For some parents it’s merely logistics and for others it’s yet another life-changing decision which will have a dramatic impact on family life both financially and emotionally. Add to that a whole host of other worries – bills, feelings of guilt towards a partner who is perhaps working full-time and the additional money pressures of surviving on one salary – and your mind and blood-pressure are racing before you’ve even started re-evaluating your career plans.Some people are lucky enough to work for an employer who sings from the same hymn sheet and is prepared to give them the space and flexibility they need upon returning to the workplace after maternity or paternity leave, and indeed as they pursue their career. For others, it’s not that straightforward. Perhaps you work in a stressful or high-pressured environment? Maybe your job is dangerous or involves a lot of international travel taking you away from your young family? Whatever the reason, some parents can find the prospect of juggling a career and raising children a huge burden fraught with anxiety. As a mum of two myself, I’ve been there and I know how stressful this time can be, but I also believe that everyone is entitled to pursue rewarding career opportunities regardless of whether they have children or not. I also believe that they shouldn’t feel guilty about wanting a career and that there are many different ways to obtain greater flexibility at work. For many of us, it’s about finding the right balance between work and spending time with your family. If you have worries that your current role simply won’t give you that balance, then trust your instincts because you are probably right. For some it simply means accepting that fact and making plans to accommodate it. Or you begin making empowering changes in your life which allow you to create your own work-life balance. Meeting with your employer to discuss flexible hours, a reduced part-time role or a change in role entirely is a possibility. You need to know where you stand and you need the facts now. Once you have this information you’ll have a clearer picture of how this might (or might not) work for you. It’s important at this stage to remember you are not alone; there are many other families out there in exactly the same boat as you and I’m a firm believer in “where there is a will there is a way”. Some people find speaking to their employer about flexible working very difficult and for good reason. It’s no secret that many employers may not be receptive to the idea, or they may agree grudgingly which can cause problems later down the line if they change their mind and it begins to affect your working environment, your career opportunities and how you are treated by your peers day to day. Read on to find out how to go about setting up a franchise that will give you more time with family.
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