This blog post is part of the “Making it Work” series, where we share the stories of professionals who are working flexibly.
Melissa McNeil is a working mom who prioritizes her family while still maintaining a career. She and her husband (who works out of town) are raising two young daughters near their extended family in a suburb of Edmonton. She also holds the position of Branch Internal Control Officer at one of Canada’s largest banks where she is responsible for operations and compliance. On a part-time basis, she supports two branches (one remotely and one in-person) and helps make sure that her colleagues follow the bank’s policies and procedures.
Melissa considered many factors when making the decision to return to work after her second maternity leave, including the cost of child care and the opportunity to be involved in her daughters’ lives. She decided that a part-time role would be best for her and her family, hoping that she could remain at her current employer. Melissa saw a posting on their job board, but it was for more hours than she wanted to work. She contacted the hiring manager to inquire if there was flexibility for a two-day-a-week role. The answer? YES! The hiring manager worked with her to identify the two branches that she would support and Melissa was given the opportunity to pick her work schedule. She developed a schedule that allowed her to stay on top of the work at the branches and allowed her to do things such as volunteer at her daughters’ school.
Benefits and Challenges
Melissa believes that the biggest benefit to working flexibly is her opportunity to be there for her kids, which is especially important to her since her husband is frequently out of town. However, flexible work doesn’t come without its challenges. While Melissa’s employer is generally supportive of flexible work, promotes work-from-home options, and has leaders in flexible roles, she is less clear about their stance on part-time work. At times, she feels isolated like she’s the only part-timer.
Weighing the benefits and challenges, Melissa believes that her decision was the right one, “I’m happy that I’m there for my kids”. She encourages anyone who is weighing the decision about returning to work full-time vs. part-time to try part-time. Melissa believes that others can have a similar experience to her and that they will appreciate the time they can spend nurturing their relationships with their family. She also believes that it’s important to find an organization that values the growth of people and not just the growth of careers for flexibility to really take hold.
Melissa is making it work!
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: https://workevolution.ca.