The Second Shift | Work That Works For Mothers
I have these moments on sunny days in Madison Square Park when I see clusters of very put together women perched on benches leaning into each other fiercely chatting and I immediately assume (with no real data) that they work at GREY, the global ad agency across the street, and that they are sneaking in a break before a big pitch. Looking at them, I have a pang of nostalgia for that intense agency spirit during creative problem-solving sprints.
And then I remember the inflexibility and hours that came with that for me and I realize in that alternate universe where I stayed in the full time work force, I wouldn't be currently sharing an almond croissant with Bodie on the opposite bench from the girls. So imagine a world where I could get that same creative challenge matched to my experience, but on a project basis that works within my schedule.
Prior Ogilvy creative, Gina Hadley and her friend, Jenny Galluzo, previously a TV producer, both encountered the limitations of the traditional work force after having children and left the corporate structure to craft a rhythm that allowed them to prioritize motherhood. Surrounded by many other women like themselves - talented, seasoned and specialized in subject matter - they built The Second Shift so strong female talent didn't miss the opportunity to stay in the game and so companies didn't lose access to that level of talent.
Signing up as a member is an exercise in self-promotion in the smartest, non-selfie, sense. Just as you would pitch yourself to a potential client if you're already freelance, you share your personal story, CV, references and portfolio or website. The team at The Second Shift is consistently sourcing meaningful work opportunities - from market research at J.Crew or a 90 day financial preparation project for an annual meeting for the Tribeca Film Festival. Whenever one of their roster of participating companies has a project or part-time need, The Second Shift matches the opportunity with the right shortlist of their members for the company to vet further.
Flexible work isn't for everyone but it can be said that ambitious and intelligent women who face personal choices within their career while managing or prioritizing family life, are wanting for the cultural support for optionality. I can vouch for that.
Would you sign up with The Second Shift? If you are looking for project work alongside motherhood, what are your resources? Add them in the comments below!
Featured Image via My Scandinavian Home