Part-Time Customer Service: Leanne’s Story
What’s your story? “WHY” are you navigating the part-time jungle and “HOW” did you find your part-time job and “HOW” have you made your job fit your juggle?
Leanne has been a close friend since we met in a bootcamp fitness class 9 years ago! Her son’s name was the same as our oldest (of two kids at the time) but with a “d” on the end so we already had lots in common! 🙂 We each had one more kiddo and got to know each other better through playdates, outings, Leanne led workouts at the park while the kids played, spaghetti dinners at each others’ houses when our husbands worked late or were out-of-town, and Friday afternoon “coffee” (wink, wink) get togethers with a group of moms and kiddos (which have been become progressively harder to fit in with our kids playing hockey!). This has evolved into annual traditions with a group of families (camping, progressive dinner, Halloween party, Family Day long week-end trip etc.) and many laughs and special memories. I am so grateful for Leanne’s zest for life and how she shares her love of playing games, having fun, and laughing until your stomach and cheeks hurt, with me and my family. 🙂
Leanne is not only a special part of my “village” but also a mom who is navigating the part-time jungle.
In her own words, here is Leanne’s “WHY” and “HOW”:
What is Your “Why”?
Why do you work in customer service part-time and why do you work at the job that you have?
What does my job look like? I work a flexible schedule 20-30 hours per week in customer service, from a home office (in my pajamas) and twice a week I get myself out of the house to teach fitness classes (really, in just fancier pajamas).
Fortunately my husband’s career allows me to not have to work full-time (yay me) so I have always searched for job options that offer a healthy work-life balance. I am able to support my husband and family by contributing to the running of the household (I know, it’s so 1950’s of me!), but I really appreciate that I also get to do things like volunteer on a field trip or pick the kids up when they are sick (I could certainly do without the toilet-cleaning though). I think it is a hard choice sometimes, but we also had to consider the cost of child care as well as things like having to potentially hire a cleaner or use a meal-service – something would have to give if I was working full-time. For us this just works the best and I am grateful for it every day.
Why work at all? I tried the stay-at-home-mom thing for a while. Not for me. And while I still spend my days mostly at home (comfortably, in my pajamas) I still get to deal with customers throughout the day and really like that I am keeping myself relevant career-wise. As my children get older and I have more hours to give to this job, I have taken on more and feel like my contribution to the company is valued, and I get a lot of satisfaction from that.
What is Your “How”?
How did you find your part-time customer service job? How have you made working part-time fit with your juggle?
I have been working in a professional-capacity in Calgary for 15 years and have made 3 career changes in that time (of course, I did also take some time off in there to rear the small humans). Each and every subsequent position was due to relationships I had developed outside of the workplace. I feel like keeping myself open to meeting new people and having new experiences has opened many doors for me.
My latest job (now almost 4.5 year in), working part-time in customer service, was offered to me after attending a dinner party. (Honestly though, I think that 2nd glass of prosecco was what really brought out the best in me that night!) Don’t get me wrong though, I am not a slacker when it comes to work. I stand behind getting an education and working hard. I prove myself when I am at work but I think that is why I have been able to take advantage of some of my part-time options. Case and point, when I returned from my first mat-leave, I went back to a company I had worked with for 5 years. I wanted to reduce my hours from 40 down to 25 and the company was accommodating because I had proven, for 5 years, that I was worth keeping and would work hard for the hours I was there.
A WIN FOR EMPLOYERS
What’s in it for employers? I think moms are undervalued in the business world. Many mothers come with plenty of education and work experience, but are often over-looked because of gaps in their work history due to staying home until the children are of an age to be in school. In my experience, most of these women are willing to trade money and benefits for flexibility and reduced schedules. Work-from-home-options are also a great incentive. Companies wind up paying less salary, fewer benefits and less on office space. In return they get an experienced employee who, most likely, will be able to give more of themselves in a shorter amount of time because they value a flexible job and aren’t interested in long lunches and “coffee talk”. It just seems to be such a win-win, I don’t know why more companies aren’t utilizing this demographic.
Will the juggle ever stop? I hope not, I really wouldn’t know what to do with myself! And by all accounts, the kids don’t get any less busy so here we shall stay for a while, in the part-time jungle.
Thanks for sharing your story Leanne! 🙂
Please share your story! I would love to hear your “Why” and “How”. It’s easier to navigate the part-time jungle when you know you’re not alone.
It takes a village! Join “The Part-Time Jungle” community!
Check out The Part-Time Jungle Podcast – all about swinging motherhood and work!