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Steeple Aston

9-2-3 is a recruitment agency that specialises in placing high quality candidates into jobs with hours that fit in around the school run.



Case studies and thoughts on flexible working today.


Filtering by Tag: flexible working

You’ve aced your CV and now it’s time to prepare for your interview!

Helen Wright

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Remember, this is your opportunity to shout about YOU!

Here are some of the top tips that the ladies at 9-2-3 have put together based on client and candidate feedback and of course, their own professional opinion. 

Go prepared with questions to ask them about the role, not just questions that you think the prospective employer would like you to ask them but burning questions that are important to you in a new role. Candidates sometimes forget that the interview is just as much for you as it is for them and it's so important to find out everything you want to know so you can judge whether it's the right job or not.

Turn up in plenty of time – don’t create a bad impression on your first meeting!

When introducing yourself, ask them how they see the role working and what they want before you go into full interview question mode - this helps you to tailor your responses to the questions from the start.

BE FULLY AWARE of EVERYTHING on your CV including dates/time at each role. 

Be able to relate each/as many of your roles/responsibilities to the one you are applying for at your interview – it’s always great to be able to demonstrate experience and to pull examples from your CV – don’t assume they will know your CV inside out – they might be seeing A LOT of candidates!

Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not – you want a job that suits YOU.

As nervous as you may feel, remember you are interviewing them too – they need to show you why you want to work for them. Cultural fit is so important, if you’re not happy at work it doesn’t matter how good the role is. If it then doesn’t work out it wasn’t meant to be. If possible try to get a feel for the culture before you go and dress accordingly – (superhero capes optional!)

If you’re returning to workplace after a career break and are struggling to remember ‘professional’ examples then try and prepare a few current examples e.g. During 4 years on the school PTA, I’ve honed my relationship building skills,  had lots of experience managing suppliers and learnt how to secure sponsors…

Honesty! Especially when going for flexible roles – you need to show you want to work and being too demanding isn’t always going to be welcomed well by the employer but equally over promising to get a job isn’t going to be helpful to anyone in the future. If you are asking for flex you need to show how you can make the role work in the hours you are suggesting.

Thinking like you have the role already and talking about how you will achieve the targets, job spec puts in their mind that you are capable of what they want you to do – they will be able to envisage you doing it.

Pick out top related achievements to go through during the interview that you know will impress them on a personal and professional level - this will give them a really good overview into you as a person and also demonstrate your professional skills too!

Close the interview - this is especially important if you are going for a sales role but good advice for any interview. You close the interview by saying something along the lines of, "thank you for your time today, can I just ask, is there anything that you are unsure of that I haven't demonstrated in the interview and that would stop me from being put forward to the next stage?" This is now the employers opportunity to highlight any concerns then you can address them there and then so there is no reason for you to be not put through to the next stage of the process.

…..And most importantly…..RELAX!


Helen Wright


“Job experience and design” - it might not be a term that you are currently familiar with, but this driving force behind flexible working will soon be hitting headlines everywhere. In simple terms it means embracing technology and re-appraising working hours to create a bespoke job experience that suits a person’s individual lifestyle no matter if they’re a flexible worker, freelancer or a small business owner.

Over the last 20 years digital has disrupted industries including retail, hospitality, transport and entertainment, creating a completely new way of how we interact with brands. Just think about Amazon, Airbnb, Uber and Spotify and how these brands now seamlessly fit into your life and deliver a dynamic experience.

To facilitate this, a whole swathe of new roles have been created including user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX) designers. These “experience designers” are working away behind the scenes to cleverly orchestrate the way that we use an app, website or interact with a brand at every single touch point. They are the architects who make our interactions with tech enjoyable, fulfilling and productive.

Now let’s turn our attention to the workforce. Tech is also creating a revolution in the way that we work. We now have access to instant messengers, video calls, email and shared drives. Remote working has never been more viable – it’s cost effective for businesses and beneficial for the workforce. It’s proven to save money and lift morale. Business owners are finally embracing flexible working (which encompasses compressed hours, part-time hours, split hours and remote working) and they are reaping the rewards.

As we move into 2019 and beyond, we will really see the rise of Job Experience and Design (JX&D). Forward-looking companies will continue to embrace flexible working, and hire job designers who will really drive change from the ground up. They will create a whole new way of running a workforce. If businesses are slow to do this, then the workforce will simply go out and create their own opportunities: freelancing, starting a small business or taking on contract roles (or a blend of all three) becoming an architect of their own career.

However, this is a journey where we all need support. Driving change before it’s the norm is a brave thing to do, and we all need to stay connected to other people who are just like us to give ourselves the best chance of success.

That is why I started The Flex Network in 2018. I wanted to support people who want to break out of the traditional way of working, and who are passionate about creating a different design of career for themselves. Flexible working, freelancing or owning a small business can easily lead to isolation, imposter syndrome or feeling flat and I wanted to stoke the fires of all the talented men and women who are embracing a new way of finding work that works. Networking, and curating my own tribe, as well as tapping into other networks totally transformed my experience of working from home, my confidence, and the way that I viewed how I might approach my own job experience, and how I might design a new career to fit in with my own personal circumstances.

Find your tribe both online and in person:

3 FAB tips for networking by Helen Bryce @ Guilty Mothers Club

Helen Wright

Honestly, networking is not my favourite topic and I find it can be something that falls down my list of priorities as a result. However, undoubtedly some of my most successful career moves and business results have come from building a network of strong relationships.


- A long time ago I read about a 3 second rule when it comes to networking in person and it really works. Basically within 3 seconds of thinking, "I'd like to chat to them" you go and do it. That way you don't have time to convince yourself not to or feel the fear. It has DEFINITELY worked for me in the past and can even work virtually too. If I find someone on IG for example, and think we could collaborate or would like to build my relationship with them, I try and send that DM before I change my mind! 

- Try not to think of it as 'networking'. For me and I know some others, this word itself feels formal and forced and a bit urgh. I think of it more as looking for opportunities where a relationship could be mutually beneficial. That moves it from feeling like I am selling myself or meeting people with an agenda to just being interested in others, starting interesting conversations and finding ways we could both help each other out - much nicer. 

- With the above in mind, when making contact with someone new I tend to find that starting with what you can do for them works better than going straight in with a request or cold intro. It doesn't have to be anything huge, sharing a link to an article you think they'd like, introducing another contact, offering a freebie, even just being honest and saying you really like what they are doing or their brand or whatever.


Check out the Guilty Mothers Club NEW Game Changer Programme online - definitely worth a look!

‘I want to help others to feel supported and inspired and able to make these sorts of decisions that will lead to more happiness and fulfilment. Be that apply for a promotion that is fully deserved or get out of a job that is sucking the fun out of life. 
I want to provide a sort of village so that we can work together to change the game, and I’m really proud of the one that is currently growing all the time. 

That’s my why.’

Next intake starts 28.1.19