The most rewarding and unrewarding job I've ever had

Holly Eggers, 2 min read
The most rewarding and unrewarding job I've ever had

2016 was a big year for the Eggers Family

It was the year of ‘births’; the birth of Yarno, of course, and the birth of our beautiful daughter, Lauren.

But let’s take a step back.

Mark and I met in ‘The Passage’ bar, Darlinghurst in 2012 when I was working as a Senior Account Manager for a boutique marketing agency and Mark was running a boutique digital agency. I was on the marketing career ladder; striving for the next big ‘pitch win’ or promotion.

By the time we got hitched and were expecting our little ‘peanut’ I was working as a Marketing Manager at Qantas. Mark was now working full time on his start-up, Yarno. Although we were both very excited to become parents, I hadn’t really given the whole ‘motherhood’ gig much thought. It would just come to me, wouldn’t it? You know… naturally?

Well. Not quite.

It’s true what they say, it’s the most rewarding, and not rewarding, hardest job you’ll ever have. And, like they also say, my brain turned to mush. It was all consumed with nappies, sleep times, feeding times and generally just keeping this little bundle of joy alive. The responsibility was overwhelming at times in the early days.

But slowly there was light, a little bit more sleep, or I was just used to functioning on 2-3 hour blocks of sleep. I started to think about using my brain again. But how? I was on maternity leave. I couldn’t very well start dipping in and out of work, in between nap times. My brain was calling out to be utilised but it wasn’t quite ready for the world of work. And nor was my little baby ready to be separated from me. Mother’s guilt is REAL.

I did start to reach out to Qantas, going in for a couple of catch-up meetings and strategy sessions, and I found that just chatting about work reinvigorated my passion for it. Although organising these meetings was a logistical operation, fortunately, we had Super Gran come to the rescue – looking after Lauren for a few hours whilst I went into the office. However, a few hours weren’t enough. I was struggling to remember basic processes and systems I had used over a year ago. I tried to read and research the latest trends, to keep up with my industry and hopefully ease my return to work. But I just didn’t have the time to read lengthy articles, let alone up-skill myself in a new area.

This leads me to my other baby... Yarno!

Whilst Mark and Lachy are the co-founders, myself and Kate, Lachy’s wife, have been part of this journey from the beginning – we’re the silent founders. The ones supporting from the sidelines. And suddenly, the answer was staring me in the face – I could use Yarno to help prepare me to return to work! Not only that, this was a huge opportunity for Yarno itself – the returning to work mum market. I spoke to Mark, expressing my desire to get my head back in the game, and asked whether he had any campaigns I could do. At the time, Yarno was running a pilot with EY to test digital knowledge, which seemed ideal.

So, for the next ten days, I answered three questions a day.

It turned out to be perfect for the brain space I had to give. Being mobile, Yarno was also perfect given I only had one hand free most of the time (as any mum would tell you!). In doing the campaign, the real eye-opener for me was how much the digital landscape has changed in just a year, and (embarrassingly) how much I didn't know.

So, what’s next?

For me, I’m returning to work part time in a few months and already starting to feel more confident in my ability to contribute to the bottom line. For Yarno, given that 1 in 5 mothers felt that they had experienced some type of discrimination in their workplace during their pregnancy, in particular missing out on training or development opportunities, we want to explore this avenue further.

Following the lean principles set by our unsung hero, Ash Maurya, that we have used throughout Yarno’s journey, we will test the concept with local mother’s groups and Facebook pages.

Watch this space!

Holly Eggers

Holly Eggers

Holly is a mother, marketing wiz, feedback guru and all round A+ person. She’s the woman that the Sarah Jessica Parker movie “I Don’t Know How She Does It” is based on.

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