Ask the Expert

Can bid management / bid work be a career that allows for flexible working?

Question by: Emma

Can bid management / bid work be a career that allows for flexible working? Given the deadlines and time pressures of a bid, is it really possible to have the flexibility to work around your ‘other life’ commitments?


Mostly yes! Like any profession there are times when things are fraught and for those times you may need some sort of contingency plan, but mostly this work is flexible, it just demands organisation… With my daughters I had a backup plan – that I shared with them – for the occasional time when things didn’t work out or I was caught out… for pick ups or whatever. I was lucky and there were other working parents (and indeed my parents) who were happy to step in if needed. I mostly tried to allow contingency in knowing that bids would run to the last minute and even if I thought/hoped they’d be done in advance, inevitably they weren’t. So I planned for the last couple of days of a bid to be hectic and for me to be in demand and not home. At other times I made sure that I used flexibility to my advantage and I don’t think I ever missed a nativity or sports day.

For me, juggling a family and work meant that going to gym/sport (always low on my list of priorities anyway) dropped off and then I felt guilty. But something has to give and week to week that something may be different. Try to adopt flexibility in every area of your life and not be too demanding of yourself or others. Don’t feel guilty. Ever. You are doing your best and you aren’t a superhero. I always used to try to remember that I wasn’t a surgeon and no-one was going to die if I didn’t get things done. It’s a tried and tested Psychology technique – what’s the worst that can happen? Think rationally through what will happen if something goes wrong. I bet it’s not a disaster zone. So be kind to yourself. And be organised. And it will all come good 🙂