Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Ever So Helpful and Very Organised ATO!

I got a letter from the ATO in May 2007 telling me that they had transferred money in August 2006 into an old superannuation account of mine on behalf of a company I once worked for. Good to see that it took them almost nine months to actually inform me!!

The problem is that I closed that super account some time before they transferred the money. 

In true Emma form, it has taken me until June 2008 to actually track down my money. My previous super provider actually sent the money back to the ATO in August 2006 as the account was closed. So even though the money went back to the ATO immediately, the ATO still sent me a letter nine months later telling me that they had sent the money to the old account.

You would think in nine months they would have their paperwork sorted and send me a letter or call me to find out where I would like the money to go. 

It reminds me of dealing with Immigration!!

So naturally I had to sit through 27 minutes of revolving crap on the phone to actually speak with someone about it! I love dealing with the government!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Career vs children

Career vs children - the million dollar question (well it would be nice if it was!!)

After taking 12 months off work to spend some quality time with my gorgeous little boy Jackson, I hit the "what is best for my career and what is best for my child" dilemma.

Prior to Jackson entering the world in April 2007, I was working in a demanding Asia Pacific marketing role for an IT company, which involved long hours and lots of travel - both OS and locally. When it came time for my maternity leave to finish this year, I was faced with a big dilemma. Do I go back to my job? Do I work at all? Do I work part-time? Can I travel with a child? Do I put Jackson into daycare? What is best for Jackson? What is best for my career? What is most important to me?

Sound familiar?

While I have worked very hard to get where I am in my career over the past 11 years, spending quality time with Jackson is now the most important thing to me.  I have always wanted to be a mum and being there for him means the world to me!

After much soul searching, my decision was made easier by the fact that since I went on maternity leave, India had come into the mix in a big way - not only lots more travel, but also much longer hours with India 5.5 hours behind Australia. Working longer hours and traveling wasn't an option for me .................... and I certainly do admire anyone who can do it successfully with little ones!! 

So I did something that I always said I would never do ........... I started my own business providing marketing communications services - and much to my surprise, the work just flowed on in!!

My dad has run his own business for about 30 years and I have always seen the challenges that go along with it, particularly people not paying on time.....or at all.  And it is something I too have faced in the two short months since I started my business.

But at the moment, it is perfect for me - it gives me the best of all worlds: having the flexibility to work from home and contribute money into the family; keeping my career open; and also having the quality time with my beautiful son.  I guess I am fortunate enough that I can do this with my career, where many people's jobs won't allow them this luxury. 

I do sometimes miss the comraderie of working in an office with my colleagues, but having the quality time with my son is something I would never give up. I do feel lucky!