Saj Rasul is a Talent Manager at Qudini, a rapidly scaling retail tool that specialises in appointment, queuing and event software. It has seen explosive growth over the last year, as the pandemic has fueled demand in retail for innovative, COVID-compliant methods for managing stores.
With experience working full-time global and boutique agencies, and in-house, the shift to flexible work wasn’t one Saj foresaw. Nonetheless, he has thrived since making the change, enjoying more headspace and day-to-day focus. Alongside nuggets of wisdom, Saj offered humour and enlightening anecdotes aplenty in our interview, an abridged version of which follows.
What’s your current role?
The company itself is SaaS B2B and allows retailers to manage their physical footfall. So for example, kerbside deliveries — you can reduce the risk of infection by buying ahead of time and picking up your item in your car. My role is to help them employ more software engineers as they scale. More hands on deck are required, and solving that problem is my role.
Tell me about your switch to flex
So my entire career to date has been permanent roles, I’ve never contracted before. Last year threw everything into a tailspin, and I was suddenly open to flexible positions as well. Whilst doing my research, I came across Juggle, there were some great opportunities on the site. The rest is history…
What do you enjoy about working flexibly?
I enjoy how I work. I split my two days across the week, doing three hours here, four hours there, and so I get to spend my day fully optimised with the job at hand. I don’t like the idea of a hard stop after two days, and then I don’t look at emails for the rest of the week — I’m regularly dipping in and out as and when I’m needed.
Do you find yourself more energised with that set-up?
I like to think that I’m not an old man yet and don’t need to rest during the day! But no, I suppose you do get additional brain time away from emails, talking to candidates all the time. Thinking space for life!
Have there been any downsides?
No, there was nothing overly complicated about it at all. The initial interview with someone from Juggle was very helpful. It gave me a chance to resolve any concerns and clarified how the relationship between me, the client and Juggle would work. Simple things like: who am I sending my invoices to? And then everything that came afterwards was extremely straightforward. The platform itself is easy to use, but the functionality is there — I can see my historical interactions, for example.
How do you find working flexibly and managing asynchronous communication?
That’s a good question. I find that my own experience has helped me a lot in this. I always say — I can respond straight away between certain hours of the day, say between 10 and 4. But if it’s after that, a reply is likely to be delayed somewhat. As I have no massive urgency to contact people after hours, I’ll try to get my core work done when the rest of the team is around.
Do you see juggling into the future?
I’m enjoying it, for sure. And although I’ve always worked full-time till now, down the line with kids or juggling other responsibilities, I’d most definitely want to consider making it a permanent move.
If you could give your prior self one piece of advice before switching to flex work, what would it be?
Don’t stress about it! There’s this perception that contract or part-time work is somehow less secure than a full-time job. But there’s nothing to worry about; it’s just fear for fear’s sake.
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