Find a High-Skilled Flex Job
Interesting, financially meaningful, flexible work: It's the Holy Grail for many working moms -- and dads. A lucky handful successfully negotiate part-time or flex-time work at our current companies. However, some companies are not so flexible.
What do you do then? There have always been temp agencies for entry- and mid-level jobs -- a good option for many employees looking for flexibility. The latest trend seems to be connecting companies with high-level employees looking for part-time and project work (and I'm sure there are many more out there, so spread the word on the blog if you know of others).
MomCorps: Specializes in high-level accounting, legal, marketing and IT services on a special project or contract basis. Offices in Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Started in September 2005 by Allison Karl O'Kelly, a Harvard Business School graduate and certified public accountant, with the vision of matching companies looking for flexible staffing solutions with experienced professionals. I spoke with Kimberly Berger, regional vice president for the Washington office, who has two sons, ages 4 and 21 months and works about 30 hours per week at MomCorps:
"Before joing MomCorps, I had countless conversations on playgrounds with other mothers who had worked extremely hard to achieve professional success but had also chosen to leave their careers to stay home with their children. Everyone talked about wanting to work but needing flexibility. Over and over we would ask, 'why isn't there a company that could help people like us find work?' There is a huge pool of talent that companies miss out on by not having more flexible work options. MomCorps offers companies high-caliber professionals and saves them money on benefits and training."
McKinley Marketing: This boutique staffing firm provides interim marketing professionals to companies and federal agencies needing marketing and communications staff to cover for maternity/paternity leaves, disability absences, unexpected employee departures and other short-term business needs, including trade show management, new product launches, research and business development. Regional offices are located on the East Coast (Alexandria, Va.) and Southwest (Dallas). Says spokesperson Marcia Call, "Our business is hot because most companies cannot afford to be without top-notch marketing and communications staffs. ... Down-time can spell disaster."
United Talent Group: Also launched in 2005, UTG's mission is connecting growth-oriented companies with talented businesspeople frustrated with the 24/7 demands of traditional corporate roles. The company places independent business professionals in full-time, part-time and flexible interim executive and project consulting roles. Co-founder and mom of two girls under age 5, Amelia Tyagi has an MBA from University of Pennsylvania's Wharton business school, worked at management consulting legend McKinsey & Co., co-founded a successful health benefits company and wrote two books,The Two-Income Trap: Why Middle-Class Mothers and Fathers Are Going Broke and All Your Worth: The Ultimate Lifetime Money Plan. UTG is in the process of changing its named to The Business Talent Group.
Tyagi knows that talented employees are in high demand -- a critical fact that women, bombarded by warnings about the perils of the Mommy Track and stepping out of the workforce, sometimes forget: "Moms underestimate how many choices we have. We allow ourselves to feel trapped, forgetting that there are companies that value our talents."
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