Partner of a Pilot
The Candid Diary of an Airline Pilot’s Girlfriend

Good news… I found a flexible work arrangement that fits around his roster!

This past few months have been a bit of a whirlwind for me… Some good stuff, some bad… I am not sure where to begin, but I guess starting from where I was at on my last post maybe better than hitting you with all the heavy stuff first.  I was job hunting when I last left you… I went for a few interviews in the new media field of work that I was in, but alas, there seem to be very few flexible work arrangements that allow me to work from home at the moment. You would think that  flexible working arrangements would be ideally suited to the new media field, being that it’s all about virtual communications solutions wouldn’t you? Ah well, I guess the mindset takes time to catch up with the technology available…

I therefore decided to broaden my search criteria to include my old field of expertise.  I registered with a few recruitment agencies to increase my opportunities of finding something.  I was offered an interview. It was for a full time office role based locally. I wasn’t interested in full time work, or working in an office, but somehow I was talked into going for the interview. Bf, was not amused, saying it was impractical for me to bother going to the interview in case I fell in love with the role… He said it is simply wasn’t realistic that I could work a full time role around his very random airline roster, with the overheads of childcare for three children…

He isn’t wrong… I looked into the childcare costs, and in this area, I would expect to pay £1600 per month during school term time for childcare for my three and upwards of £3000 per month during school holidays (OUCH). Even in term time, that is equivalent to an annual expenditure of over £19,000! I’d need to be earning a very healthy salary to make that worth bothering with!

I did consider cancelling, but by that point, I felt I should go to the interview, so that I didn’t upset the recruitment consultant and risk her not putting me forward for other roles.  However, I went with a very relaxed attitude that whatever happened at the interview I would not be taking the role if it was offered to me.

I had a very good interview with the director. As he was winding up the interview, he said to me “We feel that by making the work environment appealing to staff, that they remain loyal to us; so what is your ideal working situation?”  Well, I had nothing to lose, so I said “Well, to be perfectly honest, I have three children… The cost of childcare just doesn’t stack up for me against most full time office roles outside of the city; so in an ideal world: I want to work part-time from home, with perhaps one or two days per week in the office when needed.”  I fully expected him to say goodbye and, we’ll be in touch (NOT).

Instead, he leant forward, and asked me with genuine interest how I felt this would work… I spent a further 40-50 minutes going over the logistics of how it worked for the competitor of his that I used to work for in this way and how they were very forward thinking in actively recruiting work-from-home-parents because they represent a huge pool of untapped expertise, with a decent level of stability and maturity that for many reasons (but largely largely due to the lack of cost effective child care) were unable to return to work following the birth of a child.  I explained that women like me are more loyal when they find flexible working arrangements, largely because these opportunities are so few and far between.  As I watched his reaction, it was like seeing a light bulb switch on…   After my 2 hour interview, I left feeling very glad that I had gone to the interview after all… Maybe something positive would come from it?

Indeed, a few days later, I received a call from my recruitment consultant asking me to return to the company for a second interview and saying that the feedback had been very positive. They loved my honesty, my passion, and the fact that I knew exactly what I wanted! 🙂

When I returned for the interview, it wasnt much of an interview… It was really more a case of meeting with the other directors, and going over the finer details, infrastructure and logistics of how it would be possible for them to start a home working programme. They still didnt give me a firm answer on whether I had the job, but I left reasoning to myself that they wouldn’t have bothered calling me in for the chat unless they were pretty serious about making me an offer.

The events of the following week (which I will write about in my next entry) left me with other more important issues to worry about, so I really didn’t have time to think about why I hadn’t heard from them for another week… But long story short… They called me on Monday this week and offered me a job.  I will work 3 days per week (more of I choose), with 1 or 2 days in the office (to fit with my availability and Bf’s roster so that he can look after our toddler if he is free). They also offered me the maximum starter range salary, and even offered me a car allowance (which successful candidates normally have to wait until after their probation period for) to bump the salary up so that it would meet my desired salary expectations!

I have been speaking to the HR Manager over the past two days, and she said that she was over the moon that I am joining, since they have now offered her the same opportunity to work from home for some of the time.  They have even said that they will look to recruit upto 10 more people this year, and will be closely monitoring the success of my work model to analyse whether this could be a way forward for them (no pressure then!)

One thing this has taught me, is that as impossible as the job market seems at times, it pays to go to the interviews and be honest, because if you are the right candidate, many companies will be more flexible than you realise to accommodate you.


2 Responses to “Good news… I found a flexible work arrangement that fits around his roster!”

  1. WOW! CONGRATULATIONS! That’s brilliant news, I am so chuffed for you! You really deserve it and were clearly the best candidate for the job by far if they’re prepared to create a new working system for you! As you said it pays to be a little cheeky and I will certainly bear this in mind when I throw myself into the world of interviews when I finish my university course in the summer!
    You must feel really pleased with yourself and it will also be a good opportunity for you to get that working balance as I’m sure you miss the companionship that the on-site work offers!
    Wishing you the best of luck for when you start and will look forward to updates 🙂 xx

  2. working from home is the best job that you can get, you will always find comfort in your home while working.

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