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
QA Manager
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Saffron Walden
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910873
About the role

Our client is seeking an experienced Quality Assurance Manager to join them on a permanent, full-time basis. This opportunity offers stability, longevity and professional development.

Reporting directly to the MD, the Quality Assurance Manager will be responsible for:

  • Maintaining and improving the Company's Quality Management System and ensure internal compliance
  • Working with all departments to ensure their procedures are being followed and to improve their internal and cross-functional processes and procedures
  • Ensure that the quality of current and newly introduced products is compliant and traceable
  • Coordinate Quality activities with all over departments
  • Develop and improve quality relationships with all customers of the Company
  • Responsible for all Quality activities and personnel in the Quality Department for the Company
  • Provide strong leadership in the day-to-day operations of the Quality department and mentor the members of the team
  • Establish performance goals for all departmental employees and monitor performance on a continual basis
  • Oversee all hiring, appraisal, training and discipline of Quality personnel
  • Member of the Company's Management team
  • Produce the Quality element of the company's annual Budget
  • Formulate the departmental strategy aligned to the overall Company strategy
  • Embed a Continuous Improvement culture within the Quality Dept and contribute to the Continuous Improvement programme across the site


  • HND or equivalent qualification in Engineering or a related technical field required
  • Minimum 5 years experience in a Manufacturing environment
  • Ability to articulate (verbally and in writing), defend and negotiate Quality expectations with internal and external customers at all levels of management
  • Good interpersonal skills with the ability to guide and educate/train at all levels
Read more
New job
Customer Service Administrator
Sector: Customer Service
Salary: £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910871
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting a well-regarded organisation at the forefront of its sector that is looking to add a Customer Service Administrator to its team, due to growth – based on the outskirts of Halstead.

The main purpose of the role is to service current and prospective customers by receiving and processing orders, enquiries and general information in a timely and courteous manner.

Key tasks include:

  • Answering incoming calls, giving product information, lead times, dealing with general enquiries and queries, redirecting calls to relevant departments
  • Raising and inputting orders and proforma invoices
  • Raising quotations
  • Amending orders, as required
  • Scanning documentation
  • Liaising with Areas Sales Managers and responding to their requests
  • Arranging couriers and/or carriers as required
  • Any general office associated duties

Key requirements for the role:

  • Excellent computer skills
  • Good eye for detail
  • The ability to work well under pressure
  • Courteous

Previous experience requirements:

  • Previous Customer Service Administrative experience gained within an office environment
  • Excellent telephone manner with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • High level of attention to detail and accuracy
  • Good working knowledge of Microsoft Office and experience of in-house systems
  • Ability to multi-task and prioritise own workload
  • Exceptional communication skills, both written and verbal
  • Understanding of the importance of data protection and adherence to the process

Offering free parking and an excellent working environment, this is a great opportunity to join a growing team.

Working Monday to Friday 37.5 hours per week - offering a competitive salary and company benefits.

Read more
New job
Production Operative
Sector: Engineering and Manufacturing
Salary: £8.91 per hour
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Temporary
Job ref: 910811
About the role

Want to work in a safe, clean environment?
And have the possibility of ongoing work?

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Temporary Production Operative to be based in Needham Market.

Duties include:

  • Ensure all final and completed products are packed to the customer specifications                               
  • Informing Line Leaders of defects found in the products
  • Keep machines supplied with packing materials and labels
  • Assist the Line Leaders with handovers and changeovers
  • Responsible for general cleanliness of the production area and removal of production and general waste
  • Check products on the line for quality and defects
  • Basic production duties carried out in a fast-paced environment

Working hours:

8.30am - 5.00pm Monday to Friday

Read more
New job
Logistics Coordinator
Sector: Transport, Logistics and Shipping
Salary: £24,000 per annum
Location: Ipswich
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910869
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Ipswich.

You will be responsible for assisting with the loads out operation of the business by ensuring that the process from collection to arrival at the final destination is fully supported by the relevant goods in haulage documentation.

You will also be supporting the sales function of the business by dealing with customer queries in terms of both sales and operations as well as assisting with various ad-hoc marketing campaigns. This is a very varied role and requires flexibility, commitment and a substantial desire to learn and grow with the flourishing business.

Duties will include:

  • Process orders and oversees the order to completion of paperwork
  • Facilitate the shipping of products from one destination to another
  • Arrange transportation with outside hauliers
  • Receive paperwork from the Weighbridge department and check and complete the paperwork within the allocated time allowed
  • Answer calls and emails relating to customer queries and log them on the CRM system and resolve any outstanding issues raised
  • Keep CRM records up-to-date
  • Work with the sales and operations team to ensure that high customer service levels are achieved and delivered to all customers you are responsible for at all times

Skills required:

  • Good Microsoft skills including Word, Outlook & Excel
  • Ability to work proactively on an independent basis as well as be a good team player
  • You will have the interpersonal skills necessary to develop and sustain effective relationships with team members of other departments and with all customers
  • Good attention to detail and analytical skills
Read more
New job
Legal Secretary (Part-Time)
Sector: Law and Security
Salary: Up to £11.00 per hour
Location: Witham
Role: Part Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910868
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting an established business, based in Witham looking to add a highly-skilled secretary to their long-standing team.

The role will involve, audio typing, preparing documents, answering the phone, dealing with enquiries and assisting colleagues as well as directing queries as needed.

Key responsibilities to include:

  • Audio typing – dictation
  • Preparing letters and drafting documents
  • Handling diaries and booking appointments
  • Answering the phone and dealing with queries
  • General secretarial and office-based duties

As well as having experience in a secretarial position, you will have audio typing experience and excellent typing skills. The role requires you to have a good level of IT literacy, experience of Word (essential) and Excel would be useful. You will take pride in your work and have a caring and sympathetic nature.

Please note this role is part-time.

This is a great opportunity, offering a good pay rate and company benefits.

Read more
Accounts Assistant
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £9.50 - £10.00 per hour
Location: Sudbury
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910867
About the role

Just Recruitment is delighted to be supporting, a well-regarded, family-run business on the outskirts of Sudbury.

They are looking to add an Accounts Assistant with payroll experience to their team.

Key duties include:

  • Responsible for weekly and monthly payroll’s on Sage and all related duties (holiday forms etc.)
  • Knowledge of Xero accounts
  • Purchase Ledger
  • Sales Ledger
  • Chasing payments
  • Exporting mail-order invoices and credit notes from Magento to Xero
  • Assist Bookkeeper with any accounts duties
  • Assist Bookkeeper with HR Duties as needed
  • Reconciling Braintree payments to Mail Order invoices
  • Assist with stocktaking and valuation

Knowledge of Xero and Microsoft Office would be advantageous, although Sage experience would be considered. Attention to detail, good time management skills, accuracy, approachable and reliability is a must.

Free parking is available on site, offering a competitive hourly rate and an excellent working environment.

Read more