am enjoying my work,which is making me a little less cranky, the benefit of which is not to be underestimated ;-)

The only thing is that I have been too busy in the midst of the transitions to work on that last promise.. But that is next, and @NaomiTimperley is guiding me there...

So, stay tuned, lets share this new experience and experiment in Technology and together we can learn about a new way of life for Demented Working Mums...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


  1. great blog post and fab that you can spend a bit more time with the girls - i'm sure they are loving it!

  2. What a great way to start my day - but you deserve all of the credit, my friend.

    Congratulations :)

  3. That is amazing. I am so excited for you that this opportunity was available AND that you went for it! I can completely understand the value of liking your job and therefore being less "cranky". I am personally struggling with that right now - I just haven't figured out what I would do instead that would be better and still give me the flexibility to be home as much. Hmmm, you have inspired ME! :)

    Thank you very much for this. I was just wondering if the time I've been spending on blogging and twitter is worth it, or have I gotten distracted from other things I should be putting that energy toward instead (like finding a new job). I really appreciate the shout out and encouragement you provided to me with this post.

    Here's to working mom's guilt every where! :)

  4. Throw off the shackles. We have been brainwashed into thinking that manager is socially more significant. Being a manager is part of the 'work as machine', linear life facade.

    It's all part of the revolution. Classic management models don't scale to increasing levels of complexity.

    Embrace the 'real' you!

  5. Thanks for all this - I am overwhelmed - all of you have already helped so much.
    Naomi - the dinner at the Fat Loaf last summer sowed the seed.
    Margie - you have helped me map out a way forward for how to manage the Social side of things - now the hard work begins...
    Daria - the way you manage your blog is inspirational - wish I had a 10th of your energy to do all that and to be a 'Mom in Management'
    Paula - You have helped me see a new order emerging - my own corporation can see the change coming but in many areas is flummoxed in how to deal with it. Working life and career progression will be completely transformed, portfolio careers will become reality. I am grateful to my new boss for seeing that we need to have this flexibility,but then that is her job too....

  6. Here's how demented I am -- I'm reading this post as if for the first time and see I've already commented. And this isn't the first time this has happened.

    Double the pleasure. This time around my focus is decidedly different. You said, "a loss of a sense of control over my career". While in my head I know we don't really control any of it, I so identified with the statement that it struck me like a symptom you might see listed to warn others of a raging epidemic.

    As I sit here being soothed by the colorful background of your blog with flashbacks to the late 60's and 70's, color me jealous. You have what I've missed for most of my career (with a few notable exceptions) -- a boss that has a vision for their people. Enjoy your adventure a little extra for us who follow along vicariously.

  7. Oh, Paula, I have been so neglectful of my blog. Thanks so much for your comment, which I have only this moment seen. My boss is indeed a star. Working with her is going from better to better.

    I am angry again - but not with her - and you can see it in my next post. I am clearly still resentful of the status quo... promise to blog on more cheery topics shortly ....