Text100’s former head of strategy Adrianne Kern believes the flexible work arrangement she is establishing with her old employee, could be the way of the future for many working parents.
Kern has established her own consultancy Adrianne Kern Armstrong (AKA) Consulting services, while still Head of Strategy at Text100, with the primary purpose of shifting to a more dynamic, contract-style working arrangement with Text 100.
“I’ve been in the industry since the 1990’s, and with Text100 for over 17 and a half years. I guess that when you get to a certain level in your career, you begin to ask yourself “where do I go from here?” Kern said.
"I was the MD and then the Head of Consulting APAC at Text100 for well over a decade, and I think that as a working mother I needed to make a shift. I want to be very selective about the type and level of work that I do.”
The idea, Kern said, has made concrete for her the possibility of a future without permanent employment.
“In 2012 we undertook research with IBM and IBISWorld, looking at a snapshot of the digital future which theorised about the impact of digital disruption on different classes of industries in Australia. One of the things that I remember clearly from that research is the prediction that by 2050, there’s not going to be any permanent employees - in other words, we’re all going to be ‘free agents’ or contractors.”
“At the time, I was quite sceptical about it - but in retrospect, 5 years later, I think that’s probably accurate, and I believe that the model Text100 is adopting with me is an example of that approach,” she said.
Her goal, she said, would be to establish a successful work-life balance, in which both her clients and family would both receive the attention they deserved.
“We’re not going to fill a building in the city, or anything close, because that would be completely counter to achieving the work-life balance I’m seeking.”
“My ambition for it at this point is to be sustainable. It’s not in any way that I’ve started it to grow a massive PR empire.”
In terms of the new consultancy’s services, Kern plans to offer clients high-level strategic planning services.
“That’s what I’m passionate about. I love coming up with big ideas and helping companies articulate what they do.”
Praising Text100 for their flexibility and forward-thinking, Kern looks forward to a bright future both for herself and for other independence-seeking employees.
“I just feel so lucky. Most people would feel like they’d have to leave their organisations to do what they want - whereas I have been met with complete understanding with the desire to be flexible in a solution-seeking environment. I think Text100 deserves kudos for that.”