“You may be surprised at how most things can be accommodated with a little creativity.”
Jade Harris is a Project Manager who works remotely for RebelMouse in New York where she bridge the gap between clients and our development team during site builds. She shared with us her tips for balancing work and a new baby.
You recently had a baby, how has it been transitioning into work again? Do you have any advice for other women in this situation?
Having a young baby is amazing! It’s also been a learning experience, of course, in so many ways. Transitioning back to work has been relatively smooth for me because I have a lot of support. My husband supports me and has stepped up when needed, and RebelMouse has been fantastic in understanding when I have to put on my mama hat and do that for awhile. I’d advise other women who are transitioning back to work after a new baby (especially your first) to ask for what you want, and be firm about what you need — you may be surprised at how most things can be accommodated with a little creativity.
What has your experience been balancing your new role at RebelMouse with being a new mom?
Especially being a new mom, I was ready to dive right into work, but not certain how it would turn out — I’d have to be away from my baby for extended periods of time! What would happen? But it’s been great knowing I can do it, and he can be OK while I’m not there. To help balance the time away, I get up a little earlier to spend more time with him...and I’m pretty serious about putting him to bed.
How much of your work are you able to do remotely? What type of childcare do you have?
I can do about 75-80 percent of my work remotely. A lot of what I do is digital, and we communicate over Skype and IM all the time. In-person meetings are often important, too. I have a babysitter extraordinaire, who has been helpful, understanding, and flexible.
You did not start out as a digital project manager. What was your original career? Why did you decide to change?
I thought I’d be an Art Historian/Curator, actually. Slowly but surely, I inched toward more communication, strategy, and planning roles...until I realized being a digital project manager was the job for me!
How did you learn about PowerToFly? What was the process of finding a job like?
I found PowerToFly on a parents’ listserv! One of the best things that I ever discovered on a listserv.
PowerToFly has been so helpful and the process was extremely easy. When I first heard about the site, I thought, “Why didn’t this exist earlier?” and when I used the site I thought, “Why aren’t all job sites like this?”
What do you think the biggest benefits of remote work are? What are the biggest challenges?
The obvious big benefit is that you lose the commute, which can drain about an hour and a half of my day. The less obvious benefit is that I can concentrate so much better when I’m sequestered in the quiet of my home office, or even with headphones on at a cafe. I feel extremely productive! The challenges include staying a part of the culture of the company, and establishing/keeping deep bonds with the team. But with video calls, IMs, and screensharing — I feel like I’m still a part of everything that’s happening.