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Arran Stewart: “If you can make time for work, you can make time for your family”

Posted by Arran Stewart

A good parent is one driven by love and their desire to make their children feel loved. Giving your children a strong foundation support builds their self-esteem and makes it possible for them to endure life’s ups-and-downs with aplomb. My children are still very young but I hope that the time and effort I’ve put into being there for them and supporting their dreams, has started building a strong -and much needed- foundation with positive sense of self.

As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Arran Stewart.

Arran James Stewart is the co-founder and CVO of recruitment platform Job.com. Relying on over a decade of experience in the recruitment industry, Arran created Job.com to be the home of the most secure, efficient, and transparent hiring process ever. Since entering the recruitment industry in 2008, Arran has consistently sought to bring recruitment to the cutting edge of technology. He helped develop one of the world’s first multi-post to media buy talent attraction portals, and also helped reinvent the way job content found candidates through utilizing matching technology against job aggregation. Arran is a successful entrepreneur and thought leader in recruitment and recruitment tech and has been featured in numerous publications. If you’d like to feature his commentary or expertise, I’d be happy to set something up.

Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

I grew up in a working class town in the UK called Luton; my mother was a housewife and my father was a civil engineer. Sadly, I don’t have too many positive things to say about my childhood, other than the experiences I went through shaped me into the person I am today. This has thankfully been a positive for both me and my children.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

I know what its like to be poor and lack opportunity. It chafed at me that things could be so unfair and I developed a passion for helping people as I grew oldere. I wanted to dedicate myself to a career that would help people feed their families and pay their bills, that’s why I chose recruitment.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

I’m actively involved with the majority of the operations in the business, so no two days look alike. If I’m not home juggling calls and reading proposals, I’m traveling to meet with investors, partners and colleagues about new developments and partnerships. I have my hands deeply invested in our sales and product departments so my working hours are generally dedicated to one or the other.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

Parents and guardians are generally the first people we love, learn from and aspire to be. They are our protectors and help us to develop a sense of confidence, security and self-worth. Without them around, those values are much harder to come by and can take years to build sufficiently as an adult. It’s one of the many things I know are impacted when parents don’t spend time with their children.

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

Spending time with your children should teach them to weave love and care into the fiber of their life. Remember that they’ll need to be functioning adults soon enough, who need to be able to care for themselves and hopefully, assist in their communities. Teaching your children to be self-sufficient and to love themselves builds a foundation of emotional and personal strength that will carry them through to adulthood. Having attentive parents creates a person who is secure in their own identity who can contribute positively to society at large.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

One of my favorite things to do with my children, especially since stay-at-home orders were put in place, is playing board games. My children are pretty young so it’s been fun to introduce them to classics like Candyland, Life and Connect 4.

Another one of our favorite activities has been working on a common hobby with the whole family. There are lots of ways to make things like cooking and gardening interesting and engaging for children. It not only teaches them new skills but gives you quality time to spend together and challenges everyone involved.

Even simply watching a TV show all together, and being together that way, have really brought us closer together as family unit. It’s in these moments that children grow, learn and can feel the love parents have to give.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

  1. If you can make time for work, you can make time for your family. Know how compartmentalize the different parts of your life so they don’t blur together or overtake the other.
  2. Cook and eat meals together. Food equals community for a lot of us, so use mealtimes to be with your children and share your days and chat about anything that comes to mind.
  3. Do house chores together! Washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, ironing — all of these can be done together with children of almost any age. Have your kids help you rinse the dishes or make a game out of folding the laundry. It’s a sneaky way to teach them life skills while spending time together and getting chores done.
  4. Book a holiday with your family. Traveling gives you an opportunity to build new memories with your family and expose your kids — and yourself to novel experiences. Even stay-cations can be made fun by taking your kids to local playgrounds or for family dates.
  5. Swap your time on Facebook and YouTube for real facetime with your family. We’re all slaves to our phones and screens so mandate some time without them for the entire family to spend quality time together doing something other than scrolling endlessly.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

A good parent is one driven by love and their desire to make their children feel loved. Giving your children a strong foundation support builds their self-esteem and makes it possible for them to endure life’s ups-and-downs with aplomb. My children are still very young but I hope that the time and effort I’ve put into being there for them and supporting their dreams, has started building a strong -and much needed- foundation with positive sense of self.

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

More than anything I want to do things that make them happy in life. I try not to impress my own ideas about what I think they should do, and instead encourage them to pursue their varied interests. The world’s most revolutionary minds didn’t always have straight-forward paths to their greatest successes, but they remained curious and firm in their beliefs enough to see them through. I hope to do the same in my children so that they can pursue a life that truly fulfills them because it is their no choice — no matter what that is

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

I define success ultimately as a sense of happiness and contentment. Belief in yourself and the path that you’re on, that it’s the right one for you and it’s making you happy within yourself are all barometers I measure success by now.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

I act on loving instinct when it comes to my parenting so I haven’t really investigated “parenting resources”. I feel parenting is a personal, subjective relationship influenced by a lot of one-of-a-kind factors, so it’s hard for me to see myself in a lot of the parenting advice in the ether based on that philosophy.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

‘It’s not the roof you live under, it’s what’s under the roof that matters’. While I’ve been blessed with financial and material success thanks to my career, I embrace the reality that my children are my greatest pride and joy. That quote encourages everyone to be grateful for the things they do have and not worry so much about what on the outside or what outsiders think. It exemplifies my commitment ensuring that the foundation of who myself and my children are as my true legacy, as opposed to the material things that may be present on the outside.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

Embrace the person that you are and stop comparing yourself to others. We’re only here for a brief moment in the grand scheme of it all, so embrace who you are and where you are try to enjoy and make the most of the moments and blessings life gives you.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

Read the full article on Thrive Global

Posted by Arran Stewart

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