Embracing Flexibility: A Working Mum's Journey at Pinsent Masons
I’ve been with Pinsent Masons since 2014, starting my career here as a Legal Biller and progressing to a Legal Billing Team Leader for the Leeds and Manchester offices.
I’ve changed my flexible working pattern a couple of times over the years as my life changed when I had my son and then again when my family grew a few years later. I had to find the perfect balance of what would work for myself and the firm.
Finding a balance between a successful career and being a present parent can be a daunting challenge, especially for working mothers. However, as someone who has spent more than 9 years at Pinsent Masons, with the majority of that working flexibly, I can confidently say that flexible working arrangements are a game-changer, positively impacting both my career and my role as a mother.
My journey has not only transformed the way I work but has also redefined the way I manage my personal life. It began with a simple yet impactful arrangement, that allowed me to have a dedicated non-working day during the week, providing me with invaluable time to focus on my children, pursue hobbies, and take care of my mental well-being.
Yes, there are times when I will need to be flexible when it comes to billing deadlines, and I will move my non-working day to accommodate business needs. As Joanna Donnelly said in a previous blog, it is about give and take and there are some weeks that are more demanding than others, but I will try to delegate the work and am happy to work a bit extra so that I can have my non-working day and spend extra time my little active boys.
One of the cornerstones of my successful flexible working journey is having the support of my manager. Approaching my employer with the request for flexible hours was a pivotal moment, and I was pleasantly surprised by their willingness to accommodate my needs. This support not only demonstrates Pinsent Masons commitment to a diverse and inclusive work environment but also recognises the value of retaining experienced and skilled employees.
The heart of my flexible working arrangement lies in the non-working day I gain each week. This day is more than just a break from the office; it's a lifeline that allows me to manage my household, engage in activities I love, and most importantly, nurture my mental health. The ability to collect my children from school on time, engage in my arts, crafts, and baking hobbies, and even attempt to maintain an organised home adds immense value to my overall well-being.
Contrary to the misconception that flexible working might lead to decreased productivity, my experience demonstrates the opposite. With the support of my amazing team, I've been able to excel in my role while navigating the demands of parenting. The autonomy and trust placed in me have empowered me to manage my time efficiently and contribute meaningfully to the firm's success
A crucial factor in the success of my flexible working arrangement has been the fantastic team I'm a part of. Their understanding, cooperation, and support have been instrumental in maintaining a cohesive work environment. A team that values each member's unique needs contributes to higher morale, improved teamwork, and ultimately, enhanced performance.
I am a testament to the benefits of embracing flexible working and reaping the rewards of a supportive team and management has been transformative. It’s not only allowed me to fulfil my professional responsibilities but has also given me the precious gift of time for my family, my arts and craft hobbies, and my well-being. By sharing my experience, I hope to inspire other working parents to explore and embrace flexible working options that can enhance their lives in remarkable ways.