Wellbeing

Seven day branches: a boon to working mums?

Branches are the hubs that keep Enterprise working: they are where we deliver service to customers, anticipating and exceeding expectations.

Forging a career in rental is often considered hard for working mums. But with planning, smart choices and lateral thinking, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Here’s the story of two mums: Helen Burton and Rebecca Reed. They are both assistant managers at Bristol Airport, one of the busiest branches in U5.

The seven day, sometimes late night, working schedule at this bustling airport has created a surprise opportunity for a job share where both mums work a full week, picking and choosing shifts to suit their family needs.

Helen Burton's story

Although we usually work long hours at Enterprise, I’ve found that a shift pattern in my current branch has enabled me to distribute my time well, managing to spend time with the family, as well as continue with my career progression. Whilst I was on leave, I did struggle with the idea of returning to work. You find yourself worrying about whether or not you want to leave your little one for long days or whether or not it’s the kind of job where you can manage a healthy work-life balance.

I was working at U506, the biggest branch in U5 at the time, when I fell pregnant. It was there that I had really started to progress and prepare myself for promotion.

The first issue I encountered when going on maternity leave was battling with the overwhelming feeling of being left behind. I started my maternity leave at a time when I was ready for promotion, but felt like I had got my timing all wrong. I worried that I’d be missing my chance for promotion and progression. Then hearing about all the trainees in my area getting promoted and overtaking me on the career ladder was difficult to accept.

Contrary to my beliefs, I managed to pick up where I left off as soon as I returned to work and have now been promoted and am enjoying my new role as assistant manager with all its challenges.

I am currently working 40 hours a week on a shift pattern that suits me and my family’s needs. My little boy is doing well at home and my numbers are looking good at work; so it’s safe to say I am definitely heading in the right direction!

Rebecca Reed's story

I have worked for Enterprise for eight years, and during my time here I have had three children who are now aged 5, 3 and 1. After child number three I thought it was best to move back to assistant manager.

It was a very difficult decision to make. It took me quite a while to balance the pros and cons but it was definitely the best choice for me and the business. I have had time to refocus, retrain and de-stress and have become a much better employee which I know will lead to me being a better manager in the future.

I have had many different alternate work arrangements and all have been tailored to suit me and the business, with a little give and take from me and from Enterprise.

I have been back from maternity for six months now and quickly stepped back into a 50 hour week. Due to the seven day week at U519 and late shifts, I have been able to work numerous different shifts, enabling me to juggle home life and work life and not have to reduce my hours or more importantly my salary!

I have a difficult balancing act of work, children, school runs, lunch box duty and have very limited time for myself and my partner.

You do ask yourself the question is it worth it? With all the child care costs and hectic lifestyle, the guilt of not being able to read a bedtime story to your children every night or do their homework… but in all honesty I have to answer yes!!

I brought three children into this world and I want to provide for them. I went to university to get a career and not be prevented from doing that because I have children. I can see the long term plan ahead of me, that when my children are all in school and older I can concentrate on my career even more.

I can honestly say I have never felt so good about my career and my time at Enterprise.

I think if you have the determination you can make it work. If you are the type of person that worries if they are going to miss their soaps on TV then it probably won’t. It’s hard work but there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you are a success at work and at home.

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