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Polly Kerr

What were or are the biggest challenges you faced going back in to the work place after children?

The hardest thing was feeling like I was starting again. When I went back there had been a lot of changes to the rules and regulations so I had to go through re-training. There had also been a change to the wage structure which meant that, had I not gone on maternity leave, I would have been earning more. I had to challenge that and it took 6 months to resolve, by which point I had handed my notice in!

How do you achieve your work life balance of career woman and mother?

Over the weekend I review the upcoming week. If I have late appointments then I make sure I can walk my boy to school that morning, instead of driving, to give us 20 minutes walking and talking rather than a 5 minute rushed journey together. It might be that I have a day where I am out early and home late so I may then work from home the day after so that I can get the house in order in between working. Planning is key but it does sometimes go wrong.

If you could give your past self-one piece of advice about being a working mother what would it be?

Be self-employed.

Have your career goals and aspirations altered since becoming a working mother from that prior to your children?

Yes, I wasn’t particularly career minded or a goal orientated person before I had my son. As long as I was doing something I enjoyed, enough to not worry about it, that also meant I earned enough, to not worry about it, I was happy. As soon as I went back to work I knew that I needed to be getting more in every sense, or it just wasn’t worth leaving my child with someone else (and paying a small fortune for the pleasure of it!)

What are your future goals in your career path in the next few years, what do you hope to achieve?

I am in the middle of taking further qualifications and I hope that in the next few years I will be stable enough in that area to then consider where else I can take my business. My primary concern for the future is another financial crisis so the more products and services I can advise on the better. Through diversifying I hope to be able to achieve long term stability.

If you had the power to change one thing in the business market for working parents, what would you change?

More employers offering flexible working. I believe people are more dedicated and productive when they have control of their time. Fixed hours in an office is very restrictive for most people, with or without children, and I don’t think it is the way forward. Being with other people is important so that you don’t feel isolated and you can be inspired, in whatever way, but to have the ability to make work one of the things you do rather than THE thing you do is very liberating and healthy. It would also save working parents and care givers a lot of money in childcare/assistance and potentially allow people to work when it wouldn’t normally make financial sense because of low wages versus high care charges.

What is the best piece of business advice you have been given?

Speak to everyone about what you do.

If you could recommend one book to our readers leisure or
business what would it be?

Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

Question from previous interviewee. From Sara Ellison,  Employment & HR Lawyer, Banner Jones – If there was one major change you could make in your life ( business or personal), what would it be?

A robot or clone would be amazingly useful, but also scary. Actual changes to my life, that I could make, I honestly can’t think of any.

What question would you wish to ask our next working mother who takes this short interview?

How do you think your career would have differed, if at all, had you not had children?

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