I had made the decision not to return to work after having children even before I got pregnant with my first child. It was a personal choice because I couldn’t bear the thought of missing out on anything as my children grew up. As it turned out this was easier said than done. I had my first child in 2014 and my partner and I moved out of London in order to afford me not going back to work. That was hard for both of us as we had family, friends and a life there. None the less it was the practical option. My next challenge as a new mum was one I never saw coming. I was bored.
I had my first job at 14 waitressing in a local pub at the weekends and I worked part time from that point on throughout my education, including University. Since being a ‘grown-up’ I’ve worked abroad, I’ve worked in small offices, global head offices and even on Super Yachts. I had always worked! When I discovered I was pregnant I thought not working and cuddling a baby all day would be the dream. I had no idea that I would miss working.
So my bundle of joy arrived and I set about my new job, which was the hardest job I have EVER had. I loved my son (still do most days!), marvelled at his cuteness and all the milestones he reached, but I missed my independence and the stimulation of working. I felt pretty down about it. So, I started back to work when my son was 9 months old. I found the perfect job role working evenings at the nearby hospital on a reception desk. It was ideal - my partner came home from work at 4.30pm and I went to work for 3 hours every week night. At the end of the shift everything was complete, no handovers, no work sharing and no stress. More importantly no childcare bills!
After my daughter arrived two years later, I was already starting to think about where I might go next. I wanted more of a challenge and to start making a plan for eventually working full time again. However, as I had originally not planned to work, I had no clue how to do that and look after my children. Childcare is expensive and we couldn’t afford it. Enter ZiaBia!
I first worked with Vicky back in 2007. Vicky worked at the agency managing the first Global Sales conference of the FMCG where I was a PA. It was a fantastic experience and we kept in touch over the years. Just before I left to have my son, I met Vicky and Debbie and heard all about their new business. In 2016 I decided to see if they used freelance staff and to my delight they said yes. A few months later I started doing ad hoc freelance work for them. As a PA, I had organised many conferences and meetings in the corporate world and enjoyed that part of my role the most.
My new ‘side hustle’ worked out so well. I worked from home and they accommodated my situation to allow me to set out on my next journey. In March 2018 I joined ZiaBia as a permanent employee working 15 hours a week. Throughout the whole process Vicky and Debbie kept my family priorities in mind. They are always flexible and considerate about finding a way to work that benefits all of us. I started working one full day a week and spread my other hours out over the evenings and weekends.
Since starting at ZiaBia I have always felt supported, even when I have needed to change my working hours or days. Vicky and Debbie fully appreciate my priorities and that makes balancing my job as a parent with working much easier. I feel valued and in turn I work hard. Being present for my children means I can be dedicated to my working hours without feeling distracted. This makes me a loyal employee, fully invested in ZiaBia, which is a win win situation. I feel very lucky to have found myself in this position.