We go Q&A style with Tara Dragon, founder of Work Evolution AKA the place to consult with regarding flexible employment opportunities in Edmonton and area. We are so on board with her vision about flexible work opportunities as the new employee standard. Finally, a consulting firm for employers and employees to benefit from with a unique twist we l-o-v-e.
1. What is your Business all about?
I am the founder of Work Evolution and we are connecting the best employers with professionals seeking flexible employment. I am very passionate about helping professionals find meaningful work that utilizes their skills, education and talents while respecting the boundaries that they need for work-life balance. To do this, we are also changing the way that organizations think about employees and helping break down some of their barriers to accepting and/or hiring a flexible worker.
2. What inspired you to start your own business?
I recently had a career in IM/IT and was a partner in a boutique consulting firm. I returned to work six months after my son was born and found work and roles that allowed me to balance time at home with time in the office and also gave me enough flexibility to attend my son’s activities and appointments when I wanted.
Looking around at one of my peer groups – professional women with young families – I saw that many were not able to find a balance that worked for them. Some asked their employers for flexible arrangements and were denied, forcing them to make a decision about what to do. Options that they reviewed included returning to the same role and same circumstances, not returning at all, or returning to a different role with more flexibility (sometimes in a different organization). Some of the factors that were frequently under consideration were: cost of child care, ability to spend time with their family, income, opportunity to use their experience/education, and their ability to stay in a job they considered meaningful. At the end of the day, the decisions were very important, extremely personal and often very stressful.
Rather than convert everyone to IM/IT careers (which can be very flexible), I decided to tackle the problem a different way and found that the model was appealing to parents of young families (they don’t want to be away from their kids all day, every day), folks approaching retirement (they often want to ease into transition with a flexible “bridge” job), and millennials (they want to have jobs that support all of their other interests and passions).
3. Do you have a go to quote / motto?
If you do the right things, the right things get done.
4. What’s a personal goal of yours to accomplish? (time frame?)
My personal goal for 2018 is to be more active and involved in the lives of those closest to me. I had a stressful work project in 2017 that reduced the amount of time that I had to connect with people. This year I want and need to work at strengthening those relationships again now that I have left the consulting world.
5. Why do you love being an entrepreneur?
FLEXIBILITY! (Pun intended!) I love that I can work anywhere and at anytime. (E.g., I can take my son to gymnastics during the day and put in a few hours of work in the evening.) I also love to see the excitement and buzz around something that I am building.
6. What’s your best boss babe moment? (First moment of reassurance).
My best moments since launching Work Evolution have been the emails and notes from people that I don’t even know. I expect my family and besties to love my idea, but it’s extra-special when a stranger does! For example, I received this on LinkedIn, “…I was just browsing on LinkedIn and somehow stumbled on your article and story about flexible work. Thank you for what you are doing to help others find flexibility in their careers. As an HR Professional, I have seen how this has affected colleagues of mine and understand how flexibility impacts me personally. It makes me sad to see that so many employers are so rigid in their belief that you can only do work within the confines of their offices. Kudos and all the best to you in this venture. I’m a fan…”
7. Work-life Balance: What you do you do to destress? What is your must-have moment of the day (me time)?
I wake up at 4:50am every week day and get in a 60-minute workout before the household wakes up. I also use this time to watch my guilty-pleasure shows: The Bachelor, Nashville, Grey’s and Dr. Phil.
8. What are you looking to learn from other YEGBOSSBABES in the community?
I would love to learn more about how other YEGBOSSBABES are achieving their work-life balance. I would also love to learn more about how I can support them through the services offered by Work Evolution and find any and all opportunities to collaborate.
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