Flexible working Mum: Part 4

It sems that you have all been enjoying our posts about flexible working over the last few Fridays. (See previous posts here) Today we have an interview with Candi O’Reilly.  She has just started a new part time job working for a charity which allows her to use her social Media skills and interest to earn her a bit of extra cash.  She says that “the salary falls firmly in the ‘enough to fill the gaps, but the majority of my day-to-day living comes from elsewhere’ category” but qualifies it with “for now at least.”, who knows where this may lead in the future.

1) What is your career background originally?

Well a very long time ago when I was 13 I started work as a waitress!  Since then I’ve been a cook, a barmaid, a financial analyst, a journalist, a PR and then a carer of two children with special needs for the last 3 1/2 years.

2) When did you decide to start working for Hearts and Minds and can you tell us a bit about the company?

I started working for Hearts and Minds two weeks ago, as their social media officer.  This Manchester-based charity supports children with autism in the UK and Ireland.  I am promoting a scheme that enables people to swap old mobile phones for iPads, which are great for kids, and can transform the lives of kids with special needs/autism.  http://www.heartsandmindsphones.co.uk/

3) What prompted you to look for flexible work?

PR is not a particularly family-friendly profession!  I was lucky to work part time for 10 years, but was the first to be let go in the recession and I doubt that any PR consultancies are taking on part-time people now.  As a lone parent, with lots of special needs appointments to attend, a normal day job would almost impossible to manage, so flexible working was the only practical solution that I could see.

4) What prompted you to work for this business in particular?

Well I started a blog in 2009 – http://www.lookingforbluesky.com/ – to fill the work-shaped hole in my life and learned about social media as I went along.  This position with Hearts and Minds is part-time, involves a bit of PR, a bit of writing and a lot of social media, and I can easily fit it around the needs of my children

5) What are the greatest advantages of your work?

The only commute I do now is between the kettle and the kitchen table, there are no childcare costs at the moment anyway and I don’t need to wear a suit.

6) Are there any disadvantages?

I used to quite enjoy my commute!  Me time with my music turned up, and I also miss the social side of being in an office.

7) How has your life/outlook changed since doing this kind of work?

I feel sooooo much more positive about life.  I hated not having a paid job!  Even though being a carer is a full-time occupation.

8)  Is this a temporary job for you until your children are older or a lifelong career?

Well it’s a little early to say.  But I never planned to retire, so hopefully this is the start of a whole new career for me.

Other posts in the series






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