Returning to the workforce after having a baby can be a difficult time for many women. It’s hard to devote as many hours as you once did to your career, while still balancing the needs of the child.
It’s a real juggling act. And don’t forget about the obligatory guilt a mother feels when they leave a child with a carer, or at a day care centre.
Lisa Maxwell experienced all of this first hand following the birth of her son, who is now five and headed for “Big School” next year.
While it took her a few months to learn the ropes, she discovered mortgage broking gave her the opportunity to provide a good income for her family while also spending time with her son.
“Because the hours are quite flexible, it enabled me to be the kind of Mum I wanted to be while still being able to pursue a career,” she said.
“I didn’t want to have to drop him at long day care at 7am and then pick him up at 7pm. Broking has allowed me to be able to spend a lot more time with him during his toddler years than I would have been able to if I had a ‘normal’ nine to five job.”
However, Ms Maxwell said it has been a hard, long road to become a successful broker.
“It really has been a slog at times,” she said. “It takes a lot of focus, determination and self-discipline to build a successful career out of broking. But if you can do that, you can really reap the rewards.”
She credits the support of her partner Tim, as she believes it would have been impossible to succeed without his help.
“You really do need a supportive partner who is prepared to be flexible,” she said. “There are many times when I’m out at appointments during the evening, so if you’ve got a partner who wants the dinner on the table at six every night, then broking may not be ideal.”
Ms Maxwell estimates she spends half her working week at Aussie’s sales office, with the remainder with clients or working from home.
“There’s really no such thing as a typical day for me, as I control my schedule to a large degree,” she said.
And with her son off to school next year, she may decide to spend more time in the sales office – but she’s yet to make a decision on that.
“The beauty of it is, I will be able to pick him up from school and spend a few hours with him before I meet with a client in the evening,” she said. “It all comes down to time management and being able to focus on the task at hand – which usually becomes second nature once you’ve had a child.”
Lisa’s tips for mums looking to become a mortgage broker
- See if you can find a senior broker who is willing to help you out a bit, it is great to have someone you can pick up the phone and run something by them
- Some days you may find yourself still in your pyjamas at 10am – it’s ok!
- Have a plan in place to ensure that you have a good work/life balance, it is easy to not take any time out for yourself but it is important to do so
- Don’t get too emotionally involved. Easier said than done sometimes, but lying awake at night wondering if someone’s loan is going to be approved is not a productive use of your time!
- Be flexible and don’t worry too much when your plan for the day goes out the window. Some days will go as planned but others won’t. Just work out what is really important to be done on those days, you can catch up with the rest later