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Contracting could help city dads strike a better work-life balance

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Director

Tuesday 26th Sep, 2017

Over the past few years, there has been a marked increase in the number of working mothers choosing to give up their old nine-to-five roles in favour of working for themselves as limited company contractors and freelancers. This growing group of women becoming self-employed in order to better juggle their work commitments with family life have been labelled 'mumpreneurs'.

At the same time, the number of men taking on childcare responsibilities is continuing to grow, particularly since the introduction of shared parental leave in the UK a couple of years ago. Now, young families are able to choose how they split childcare depending on their individual priorities, rather than having to meet outdated gender expectations.

Yet according to new research from the Executive Coaching Consultancy, some dads are still feeling as though they aren't able to achieve their desired work-life balance, with these feelings particularly prevalent among those working in city finance roles.

City dads feeling torn between responsibilities

The report found that 40 per cent of young dads employed in the City of London are not especially concerned with progressing to senior roles in their field, as they do not want to sacrifice precious time with their families to put in the hours required to reach the top.

As a result, they could be prevented from achieving their full professional potential and may miss out on earning as much as they could.

This is the first time that this trend has been seen and demonstrates a significant shift in gender roles among millennials.

Speaking to the Times, Geraldine Gallacher, Managing Director of the Executive Coaching Consultancy, commented: "There's a definite blurring of the gender lines in this age group and this has now extended to the roles of caregiver and breadwinner."

Contracting could provide a better work-life balance

Contracting could provide dads who currently work in the City with a new type of finance career that not only allows them to achieve a better work-life balance, but also enables them to progress further in their field without having to make sacrifices.

Becoming a personal service company contractor or freelancer would allow fathers working in the city to choose their own working hours and location, meaning they could get more quality time with their children, fitting in work around them, rather than juggling priorities the other way around.

Financial services contractors are in high demand at the moment, according to the latest Report on Jobs from Markit and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), so now could be a good time for dads wanting a better work-life balance to make the leap to working for themselves.

In particular, as businesses navigate their way through Brexit, workers who can provide access to their expertise on a contract or consulting basis are set to continue to be in high demand.

Kevin Green, Chief Executive of the REC, explained: "Businesses are seeking more professional and managerial capability, so we're seeing high demand for roles like financial directors, analysts and compliance and HR professionals."

There is plenty of scope for workers to upskill themselves and take advantage of this increased time when they can do so in their own time and on their own terms, meaning they can move forward in their career and reasonably request higher pay rates for access to their skillsets.

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