A day in the life of a Technical Consultant at Fidelity International
|Jaspreet Dhawan-Randell returned to work in the technology sector after a (nearly) 2-year career break to care for her children. Working between the companies Kent and London offices, she's returned to find a refreshing change in the way corporations look at families and the all-important work-life balance.|
I applied for Fidelity International's New Horizons Returner Scheme when my son started Reception and my daughter was in Year 2. It was open to experienced professionals who were looking to return to work after a career break. I was delighted to be selected to work in Technology Infrastructure Services in the Service Management team.
My schedule is largely dependent on which office I will be working in that day, either Kent or London. If it's Kent, I'll leave the house at 7am to be at my desk at 8:30. On those occasions, my husband will get the kids ready for school and drop them off. If I’m working in London (home or office), I’ll wake the children up at about 7am, give them breakfast, drop them off at school for around 8:15 and can be at my desk by 8:30 to start the working day.
"I've found that corporate culture has changed; people now seem very honest and willing to talk about families and how they manage their work-life balance"
8:30am - I'll start by sorting through emails, with meetings scheduled from around 9. I’m currently working on Software Asset Management which involves deploying and maintaining software applications, so there is usually a requirement to follow up on outstanding items which means lots of emails, approaching colleagues or scheduling more meetings!
11am - The morning activities continue and I’ll also get my head stuck into some detailed analysis on the subject matter. I love working in technology. It’s fast-paced and there are so many opportunities to learn, which has helped my confidence grow. The social aspects of being back at work are great too, and I've found that corporate culture has changed; people now seem very honest and willing to talk about families and how they manage their work-life balance - it’s a far more supportive environment.
12pm - When I’m in the Kent office, I always take some time out for lunch and regularly meet with the other Returners from the programme, as we’ve become good friends. If I’m working in the London office, I will normally go home for lunch as it’s only a 10-minute walk!
1pm - Back to my desk to carry on with those software management activities, attend more meetings and regularly pick up emails until it’s time to clock off for the day.
4:30/5pm - If I’m working in Kent, I’ll be quite strict at heading out the door with the aim of being home by 6pm to spend a few hours with the children before their bedtime.
6pm - Either my husband or I pick the kids up from school (they both do extended days, which makes pick-up less frantic) and we’ll help with their homework and have a family dinner together. The children are ready for bed by around 8pm and I'll follow them up at 10:30.
It’s a long day for the children, which can sometimes make me feel a little guilty, especially when they tell me how tired they are. But I manage this by being sympathetic, and flexible working also helps. I work a four day week, but if I need to be in London or work from home, I can do so with impunity. This means I can attend special morning events at my children’s school, which means a lot to them and can sometimes make up for those longer days.
If you have been inspired to join a Return to Work Programme, click here for current schemes.