“You’ve got a unicorn job(!) – the kind of job everyone wants to have… except they don’t really exist!”
So said a friend of our wonderful team member Renee, about Renee’s magical, marvelous work.
After seven years raising her daughter, Renee was thinking about re-entering the workforce. Her husband Nat happened to mention it one day.
SPT needed someone to cover the front desk in the middle of each day while the full-time reception team took their lunch breaks. We wanted only a few hours per week.
We arranged to meet Renee.
We found that Renee also wanted only a few hours per week. And she happened to want them in the middle of each day so she could drop her little girl to school and then be back at the school at 3.00 o’clock to pick her up again.
Unicorn job! Magical and marvelous convergence of needs.
We talked about the work and what it would entail. Renee had been the State Manager of a For-Purpose organisation, and before that, a radio producer and announcer. She had a strong background in journalism and communications. Smart. Quiet. ACHIEVER. (Please note the emphasis on ‘achiever’!) We knew the work we had would be under-challenging for her.
She told us she wanted something she could do easily. Something that didn’t challenge her too much. So it would not remain in her mind when she turned her thoughts back to family at 2.30 each day.
Renee nervously stated that she wanted to work only during the school terms. Thinking this might be a deal-breaker, she conceded that if she needed to, she could work a couple of weeks of the long school holiday period.
We were uncertain if we’d have quite enough extra work for her to do, so not having Renee during the holidays was a way to ease-in to the new position and find the homeostatic level of the workload.
We hired Renee in early February 2020. And you know what happened after that.
But we had no idea what magic was about to unfold from her.
The pandemic fell… and there was wonderful Renee… magically in our team, bringing all her deep skills of thought and logic and communication to our frenzied adjustment to telepractice therapy and online office management. She researched the rapidly changing obligations and necessary standards, she wrote and communicated policies, she helped everyone understand them and implement them. Her calm manner supported us all and in the midst of the intensity helped us feel buoyed on something soft but solid.
Renee has gone on to do that bit of lunchtime cover. But now, in only a few hours per week in the middle of the day and with school holidays off, she also administers all our programs. This never challenges her after 2.30. And she has brilliantly contributed to our new normal.
She says we’re her “unicorn” that really does exist. And we say she’s ours!
We are proud to offer flexible working arrangements that meet the needs of women, and love of time with family. There’s magic in doing so. It’s magic that falls on all of us. In the most marvelous and reciprocal ways.