It's working for Leah Sicat
“Go to your boss with solutions rather than problems and do your homework before discussing the topic. Don’t be afraid to ask for a flexible role, but go after it with confidence.”
Leah Sicat was used to working alongside her husband. Both West Point graduates, married a week after her graduation, they were deployed to Egypt together and later assigned in Korea together. “We were a dual military couple. We were colocated, which was very fortunate, it’s not always the case. In fact it’s kind of rare.”
When they returned to the United States and transitioned back to civilian life, they both found jobs at GE — working together again, but in different departments. Soon after, Leah became pregnant with their first child. “I went back to work part time and worked from home for a year, which 8 years ago was not the norm. Being on a flexible work arrangement was definitely not fitting the mold of the typical job at GE. I was very fortunate that I had a manager who supported me, who really wanted me to come back. Together we figured out a way it would work for me and the business.”
After her second child was born, Leah was set to return to work in a part-time role, but she had the opportunity, once again, to work with her husband, this time as the marketing director at their new company, Carousel Designs, which sells boutique baby bedding online direct to consumers.
“The time was just right. They needed someone to help with marketing and communications, and it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. It would be entirely new, working in a small business environment. I really enjoyed what I did at GE. I felt like marketing and communications was what I wanted to do. I was also excited to be able to make an impact in a family venture for us,” she said.
And then, Leah had a third child, something she admits might not have happened without the flexible work arrangement that came from working in a family business. “What I do now, I am in a flexible part-time role. I can literally work from anywhere. It works out really well and I am having a ton of fun doing it.”
Her advice to other working moms who want a flexible schedule? Ask for it. “Go to your boss with solutions rather than problems and do your homework before discussing the topic.” Leah has learned that working and raising kids is not an all-or-nothing proposition. “Don’t be afraid to ask for a flexible role,” she says, “but go after it with confidence.”