Life-Changing Connections with Senior Product Designer, Leah Habib | Finding flexibility
Something that is very important to us at Hunt & Co. is sharing the career stories and journeys of the life-changing connections our team make every day. After all, no two career paths are ever the same. Welcome to another Hunt & Co.’s #LifeChangingConnections feature with Senior Product Designer, Leah Habib.
As many parents know, returning to work after a career break and raising a family is no easy feat – particularly when looking to return on a part-time basis. Many struggle to find roles that tick all the boxes and sometimes find they have to compromise on their dream part-time or flexible role.
In Leah’s instance, she was driven to find a Design role that allowed her to leverage her two decades of experience in Marketing, Design, User Experience and Product Development with two digital transformation projects under her belt. Whilst she was willing to be flexible on what she was looking for, she was also driven to find a role where she could work remotely on a project that was also personally fulfilling.
When she came across a part-time Senior Product Designer role on Hunt & Co.’s job board, she knew it was the one.
With a limited number of part-time and flexible roles available, the Hunt & Co. team were inundated with applications. However, Leah’s impressive application saw her rapidly interviewed, pitched and progressed for the role within a matter of days. Once the interview process commenced, it was clear on both sides that the ‘fit’ was there. Leah was offered the role within a week.
Fast forward and Leah is now thriving as a part-time member at Incluude, an ed-tech company providing SaaS platforms for people-focused enterprises. Leah’s experience with Hunt & Co. has been instrumental in her successful return to work, demonstrating that with the right support and opportunities, it is possible for parents to can find the flexibility and balance needed to return to work and successfully navigate their professional and family responsibilities. This story is also a testament to the fact that securing a part-time role is not only possible but can also align perfectly with one’s passion and expertise.
We were thrilled to chat with Leah about returning to the industry, how she balances her workload within a fast-growing scale-up and her return-to-work advice for new mums working in digital!
Hi Leah! Tell us, how did you end up working in this industry?
I worked in advertising for over a decade as a Designer. The demands of the advertising world lost its sparkle after I hit my thirties. I have always loved the relationship between psychology and UX, and decided to transition into UI Design after an opportunity to design touch screens. I was also very fortunate to have some encouraging mentors.
How did you end up in your current role?
After taking a career break to start a family, I was looking for work that would allow flexibility with young children. It was a challenge to find a role which reflected my skill set and part-time. When my current role was posted I knew it was for me. I researched the company, did a refresher of my skills and applied. Thankfully Hunt & Co and my employer felt the same!
What is it about your current role that made you transition?
The flexibility, job type and the potential to move within the company over time.
How did you enjoy your experience overall working with Hunt & Co.?
It was a fantastic experience. Everyone was extremely supportive and confident that I would be a great fit for this role.
You’re currently working part-time within a fast-growing scale-up! How do you balance your workload with the pressure of always having something else to do?
I place a lot of emphasis on practising effective time management. Some things that keep me in check are to-do lists, calendars and time tracking. I try and cut down on time wastage by preparing and planning for my workload. I am also extremely lucky that there is no commute to work. So getting to work is less stressful to begin with.
On my workdays, I avoid any distractions such as social media, which makes a world of a difference when focusing on a big body of work, during a short work week.
Working at a scale-up comes with lots of competing priorities! Heading up the Design function, how do you decide where to focus your energy and time?
I enjoy working with an agile mindset and I am always aiming to collaborate, learn and stay flexible on my projects. More often than not, scope creep will undo work and blowout timeframes. I find it is extremely important to plan, communicate clearly and have good relationships with your co-workers. Regular 1:1’s with my direct report have quickly eliminated any blocks and helped keep priorities aligned.
You had a career break to focus on your family. Returning from that can be challenging! What advice do you have for other return-to-work mums working in digital?
There are employers that value experience. When looking to re-enter the workforce, know your worth.
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about your role?
Work-life balance does exist.
What is the best career advice you have ever received?
If you are honest and a hard worker, opportunities will present themselves.
Final one! What is one tip or word of advice you would give to someone looking for a new role?
Follow your intuition.
Thanks so much to Leah Habib for chatting with us and sharing your advice. You can connect with Leah Habib on LinkedIn here.