This blog post is part of the “Making it Work” series, where we share the stories of professionals who are working flexibly.

Irene MacLean left her executive-level role at an insurance company in 2016 for a number of reasons, including a desire for more flexibility and control over her work. After taking some time off, she started her own consulting company, Project GreenLight Consulting Ltd., planning to leverage her career experience and education. (She holds a   Masters in Project Management). Today, her consulting work includes leading technology projects and advising clients on project management strategy and processes.

Through her consulting company, Irene has worked in both a onsite and work-from-home capacity for several different clients. When required to be on-site, she establishes a set schedule so that her clients know when to expect her and can book meeting time with her. When working from home, Irene is focused on deliverables.

Benefits of Flexible Work

Irene works with her clients on a contractual basis with defined start/end dates and deliverables. One of the biggest advantages of this model for Irene is that she doesn’t have to spend her energy on any time-wasters. As a consultant, she is paid for delivery and her clients don’t usually ask her to participate in non-essential activities. Irene loves this style of working and believes that she is more effective and can provide maximum value. Her level of personal satisfaction from her work contributions is high.

Irene also loves the ability to set her own schedule because she can do other things.  She travels with her husband and friends and has time to support her daughter’s career pursuits. Irene is passionate about volunteerism and spends time formally mentoring through Norquest College’s Student mentorship program and fostering the many relationships she has developed over the years. She is a past Board Member of the Project Management Institute Northern Alberta Chapter (PMINAC) and former Conference Chairperson.

Challenges of Flexible Work

Irene finds that the challenge to working a flexible schedule is making time to network and stay in touch with professional and personal contacts.   She makes sure to prioritize and maintain connections to the industry which can be invaluable to personal well-being and professional growth.  She also makes time each year to participate in at least one educational event, whether that be a learning program, networking event, industry forum or professional.  Irene also has to be mindful to continue marketing her business services in the pursuit of new opportunities once her work with clients is complete.

What’s Next?

Irene is looking forward to the next few years and plans to continue with flexible working. She can support her husband as he starts to explore “pre-retirement” options. She is considering becoming involved in a non-profit Board and would like to dedicate some time in late 2018 or 2019 to participating in a not-for profit work assignment outside of Canada.


Irene is making it work!

Are you interested in connecting with Irene?  Check out her LinkedIn profile.


Feeling inspired? Are you ready to make it work too? Work Evolution has many flexible jobs and useful resources for professionals pursuing flexible work. Check us out today: workevolution.ca.