In honor of Mother’s Day, we sat down with our Executive Vice President of Full-time, Tammy Chatkin-Newman, and our Senior Vice President of Business Development, Tracy O’Connor to talk about what it’s like to be a working mom, the impact of working for a female-led company, and how to balance it all! There’s no holding back in this Career Over Coffee.
What aspects of being a mother have you incorporated into your work life?
Tracy: Tammy and I can both agree that being a mom has improved our time efficiency and how we run a team. I am protective of my team, and see myself as kind of the momma bear, and take aspects from being a mom to help manage teams, be a coach, and a cheerleader all at once. It is a balancing act.
Tammy: And when one of us is busy cheering on the team, we are cheering on each other. It’s all about relationships and creating a support system. It’s comforting knowing you’re not alone in this.
Tracy: We definitely intertwine work and personal matters, and that has fostered an immense support system both in my career and as a mom. Another aspect both Tammy and I have incorporated into our work lives is talking about all things digital. It starts at home from the perspective of monitoring our daughters on social media and weaves its way into work as everything is moving towards a more digital landscape.
How do you think working for a woman-led organization has changed things for you as a working mother?
Tammy: Celeste, our president, is not only a strong example for me, but is also an incredible example to my daughter, Alex. When I first started at 24 Seven, Celeste was a huge part of my decision to switch jobs. I knew I wanted to have a family and that I would be supported in that decision here.
Tracy: I’m really proud of the work we do here at 24 Seven. We help people find jobs, and sometimes we’re meeting with people at really vulnerable times in their lives. I’m also honored to work for a woman-led organization alongside truly incredible female leaders. I know this feeling of empowerment has trickled down to my daughter Eden. She’s smart, independent and determined. She recently wrote an essay for school about having a mom who works and said, “I’m really proud of my mom and the work she does every day. She helps people find jobs!” I teared up when I read it because I’m so grateful to be able to share my own experiences at work with Eden and can’t wait to see what her generation of women accomplish.
What does work/life balance mean to you now?
Tammy: I’m not going to lie – the work/mom balance is definitely not perfect. I’m not always there to pick up Alex, I can’t make all of the middle of the day class parties, or meetings, but I will say this – I have never missed an important school or extracurricular event, and that is all thanks to a supportive company allowing me the flexibility. Since being a working mom is not always easy, it is extremely important that I take the values from 24 Seven in the workplace to my home, and reflect that through Alex’s life with her life and our commitments as a family. Life can get crazy, which is where time management becomes my best friend.
Tracy: I would say that my goals have remained the same since having Eden, and it comes down to what can we do to make it happen. I wanted to work with smart women who push me to be my best self, and that is exactly what I get at 24 Seven. If anything, becoming a mother has made me work smarter and harder. As much as we push time efficiency and planning out your schedule, it is also a breath of fresh air when you’re able to just give yourself a break and not always have a schedule. That’s a big piece of advice I would give to new and future moms, to remember that even though people may see you as superwoman, you’re not, the laundry can wait, you deserve the break. Also catch up on sleep wherever and whenever you can!
The time has never been more critical to provide women from all walks of life and professional levels with the tools they need to reach for the sky, which is why 24 Seven is launching a new subject matter series, Leading Ladies. This curated collection of content comprises information that women can use as they navigate their careers – from job search recommendations to understanding their worth and setting compensation goals, to advice from our own team of powerful female leaders, like today’s Career Over Coffee. Keep an eye on our blog for more!