Blog | Willing to Work - Member's Story

Willing to Work - Member's Story

24/11/2015 - Guest Blogger, Mike Leane

mike leaneOn November 2nd, COTA SA hosted a consultation for the inquiry by Australian Age and Disability Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan AO into employment discrimination against older Australians and Australians with a disability. We had a great turnout with lots of feedback and attendees relaying their personal experiences. One of these attendees, COTA SA member Mike Leane, was invited to be our guest blogger for this week.  Here's his story:

Mike's story

Following "Willing to Work National Inquiry Consultation", I spoke with Jane Mussared who offered the opportunity to contribute some of my experience to the COTA blog of moving from full time to part time casual work, as part of finding a new work-life balance.

I have worked across the private, INGO and SA Government sectors of the electricity energy industry for all but a few years of my career. I retired from full time work at the end of 2014 and moved to part time casual work in the same sector (SA Government) from early 2015.

I have found 2 days on, 5 days off to be a great arrangement for this transition stage of my working life. It has allowed me to give greater attention to family and other personal pursuits and increased volunteer opportunities, while maintaining contact with work colleagues and the energy issues that I still care about.

2 days on, 5 days off has allowed me to "work on the business" without out being submerged "in the business" as I had previously been. This new work-life balance has allowed me time for reflection and to be more creative in meeting the challenges faced by the business.

A key contribution to the work place has been memory of the issues and business relationships over recent years that may not be known by those who have entered the business in more recent times.

As this stage I'm keen to continue this arrangement for the foreseeable future but am aware of the continuing need to "add value" to the organisation. The challenges I see ahead include staying well informed about key aspects of the business, including the ever changing issues with various stakeholders (contractors, consumers, executives in the organisation and community organisations related to the sector). How do I stay "current" while only in the office 2 days per week? How to balance the need to deliver on the projects assigned to me and discussions with staff and stakeholders regarding the wider issues?

I'm keen to hear from others who are further down this path - opportunities and threatsthat I should be aware of!

Get in touch

If you're further down this path and you'd like to get in touch with Mike to share your own experiences with him, please email us on cotasa@cotasa.org.au (with the topic FAO Mike Leane) and we'll pass your messages along.  COTA SA would also like to hear from you about your own experiences on this or any other issues you'd like us to consider; if you've got something to say drop us an email