Why becoming a dad completely changed my outlook on work

Why becoming a dad completely changed my outlook on work

When Thomas Paige became a father, his attitude to life changed in a heartbeat. Here’s what happened next

By Thomas Paige

In that exact moment, I don’t think I could have been any happier.

Standing in my kitchen, looking out across the sun-drenched garden, with this incredible new life cradled in my arms. Playing quietly in the background was The Rolling Stones’ classic “Wild Horses”: the perfect soundtrack to a couple of minutes that I’ll never forget.

    I found myself floating above all the normal work-related niggles and stresses.  

I’d recently returned home from the hospital, having just become a dad for the first time – and all of my priorities had changed in an instant.

Changing perspectives

Becoming a parent completely refocused my mind on what was important. It put every aspect of my life into perspective – perhaps none more so than my attitude to work.

As I neared the end of my paternity leave, my mind naturally began to return to work-related matters. I couldn’t help but contemplate how different my working days would be now that so much had changed. I began to grow increasingly uneasy at the thought of going back.

But to my surprise, I actually returned to work with a feeling of renewed strength.

Why becoming a dad completely changed my outlook on workNot in a way that you might expect. It wasn’t a sense of added motivation or inspiration, afforded to me by my new infant.

Instead, it was something very different. It was a feeling of loftiness. I found myself floating above all the normal work-related niggles and stresses. Those dreaded meetings, which would previously have made me run for cover, no longer bothered me. I was able confidently to negotiate them, and maybe even enjoy them (a little).

And all because I knew that no matter what happened in that room, or at any time during the working day, I still got to go home and see my little baby.

Put simply, nothing compared to the new love of my life.

The measure of success

For a time I struggled to get anywhere near the levels of motivation that I had always enjoyed in my working life. Normal service did gradually resume, but there was one change to my mindset that stuck: the way I viewed and measured “success”.

Prior to becoming a father, success to me had always meant career progression and a generous salary. But the only measure of success for me now was the amount of quality time I spent with my family: a feeling that’s stayed with me ever since.

I’m clearly not alone in this respect, with 63pc of new dads requesting a change in their working patterns as they seek a better work-life balance.

    ...the only measure of success for me now was the amount of quality time I spent with my family...  

Three tips to achieving work-life balance as a busy dad

So as I sit here feeling more “successful” than ever, I want to share a few simple steps that may help you overcome the inevitable conflict between work and being a family man.

1. Define your ideal work-life balance

Work-life balance means many things to many people, so start by defining what it means to you. What does your ideal work-life balance look like? What steps will you take to get there?

Start with your end goal and work backwards. But don’t expect quick wins: it can take years (four in my case) to reach a position where your working life helps to accommodate the demands and desires of your family.

2. Seek the flexibility you need (or want)

Flexible working comes in many different guises. Each offers a slightly different approach to improving your work-life balance.

Working fathers are often reluctant to broach the idea of flexible working with their employers. With 2 in 5 dads having flexible working requests turned down, it’s easy to see why.

But remember, flexible working provides many benefits to your employer. So before submitting a request, do your research and come up with a proposal that benefits all parties. That’ll make it harder for them to refuse.

3. Broaden your horizons

If there is genuinely very little likelihood of your employer supporting your request for flexible working, perhaps it’s time to consider a change in direction. That could mean a different job, a switch in career or even becoming your own boss.

Either way, give yourself time to get used to parenthood. Establish a clear idea of the work-life balance needed to accommodate your new way of life. Then go for it.

If you’re anything like me, you won’t regret making the change for an instant.

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

Published: 14 February 2020

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: How to succeed as a working mum

You may also enjoy: How to find your passion

Jobs currently available

New job
Graphic Designer
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910168
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Graphic Designer on behalf of a company based in Colchester, Essex.

They are looking for an enthusiastic and skilled Graphic Designer to join their team.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join an exciting company as they rapidly expand nationwide.

Duties will include:

  • Designing and producing marketing material for nine businesses across the UK
  • Each business has their own distinct brand identity, so you must be willing to adapt as the situation demands
  • Manage the production of their 300 page brochure
  • Design other promotional material; for example posters and flyers; for use in their sites
  • Liaising with 3rd parties to design and produce physical promotional materials
  • Negotiating prices
  • Experience with website design is preferable
  • Experience with running business social media accounts also preferable

Experience in a similar role or relevant qualification is a must for this opportunity

  • Relevant extensive experience in design programs - for example, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Dreamweaver - is required
Read more
New job
Designer
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: discussed on application
Location: Chelmsford, South Woodham Ferrers
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910167
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Designer on behalf of a company based near South Woodham Ferrers.

This is a fantastic opportunity if you have a Product Design background and can offer Retail or POS Design experience.

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Create new products, including 3D designs, prototyping and testing
  • Execute robust design process and continuous improvement
  • Take client brief either from Account Manager or Client
  • Time management and planning workload with Head of Design
  • A ‘can do’ attitude

Qualifications:

  • Excellent level of knowledge using SolidWorks
  • Good level of knowledge using Adobe Suite
  • Experience with the POS sector would be advantageous
  • Product Design degree would be preferred
  • Good problems solving skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good Word & Excel skills
Read more
New job
Administrator
Sector: Public Service and Administration
Salary: £16,500 - £17,000 per annum
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910164
About the role

Just Recruitment is working with one of Suffolk’s most promising mortgage companies. Established in 2014, this company is looking to take on a skilled Administrator to support its rapid expansion.

Your duties will include:

  • Supporting the mortgage brokers in their day-to-day activities
  • Electronic Filing and record-keeping
  • Checking and submitting mortgage applications
  • Progressing cases
  • Speaking to members of the public, both in-person and over the phone

Ideally, you will:

  • Have experience in an administrative role
  • Possess an excellent telephone manner
  • Be diligent and detail-oriented
  • Be highly computer literate, including familiarity with Microsoft Packages
  • Have a great sense of humour

Working hours:

35 per week – Monday to Friday, 9am until 5pm, with an hour off for lunch

Read more
New job
Warehouse Operator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: To be discussed on application
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910163
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Warehouse Operative on behalf of a company based in Sudbury Suffolk.

Your daily duties will include:

  • Ensuring that the warehouse is kept tidy and organised
  • Unloading and checking of deliveries in
  • Checking in goods
  • Putting away products within the warehouse
  • Picking products as per customer orders
  • Checking orders, ensuring accuracy
  • Packing orders to ensure safety in delivery
  • Loading deliveries
  • On occasions take responsibility for the locking up procedure for the Warehouse/Site

Working hours:

Split shifts: 6.00am – 2.30pm / 2.00pm – 10.30pm

You will have the following skills and experience:

  • Suitable applicants will ideally have current Forklift licences for Counterbalance, Pallet Truck and Flexi
  • Good level of Numeracy and Literacy
  • Intermediate PC skills
  • Preferred NVQ Level 2 Warehousing or equivalent
  • Prior knowledge of Warehouse Management Systems
Read more
Equity Release Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910156
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Equity Release Advisor to join an established company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

  • A CeMAP / Equity Release qualification
  • Experience within mortgage broking or Equity Release
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more
Mortgage Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910155
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Mortgage Advisor to join an established mortgage company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

You will have:

  • A CeMAP qualification (happy to consider newly qualified applicants)
  • Experience within mortgage broking or financial services
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more