Meet Evonne, UX/UI Designer at Direct Line and mum of two. She works full-time and manages to fit in her school runs. Here, she talks about how her attitude to work has changed since having each of her children, and how that’s led her to make childcare decisions.
Tell us a little bit about yourself…
I’m 33 yrs old, live in old Coulsdon moved here 2 years ago from Canada where my family and I lived and worked for 5 years.
I have two children 8.5 yrs and 3.5 yrs and pregnant with my third due end of this month. Been with my husband for 17 years (high school sweet heart).
What’s your trade?
Just started maternity leave but I’m a full time UX/UI designer, I’ve worked for a number of companies both financial and agencies over the last 15 years, currently employed and working for Direct Line Insurance in Bromley.
What made you choose your career?
I studied at London Metropolitan university and graduated in 2006 with a first class degree in computer aided design and multimedia, I always enjoyed Art and computing but didn’t really know at this point where that would take me. My first few jobs were varied design work from 3D modelling, architecture design, graphic and print design and then I fell into more web design and started focusing on user experiences and user interface design. I love the work I do and have been fortunate to work with some amazing clients and companies and build my portfolio over the years.
How your attitude towards work changed since having kids?
When my first was born I was early into my career, so I didn’t have that option to really stay at home and not work, I knew I needed to go back to work if I wanted to build my career and plus we need both salaries to afford the bills, it’s one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, at the time I didn’t want to leave my daughter but I also wanted to be able to provide the best I could for her and be a role model. Looking back now it’s the best decision I’ve ever made, by the time my second child was born I was in a more senior role and had built up those years of experience so I took extra year off work after my maternity leave, this was really down to the fact we were living in Canada and planning to move back to England, I didn’t see the benefit in starting my second child in nursery and then moving to England and starting another nursery, the transition was already going to be stressful on the family so I didn’t return to work.
After 6 months of arriving to England I joined a digital agency in the Shard called Jelly Fish, great company but for me the hours and commute were not giving me the family life balance I needed. I chose to leave London and find a more local job that would allow me flexibility with hours and be able to work some days from home, that’s when I joined Direct Line insurance and they have been fantastic in supporting my needs.
My husband works full time in London and has a very demanding role so when we were both working up town full steam ahead it was having a big impact on our family life and not allowing us the time with the kids in the evening. While my husbands career was moving at a fast past thats when I decided to take a more local role at Direct Line for a bit less money but have that flexibility to be there for the kids and do the school runs without needing a nanny. It allowed me to continue working which I wanted to but without the stress and pressure from some London companies.
We did discuss a nanny, but at that time we felt it was best I was home for the kids more, especially after our big move from Canada. Now my third is due I am deciding again if I should contract and hire a nanny, or stay off a little longer after maternity to help the family more.
What’s your morning routine look like?
I drive to work, take about 35/40mins. My hours are flexible so I can do both school runs (I do have kids in after school care but I can usually get to them by 4.30/5pm) I work from home 1-2 days a week, those days I’d pick the kids up earlier.
How do you balance childcare and working?
My youngest is in nursery full time and my daughter attends school plus after school clubs.
In 10 years… where do you see yourself?
I don’t see my career changing drastically over the next 10 years except I may contract instead of being employed full time.
Best piece of business advice…
Do what you love, you have to work that job day in day out, be passionate about your work. For me I work because I love what I do not because I have to work, my husband could support myself and my family now but my work is a part of my independence and you become adjusted to your lifestyle and routine.
Tips on managing the juggling act…
Don’t put pressure on yourself to be the best parent and achieve that high flying career, there has to be balance, if one fails you will be unhappy. Find what’s right for you and your family, situations change all the time so it maybe a temporary change in life, keep reevaluating what’s best for you all. When starting a new job always set the right expectations you want, if you want to be home by 6pm every evening make sure you don’t except anything less. Follow your instinct and put your family first, jobs come and go your family is who you are working to support.
Want to find out more about Evonne – visit her website and say hello to her on social media: