I loved my job. I loved the role, I loved where I worked and the people I worked with. But starting a family forced some tough choices – I moved out of London and back to my home town, Reading. Three hours of daily commuting and six grand for the privilege didn’t appeal, so I left my HR role in a London-based national charity.
After maternity leave, I wanted the balance of part-time work. With so many multinational businesses operating in the Thames Valley, and a background in recruitment and HR, how hard could that be?
Very, it turned out. So hard, in fact, that it quickly became clear that there was a huge void in the jobs market. My sister, Jess, was experiencing the same difficulties and, with 2017 set to be the tipping point for flexible working, we decided it was time to do something about it.
At the same time, I was busy running a social enterprise, training and up-skilling unemployed young people in Buckinghamshire. Too busy, as it turned out – the crazy hours and stress boiled over and my body finally said “enough”. Over the space of a few weeks I lost all feeling down my left side and temporarily lost the ability to walk and talk. After a period of recuperation, I’m now improving but it was a wake-up call that placed wellbeing firmly centre-stage.
Looking for flexible work to fit with that change proved fruitless and I soon came to the same realisation: that there was a real mentality-shift taking place. More and more people I spoke to felt the same way and wanted to work more flexibly and close to home.
We needed a job board that could harness all this experience, energy and enthusiasm; flexible roles that allowed a work/life balance within a meaningful, rewarding career.
And with that, Gymnast Jobs was born.