Charity can begin at home – when you work there…

Getting To Know You – Charity Work

For some, time is more valuable than money and we found that several of our Juggle Jobs candidates are motivated by giving back to the community and want to take the extra time for ‘passion projects’.

And that’s great for them.

But why should businesses employ someone who dedicates spare time to philanthropic causes? Because people who do so are often ethical, respectful and committed [HuffPost].

We delved a little deeper and spoke to another ‘juggler’ to understand how she used flexible working to manage her charitable side projects.

  • Name: Shimrit Janes
  • Age: 31
  • Occupation: Consultant and Director of Knowledge

Tell us a bit about yourself…

I’m one of those rare, native Londoners – although I did head to Manchester once upon a time to study History at university.

True to my North London roots, I’m a lifelong Arsenal fan. But I’m also an avid video-gamer and reader; although picking a favourite book is nigh on impossible, I’ll always have a soft spot for The Little Prince.

When did you begin working flexibly?

Around 7 years ago in my previous job as a Knowledge Management Project Leader at an international law firm. It was actually down to my former boss, who encouraged me to try working from venues other than the office. I caught the bug and never looked back.

What type of flexible working do you engage in?

I work on several projects at a time consulting with corporates around the future of work and particularly the impact of digital. I also conduct research within that area and author reports, informing companies on what works and doesn’t. Lastly, I’ve recently gotten involved in setting up a new global knowledge-sharing community for non-corporates who are looking to accelerate their digital transformation.

Portfolio working means I set my own hours and often the venue from which I work. I can also double up on hours if I decide I want to take an extended break during the week.

What does flexible working allow you to do?

It gives me control over my work/life balance. I like not being wedded to a set 9 to 5 in a set place – being the ‘master of my week’ if you will.

I always had a desire to work within the charity sector, but my career didn’t end up following that path (and I’m ultimately happy with that). Working flexibly has meant that I have been able to dedicate time to causes I believe in and offer my skills by helping a number of charities with their social media strategy and knowledge-sharing.

Tell us more about the charity work you’ve done – what did you get from it on a personal level?

On a personal level, it felt good to be able to give back; that I had something to offer of value. Although fundraising is incredibly important, in certain circumstances time is more precious to charities than money, especially when they need people power during the working week rather than in the evenings and at weekends when most other people are free.

What skills have you learned as a result that feedback into your role?

Although I was well-versed in thinking through personas and user requirements, having to put myself in the shoes of different generations to understand why they may or may not engage with a charity was eye-opening. It helped me further delve into the audience perspective, something that’s invaluable for a consultant.

How do you think the companies you work with have benefited from your extra-curricular activities?

I feel happier and more fulfilled. Consequently I am more engaged and productive. Win win.

Your role requires you to jump between businesses.  What, in your opinion, can companies do better to accommodate this?

Encourage and even enforce digital literacy. Without it, flexible working is really challenging and companies don’t benefit from the productivity and engagement mentioned previously.

It’s also important to have the right culture, understanding and skills so that the office-based workers know how to work with flexible staff in an effective way.

Would you return to a more traditional working pattern?

No way, I love it too much.

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Part of the new ‘Getting to know you’ series – follow us to be kept up-to-date on the next segment and other articles from Juggle Jobs

Juggle Jobs is a digital platform that connects businesses with high-quality vetted professionals looking to work flexibly. If you want more information about how we can help you, please email us at info@jugglejobs.co.uk

Juggle Jobs is listed as one of Recruiter.com’s “Top 10 HR Tech Start-Ups”: Top 10 HR Tech Start-Ups (Recruiter.com)