After graduating from Curtin University in Perth with a BA of Commerce, I enrolled in the Telstra grad programme and experienced a full, 360-degree view of the business from Call Centre, Operations to Customer Service. After a year I got into Marketing as a Territory Manager for WA which included managing the Communications Strategy, Events and localised Campaigns. After 3 years there, I moved into a Business Support Lead role which included working with the National Marketing Team in the development of a range of strategies and campaigns to strengthen the performance of over 120 team leaders in the Perth Business Call Centre.
I had my first baby during this time, and I can remember delivering handover materials when Hudson was just 1 week old! I went back to work at Telstra when he was 9 months old, as I was already pregnant with my second son, Ryder. 12 months down the track I wanted to devote myself to being a mum full-time, but my managers at Telstra convinced me to stay in a virtual team business call centre role. I quickly realised I could fulfil my role requirements in three days per week with one day working from home so I was able to juggle my job with the upbringing of my two boys and for the most part, was present for school runs, concerts and family meals which meant the world to me.
Two or three years later, we were pregnant again! By this time, Telstra had restructured and I had been promoted again into a Marketing Coordinator role for which I was responsible for the creation and execution of National Telstra Business Marketing and Brand campaigns, developing written communications and reporting of launch activities for internal and external stakeholders. At this point, after over eleven years at Telstra, I put my hand up for redundancy to be fully present at home as the mother of three young boys and enjoyed having the time to get more involved with school initiatives and oversee their growth and development.
Next chapter of the story – Melbourne was calling. My partner Ryan got offered a job he couldn’t pass up there and we were faced with relocating homes, schools, friends, our entire lives. My youngest, Dash was just two years old and I was aware of the impact such an upheaval could have on my boys so I was grateful I was in a position to be able to provide full time support for them all throughout the process.
After a few years my youngest started school and I began to get itchy feet and with the boys getting older, felt the urge to re-enter the workplace not only to keep my brain engaged, but also to expand my network and begin to develop my own Melbourne life. With over 11 years Marketing and Sales experience at one of the countries largest telecoms company, plus all the freelance consulting I’d been doing over the years in my free time…. I thought I wouldn’t have a problem finding a new role in the market. Unfortunately, I was mistaken.
Over the course of a few months, I had lots of discussions with potential employers and probably applied for 30 odd jobs, for roles as varied as Marketing Manager, Marketing Coordinator, Sales Representative, Sales Manager, right down to Admin and Receptionist roles. But I simply wasn’t getting past the initial hiring stages and didn’t get a single interview. I began to question whether the issue was my resume – and if the break I’d had in employment was a source for concern. Was my past experience being highlighted above my current capabilities, skills and cognitive ability? After identifying that I wanted to get back into the swing of the 9-5, realising how much it meant to me knowing I was able to contribute and provide value to a wider team with shared values and goals… it was a knock to my confidence to be shot back or just completely ignored, time after time.
My husband had come across Weploy in his line of work and suggested I apply to join the platform. I found the on boarding process at Weploy to be smooth and efficient and refreshingly, the gap in my roles wasn’t even a point of discussion. I went through the gamified skills and cognitive tests and within weeks I was accepted as a “Weployee”.
My first role was as a Receptionist at Vic Super – an Australian Superannuation and Pension fund. Despite not having any prior experience in the field, I was matched with the company via the Weploy platform without having to go through the traditional interview rigmarole, and relishing the chance to utilise my skills again I threw myself into my new role. Three weeks into my gig however, my boss had to let her PA go and I was encouraged by the internal HR team to apply to be her replacement. I interviewed and got the job! The opportunity was too good to pass up – I was enjoying working with the Vic Super team and was looking for a full-time role anyway so they took me from a temp to perm arrangement and I couldn’t have been happier.
There are all sorts of us out there – Full-time mums, mums that work full-time, mums that work for their partners’ or for themselves as “Mumpreneurs” There is a lot of judgement and opinions out there about which mums are less or more skilled, which are better qualified and who are more resilient or dependable. The reality is there is no right or wrong however. Being a mum is hard work, and the right thing is whatever works for you. I feel incredibly lucky to be working for a flexible, family friendly company with several mums in the senior leadership teams. But the struggle I experienced to get there was surprising, and I’m not sure I would have been enabled this opportunity if it wasn’t for Weploy. My three boys are loving our new life in Melbourne, and as my confidence grows again and my network expands – I am too!