Are you juggling the demands of parenthood as an accountant?

This week marks Parental Mental Health Day in the UK and at Public Practice Recruitment Ltd we wanted to highlight the importance of finding the right employer to ease the burden on the need to juggle as a working parent or carer.

The theme for Parental Mental Health Day in 2022 is Tip the Balance. And it’s fair to say that after the last few years that working parents and carers have endured, that balance urgently needs tipping in the right direction.

If you’re an accountant who is also a working parent, you’ll have been through the wringer since March 2020. We expect most of you can remember that moment when you realised that you’d have to maintain your position at work, with no childcare, whilst also ensuring that your children stayed happy, healthy and that their education didn’t suffer too greatly. A totally bonkers challenge we’ll all agree.

And the threat of a return to this special kind of chaos has been very real for a sustained period of time, meaning that working parents haven’t just had to adapt to a temporary crisis, they’ve had to learn to live under an enhanced level of stress and can no longer take for granted the basic assurance that they will be able to freely earn a living and have a family.

So, if you’re an accountant and a parent or carer who finds themselves feeling a little frazzled, certainly more so than they used to be, we’ve outlined the key to ensuring you’re tipping the balance in the right direction and treading a career pathway that will work alongside your family commitments.

Make sure you’re working for a firm whose values align closely to your own.

As accountants we all want to earn a great income and most firms all want to turn some great profits. But if being an active and present parental role model to your kids is also of huge importance to you, you’ll want to work for a firm that values people as well as profit.

Firms can demonstrate these values in lots of different ways, but when you’re looking at jobs boards (we’d thoroughly recommend our own) you’ll be looking for a package of benefits that includes more than just a whopping salary. You’ll want to see that a firm offers some flexibility and that they understand that benefits like life assurance, medical cover and support to study and develop are important.

Perhaps you’re not sure if the current firm you’re employed by is helping you tip the balance the right way when it comes to your mental health as a parent. What might be the signs that it’s time to take action and work for the right kind of employer?

  • A lack of interest in you as a person. Even the biggest firms who are working parent friendly have a line management system in place that allows someone to get to know you as a person. If there’s never any time in a working day to find out more about your colleagues and the lives they lead at home. or the simple act of asking each other about your weekend briefly before delving into the business of the day is discouraged, there’s a problem. Accountants are people, not emotionally intelligent calculators; make sure your firm understands that.
  • What kind of policies does your firm have that are handy for working parents? Don’t get us wrong, we understand that for those accountants who don’t have children to take to dental appointments or who get sick unexpectedly, a colleague dashing out the door every five minutes can seem unfair. And that’s why the best firms have policies in place that outline what support they can offer to working parents and where the line lies when it comes to taking advantage. Read through them, before you come to need them and see if they sound supportive to you.
  • How did they handle lockdown? Was the massive shock of the first lockdown handled well by your firm? Did they showcase sensitivity and an understanding of the additional pressures their staff were under? Or did they put plans in place to ensure that clients and colleagues knew that their staff might be working and parenting from home and asked them in turn to be kind and understanding?

If asking yourself these questions is helping you come to the realisation that your mental health is tipping the wrong way when it comes to your responsibilities as a parent and an employee, it’s likely that your employer is contributing to that in some way.

But the great news is that you work in a profession that is in huge demand and we’re proud to recruit for a great number of firms who are working parent friendly and offer heaps of helpful support, flexibility and resources that allow you to succeed in all areas of your responsibility.

So, all you have to do is upload your CV today or reach out for a totally confidential chat about the kinds of roles you’d be interested in and what support as a working parent might look like to you.

We can’t wait to take your call.

 

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