Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Hurray for open-minded employers

Rome was not built in a day but there is change coming...
It’s a challenge for many of us TV mums and dads the world of trying to work out a work-life balance in an industry where if you say “no” there will be someone else saying “yes” (and not always as qualified and for less money) standing right behind you.  In an industry where your last "credit" defines you, it's going to be difficult to open minds up to the fact that 1, 2 or longer years out of 'broadcast' does not mean you were not good enough to get another gig.  It just means you grew up and took time out for either a family or maybe just a bit of a life.  After all, living on location 7/8 months of the year wears thin even for this globe-trotting Aussie.
With companies and government agencies offering dozens of internships to broadcast and media newbies there are very few forward thinking employers reaping the rewards from hiring highly-skilled and experienced production people for the same cost as someone with less experience.   
But things are changing. 
My friend is a very experienced Producer/Director with a lovely little 2 year girl old. She now lives in Australia.
She wrote in November:   
I'm loving your blog posts. Nice of you to share the journey. I'm still stressing out about the whole issue of work... I don't want to be away from my daughter full-time (she's 2 next month) but I'm SO pessimistic about getting hired with only part-time availability. From mid-Jan my daughter will be in daycare 8am-4pm Tue-Wed-Thu so I'm hoping I can find SOMETHING!!" 
She wrote in January:  
"I actually have a lot to thank you for! ... inspired by your blog, I applied for a job pitching myself as ‘available part-time only, but great value for money!’ and I got it!
It's a short term role 3 days a week, on the days my daughter goes to daycare.  The role is Assistant Producer  it's a 'demotion' in terms of seniority to be an AP again, but I figure that's the cost of getting a part time gig.  They hadn't advertised it as part-time, but they liked my CV and my pitch and so called me in for a meeting.
Hurray for open-minded employers. 
I'm a bit scared of the whole juggling work and motherhood thing... but some people seem to manage it in this industry, so why not me?"

HURRAY! Thanks for sharing. You’re the inspiring one and good luck.


  1. It's not so different in other sectors...
    When I was made redundant a few years ago from a job I loved in the Charity sector, I had a 1 and 4 year old, and I decided that I'd be available when it suited me.
    With the courage of my convictions I now work 3 days a week between 9am and 3pm (school hours so I can still do drop off and pick-up), rallied the mummy-network for childcare for meetings on days I don't work. Oh - and it's at home so I drop off at school, walk home, pour coffee and start work.
    There are employers out there who want flexibility, experience and commitment.
    (And I think it makes me a better mother!)

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