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How I make flexibility work for my career

by Amy Murchison

Wall of plants covered with a neon sign reading 'and breath'

As a recruiter, I have spoken to so many candidates over the years to understand what drives and motivates them, and it is clear that work-life balance is a significant deciding factor for many.

While many see the perfect job as one that offers flexible working arrangements, the reality can be vastly different. Often those who choose to work flexibly or part-time are made to feel guilty for leaving early or end up squeezing a 5-day work week in three!

Whether you’re looking for a more family-friendly work situation, to find more time for study or to dedicate to a worthy cause, finding flexible work might be a great option for you.

Flexibility at work

Working as a part-time recruitment consultant, I have first-hand experience of how a flexible and supportive workplace can lead to a more productive and fulfilling work environment. At Six Degrees, our culture places importance on nurturing all aspects of life and we have access to flexible working arrangements that help us achieve a greater balance between work and life.

Some of our part-time consultants even out-perform our full-timers because they truly understand what flexible working conditions mean. Experiencing the benefits of flexibility at work first-hand also better places us to champion flexible working arrangements for our candidates and clients, helping us negotiate flexible arrangements that work for both parties.

Working in recruitment provides a great career choice for people coming from full-time careers in specialist fields, allowing you to use your industry experience and apply your specialist knowledge to connect candidates with the right jobs. I work as part of a team in the FMCG space, where we focus on specialist Sales and Category roles, which allows us to really get to know and understand our clients and candidates.

So what are my top tips for making flexibility work for you and your workplace?

7 tips for managing flexible working arrangements

  1. Keep the lines of communication open – At Six Degrees, we communicate a lot and take advantage of various communication tools (including social networking tools, CRM and intranet) to link everyone in the team. A key to fostering a strong team spirit is to ensure your workmates understand your work arrangements, as well as what processes you have put in place to ensure the impact of your working arrangements is as minimal as possible.
  2. Manage time effectively – With part-time and flexible working arrangements, it is especially important to have effective time management skills and highly efficient processes to produce great outcomes. Six Degrees provides support measures, such as a highly effective support team, supportive managers and a strong team culture that ensures people working flexibly are included and don’t need to be continuously on call.
  3. Be accountable – At Six Degrees we have a culture of accountability. Consultants are held accountable with clear expectations and goals – we celebrate outcomes, not how much time people spend in the office.
  4. Work smarter, not harder – Look for ways to boost your productivity during your normal working hours such as using a daily to do list, structuring your day, managing client and candidate expectations and by backing yourself to limit timewasting through procrastination. Our part-time consultants have become accustomed to working smarter not harder and are great at sharing the processes they have established to ensure they get the job done in less time.
  5. Be honest with yourself and others – Assess whether or not the number of tasks you have to complete is reasonable within your normal working hours. If you have too much on your plate, talk to your colleagues openly and see if there is any room to share those additional responsibilities.
  6. Make working from home easy – Although working from home should be the exception rather than the rule, it’s good to set aside a clear space at home to make working from home easy if you need to. Flexible start and finish hours and work days can be accommodated more readily if you have the right set up at home.
  7. Make the most of your free time – When you’re away from work, it’s important to take time to relax and recharge. You are far more likely to be productive and happy at work if you are happy and fulfilled in your personal life, so make sure you make time for fun! For me, that involves attending my kids sporting and school events, having a weekly gym routine and walking my dog.


Contact Amy Murchison to discuss careers in FMCG Sales and Category in Sydney.