Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Keeping up appearances

The very fabulous notSupermum recently wrote an excellent post on making the effort to put on make-up. It made me think - it is actually possible I make more of an effort now than I did before children. I wear make-up to work every day, do my hair and wear heels (although not to commute in - that would just be silly). But I didn't used to bother. Back in the agency days, trainers, jeans and a comb through the hair - I was set to go. These days, I need to look the part - holding your own with 150 partners is no mean feat. Plus, I think it makes me feel more human - and more than 'just a mum'. I am fearful that if I stayed at home, I may disappear into a heap of loungewear with Homes Under the Hammer on in the background (you can't go wrong with that programme, by the way). But I do love to come home from work, take off the suit, take out my contact lenses and feel ready for the evening. Just add wine. 

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Working Mum

Going back to work in a contract capacity has been a fantastic experience for me. I shouldn't really admit this, but it's great to be in a job, but not have to worry about internal politics or any game playing. Just do a good job and go home. It's brilliant. Plus, you always know that you're finishing (or could finish) at the drop of a hat, so if you're not happy, you can walk. If we didn't need to get a mortgage later this year, I would definitely opt to do this from now on. 

So, in an attempt to get a permanent job, I've met just about every recruitment firm in London (most of whom are absolutely bloody useless) and had a couple of interviews. One went well, one not so well and one was disastrous. This is mainly because I was a bit over confident - I felt the job was a bit too junior and the pay was below what I wanted - and unfortunately this is what came across. Not my finest hour. But what I have realised is that it's not just about getting a job; I actually want to make the right move for my career. Which is harder than I thought. I'm at second stage with a company that could be a real opportunity - it's in a new sector that's notoriously difficult to get into - but I worry that it could be damaging to go from a top flight firm to a much smaller one. I'm not going to think about this any more just yet - I haven't got the job, so it will be a nice problem to have. 

This is when I realised that I'm getting old. This was not the sort of thing I used to care about - pretty much the salary was the only thing that mattered - but now, along with things like benefits and contracted hours, it's a major consideration. I guess it's a matter of time. Things tend to work out for the best.