Here’s how i got my family and work-life balance right. A few years ago I made the decision to move into aged care podiatry because I knew I’d be a Mum one day and it’s such a flexible job, I thought it would be a great career move for someone who was planning a family.

I started working with Plena, previously known as Dimple, four years ago in a full time capacity and I’ve just started back again after 10 months maternity leave.

Coming back was great. The management team was very accommodating, allowing me to start with one day a week until I was ready to build up as many days as I wanted. This worked really well for me as I was able to ease myself back into it and I actually found it quite relaxing only having to worry about myself for a little while.

I worked just one day a week for a couple of months before going up to three days a week. I find this really manageable, and I also feel I have got the balance right for my family and me.

I know this is not a typical scenario for most return to work Mum’s, and I can’t imagine what it would be like to feel like you could not talk to your employer about your plans, and actively work together with them to come up with a return to work program that suits both the person and the company. I feel like I have been able to come back to work on my terms, and with some give and take and flexibility on both sides, things are working out well.

The wonderful thing about aged care podiatry is that the hours you work really depend on the facility you work at, the clients themselves and how efficient you are at getting treatments completed. As long as you treat everyone that needs to be seen, without rushing the job and ensuring your treatments are to a high standard, you can work your day any way you want. I personally like to start early and I finish earlier than I would if I had worked in a clinic. I generally start around 7am and finish early-mid afternoon.

Coming back to work on my terms has been a good experience. I haven’t found it at all stressful, and finishing earlier means I can have some me time before picking up ‘bub’. This is another aspect of getting the balance right in my opinion; whether it’s going to the gym, booking in a massage or facial, or just sitting down on the couch with a magazine for half an hour – creating a moment for yourself and having a bit of down time is essential.

To me, the absolute best benefit of working in aged care podiatry is that you can be flexible with your own hours by starting early and not having to stay within set 9-5 hours like you would at a clinic.

In terms of working at Dimple, there are heaps of advantages. I love working on my own and just getting my work done. With Dimple you work quite autonomously and have the support of head office whenever you need it. The team is great – everyone is friendly and the management team has been very supportive of me throughout the pregnancy, maternity leave period and in easing me back into the work force. In my opinion, they are just a great company to work for.