Balancing family and work life at Amazon
Can you tell me a bit about your career at Amazon?
I work in the agency development team who own some of Amazon Advertising’s biggest customer relationships with agency holding groups. During the last six months, I have stepped into a UK agency development team lead role to ensure the team are supported and have what they need to run their day to day customer relationships. I also run the global relationship across one of our biggest holding groups – in effect I wear two hats!
How do you balance family life with a fast-paced job?
I try to strike a balance between home and work life and prioritise around this. When I’m at work, I’m firing on all cylinders, but I try to ensure this doesn’t bleed over to family life. The laptop goes off at the end of each working day, because It’s important to give yourself the head space to enjoy your family when you get home. Giving myself this time in the evening ensures that I re-focus and re-energise for work each day.
What advice would you give women with families in the workplace?
Be clear about how you like to work with your line manager and your colleagues to help balance home and work. This means being upfront and honest about if you need to leave at 4pm on some days. No-one wants to have to sneak around and make excuses and being a parent is not something to hide or be ashamed of. It’s important to know your value and be confident that you are a worthy contributor in the workplace - you are valued for your unique perspective and skills. Having to sometimes work around the typical working day does not mean that you are not committed to your job.
If you could go back in time and give yourself advice when you first became a working mum, what would it be?
Sometimes as working Mums we find it hard to get the balance right, both at work and within our family lives. We seem to have an innate sense of guilt around both. My advice would be don’t be too hard on yourself, give yourself time to adjust back into your work, accept that you’re not a superhero ( some of the time) and that you will need to work differently, and that is ok. Prioritise and delegate to help you focus on the right work projects to both drive business results and in order that you can optimise your family time.
What do you think is the best bit about working at Amazon as a parent?
The best thing about Amazon is that I am valued and encouraged to balance home and work whilst accelerating and progressing my career. I feel genuinely supported and trusted to make the right decisions around how I need to work. At the same time I’m consistently pushed to think bigger, stretch myself and experiment with my role. For me, this creates a very empowering environment.
Amazon operates a flexible working environment – what aspects of this have you found most useful?
I would say the ability to informally work from home at least one day a week is invaluable for working mums (and all parents). For me, on the days I work from home, this means I can have breakfast with my family and take my kids to school. Amazon also gives you the tools and resources to be able to work remotely which I find highly valuable– it doesn’t matter where I work, I always feel connected and able to deliver.