Raising a family and managing your career can be a bit of a juggling act. Gillian Farrell, who heads up our Marketing department, explains how CPM has given her a great opportunity to continue to further her career while balancing raising a family.
What does your current role entail?
I am the Marketing Manager of CPM Ireland; my role entails promoting and building brand awareness of CPM to drive growth both for new business as well as new potential employees for CPM.
How has CPM helped you to further your career?
CPM has always been very supportive throughout my career with them. They have a mantra of “Get, Grow, Keep” and with 8 years tenure I guess I’m a prime example of this. Throughout my time with CPM my role has constantly grown and the opportunities to develop my experience have been very fruitful including the company sponsoring my diploma in Digital Marketing with the Digital Marketing Institute, putting me forward as the Irish representative on both the Marketing and New Business Global teams for CPM Group and most recently supporting me to acquire a Web Development diploma to further my digital skillset for the business.
What role were you working in before moving to your current role?
Before I worked in CPM I lived in Australia for four years and worked for an International healthcare company called Bupa as Head of Corporate and 3rd Party Alliances. I was responsible for marketing the corporate and third party insurance products for Bupa and managed a team of 4 people.
How has life changed since moving back from Australia and working at CPM?
In my personal life: Since moving back from Australia I bought a house, got married and have had two little girls (age 2 and 5) so it’s been a busy 8 years!
In my work life: My 20’s were spent building my career and now in my 30’s I am fortunate enough to have found an organisation that allows me continue the work I’ve achieved in building a career as well as offering me a balance to maintain a good family life.
How has CPM helped you to maintain a balance between work and home?
Some people are not so fortunate. Working as a mother can sometimes lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. At CPM I have found the right balance between profession and parenthood. I work 3 full days a week and the other two days spending quality time with my girls.
Do you find it difficult to try to get your work done in 3 days rather than 5?
At first it was difficult, you need to be very disciplined. I found the key is to focus on a plan for every day, week and month, and be really organised. Working a shorter week makes you very aware of time and how precious it is, so I am very conscious of that and use my time very wisely in work.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years’ time my children will be that little bit older and so I see myself going back to work full time and moving further up the career ladder, taking on exciting and challenging roles to further my experience.
What advice would you give working mothers who are trying to get the balance right?
If you are only starting to think about having a family, set yourself up in an organisation that is supportive of working mothers and can offer flexible working arrangements if needed. It really does take the pressure off knowing you can do both career and parenting if you work for an organisation that is understanding.
When I had my first child I continued to work full time so if you are already a working mother and don’t have the flexible opportunities here are 3 tips to get you through your working week and ensure you get the balance right:
- Be organised at home – have clothes for everyone in the house ready the night before, there is nothing worse than starting your day in a tizzy, it leaves you feeling flustered for the rest of the day
- Be organised in Work – finish every day with one last task – a to-do list for the next day – ticking off what you done today will give you a sense of achievement and writing the to do list for tomorrow will give you a sense of focus.
- Use Time Wisely - Focus on things that add value, try not to get caught up in too many activities that will not help achieve your ultimate goals in your professional and family life. Time is precious; don’t be afraid to say no sometimes.