Professional Parent to Parent Professional

August 26, 2015 by FlexPro

If you listen closely, you can hear the sound of class bells ringing, textbooks being dumped on the kitchen table, and the unmistakable hum of a school bus waiting for the kids at the stop.  With summer drawing to a close, the next nine months for working parents returns to the norm – a battle to balance their children’s schedules with a developing career.  No matter the career choice or family situation, fall always comes as a shock to the system.

The rigors of the routine bring enough scheduling headaches, forcing parents to schedule their lives around early-rising students, school departure, supervision after class, and any extracurricular activities that rule the evening.  And this only covers the basics for the kids, let alone the daily necessities for heads of the household.

So where does a career fit in to the back-to-school master plan?

Just a decade ago, there was no easy answer, or even a remotely plausible solution, to becoming a successful working parent.  Those chained to their desks at least 40 hours each week would find a way to make it work, but often at a high cost. For parents who wanted to maintain career status, hiring help during the week, stretching paper-thin, and sacrificing any and all free time became minimum expectations.

Fast-forward to an era where bringing in consultants has developed into commonplace and outside contractors fill the ranks between full-time employees.  The virtualization of the workplace has opened doors for those who are unable to commit to being in the same office five days a week.  Job-share arrangements and part-time roles on project teams have changed the game for working parents.

This week, we take a look at how consulting can help turn a professional parent back into an appealing option for potential employers.  It’s time to take back the balance as a working guardian, and here’s how consulting allows you to do just that:

Keep a More Limited Schedule

One of the largest benefits to the consulting world in any industry is the customizable nature of the work.  You are tasked providing expertise to a unique situation, which is not always in a full-time capacity.  Consulting within project management  allows you to tailor your schedule to the amount of work required at each stage of an assignment.  Imagine getting a few hours a day back to focus on prioritizing family activity, spending important moments with the kids, or simply not having to constantly worry about making sure everything is handled.

Workspace without Walls

Employment in the digital age means always being connected, whether you’d like to be or not.  But for consultants and other outside help, an open stream of communication adds the ability to accomplish your work from anywhere.  Getting the kids to class and answering emails before setting foot in the office has become common practice, but the advantage doesn’t end there.  When done with discipline, working from home can be both a productive way to keep up with office tasks and a method of staying close to duties in your personal life.  The work/life balance is true in the most literal sense when both can be accomplished from the same location.

Flexibility

Not to be forgotten is the fluidity required to be the best in the office while earning the “#1 Mom/Dad” title on the coffee mug.  Succinctly put: life happens.  Whether you’re facing issues with a child’s academic schedule or dealing with the continuous stream of extracurriculars, the daily schedule is rarely the same.  Take a page from the consulting playbook and make every minute count.  One moment, you need to be engaged in a weekly team meeting while a soccer practice is waiting in the next.  Making a move to a more adaptable job arrangement could make all the difference in how you handle either.

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