Achieving a better work life balance is a key consideration for many job seekers – Sharp Consultancy’s 2019/20 Salary Survey highlighted its importance with employees ranking it as one of the main factors influencing their decision to seek out a new role.
One such person is Sharp Consultancy’s Karen Pitchforth who made the decision to return to work part time after maternity leave; we caught up with her to find out more about how she made the move.
“I’ve worked in recruitment for many years; I first entered in the industry in 2002 and started out recruiting doctors for a couple of years before becoming a Branch Manager for a regional commercial business in Wakefield.”
“I then joined a national recruitment business in 2006 – this was when I first started working in the senior interim finance market, the area that I specialise within now. I stayed there for seven years, gaining several promotions over the course of a few years.”
“I went on maternity leave in 2012 and, like many others, had several factors to take into consideration when it came to being a working parent. Following my maternity leave, I made the decision to return to work on a part-time basis and this resulted in me moving on from my employer at the time to join Sharp Consultancy in 2013 as a Senior Consultant specialising in Interim appointments.”
“My previous role had required me to split my time between managerial responsibilities such as developing and mentoring my team along running a busy recruitment desk so when I returned to work I was very confident that I would be able to make the transition from full time to part time a success. I was used to managing my time carefully to make certain that I had enough time to dedicate to my desk so by ensuring that my new role focussed solely upon this aspect, I knew what could be achieved during my three days in the office.”
“There are a few aspects that I feel have been hugely beneficial – both to myself and my employer – in making my role a success. From the outset it was important for me to maintain full control of my desk – I specialise in recruiting senior interim appointments across Leeds, Wakefield, Huddersfield and Halifax – and manage the process from start to finish. Ensuring that the service my clients and candidates receive is consistent is essential. Remote access and flexibility have been crucial in order to achieve this and as a result I’m not relying on others to pick up my work if I’m not around.”
“As with many people working in recruitment, I am naturally a very driven individual – an essential quality for anyone working in a sales focussed role – so I ensure that the time I have in the office is used as proactively as possible.”
“I’ve always been ambitious – I still am – and there are career aspirations that I want to achieve. Whilst my children are young, working part time offers me the desired balance between work and family and although my goals have adapted to reflect this, I know that the opportunities are there for me to continue to move forward in my career.”
Karen Pitchforth is Executive Consultant specialising Senior Interim recruitment including part qualified and qualified accountants at all levels.