Flexible working week: Director of Growth at a startup

In this blog, Beth Carter, Director of Growth at Flexa, shares what her flexible working week looks like.

9th May 2024

Name: Beth Carter

Career Life Span: 10 years

What do you do? I’m the Director of Growth at Flexa, a Growth Advisor on SYSTM, and an Angel Investor.

What’s your company set up? Flexa is remote-first, and we work core hours 10-4. We meet once a month in our London office as a team, but I choose to come in 3x a week most weeks.

Monday 


8.00am: I’m filming some L&D content for Flexa at the moment so I was up and dressed in a nicer outfit than I’d usually wear to the office and went down to the studio to record. I’ll be here all morning, which is a lot of time being ‘on’ and a lot for a Monday morning! 


1.00pm: Finished filming and head out into the sunshine (for once!) It’s about an hour walk from Shoreditch back to my flat so I decide to walk and take advantage of it not being raining and clear my head a bit after 4 hours staring into a camera surrounded by artificial lighting. 


2.30pm: Home, ate leftover pasta for lunch, changed my bedsheets, did a quick hoover and made myself a tea. 

3.00pm: Even though filming this morning was work, I still find it difficult to count things like that as ‘work’ in my brain. So I feel a bit behind with work, even though I know that’s ridiculous. Because I’ve got work this evening I’m in for a long day. 

6.00pm: Take a break and walk down to the shops to buy an oven pizza and salad. Eat dinner at my desk, often if I’ve got calls in the evening I just work right through. 

9.00pm: I’m coaching an amazing team at the moment who are based in New Zealand, so I get on a call with them in the evening and we talk about their current growth strategy, challenges and opportunities. We talk a lot about personal brand and how that’s becoming more useful for companies in sales, even on the B2B side of things. 


Tuesday

9.00am: Leave home and head to the office. This is a bit later than I tend to start, but I was meant to have breakfast with a friend which was cancelled and I was feeling tired from the weekend so let myself have a slow morning. 

11.00am: Call with our PR team to go over what we’re working on at the moment, which angles we want to take, and any new speaking opportunities or podcasts coming up. Because we have a multi-sided business we focus both on mass media and on sector specific press - so there’s always something we can tackle. The recent Flexible Working Bill put flexibility back onto everyone’s radar again in a big way, so we’ve been busy. 

12.00pm: Head to a yoga class at lunch, and get a really good sandwich and salad from Bread & Truffle on the way back to the office. 

4.00pm: We’ve got our Marketing catchup today where we review progress against our goals and coordinate on any bigger picture things that are hard to cover off over Slack. We’re spending a lot of time on content marketing right now which is really exciting and should be a huge value add for our customers. 

8.00pm: Stayed late in the office because I started later, and got through a bunch of extra work - I checked through my inbox and tried to reply to as many emails as I could. I really struggle to keep up with the emails I get from founders with my Angel Investor hat on. There are a lot of them and I feel like I owe people a decent reply, which is hard sometimes at the end of the day! 

Get clear on the desired outcome - What will this outcome enable for the business and your people? What skills will be gained?

Wednesday 

7.30am: my favourite yoga teacher teaches on a Wednesday at 8am, and the studio I go to is right by our office so I walked through the park to my class, carrying my mountains of clothes, towels, water bottles and shoes. I love hot yoga but I hate how much ‘stuff’ comes with it. 

9.30am: I’m showered and at my desk for my team standup. We’re testing out stand ups at the moment - done well I think they can be brilliant to align everyone and stop people being blocked. There are 5 of us in the Growth team now at Flexa so we’re getting big enough for things to fall between gaps if we aren’t careful. It’s helpful for me when I’m trying to curate the work we do as a team and keep us on track to get that easy insight into everyone’s days, and at a startup things move so quickly which means communication is so important. 

10.00am: I’ve got a good long gap in the day without any meetings so I’m cracking on with researching communities in the career growth and career development space. Particularly ones that support people who tend to be excluded, underrepresented, and underestimated. We really believe that flexible working is a tool for inclusion, and so I’m trying to learn a lot more about this. 

3.00pm: We have our leadership meetings every Wednesday where we go through the company priorities and take a look at what’s moving quickly enough and what needs more focus. At the moment my team is working on increasing our organic traffic which means creating loads of great new content for people to read and watch. 

4.00pm: I’m off early today because I’ve got a 5pm tee time with a friend who is much better at golf than I am, so I want to get 20 minutes of practice in before I meet him. Now that it’s summer my aim is to get out here once a week to practise after work.  

9.30pm: Had dinner at the golf club, and went back home feeling pretty tired. I make myself a mint tea, watch an episode of absolute trash tv and then write my diary in bed before I go to sleep. I’ve been keeping a diary since I was 18, I don’t manage to write every day, but I do record most days. 

Thursday 

7.30am: Off to yoga again, slightly less enthusiastically. 

9.30am: Our co-founders, who also happen to be some of my closest friends, are heading to Ireland today and I’m looking after their dog (my timeshare dog) Gruff. He gets dropped off at the office for me and has his usual “they’re leaving me!” panic before he remembers that he knows who I am and stays with me pretty often. 

10am: Another day pretty clear of meetings! Some weeks it feels like all I do is speak to people, and other weeks I have these big blocks of time by myself. I write some content, and edit a guide I’ve been writing. 

3.00pm: I’m on a webinar with WorkFlex, one of our Flexified companies, to talk about how building a flexible culture helps businesses stay competitive. Glad I chose to wear my Flexa jumper this morning! Gruff sleeps next to me on the office sofa whilst I do the webinar. 

4.30pm: I head home and give Gruff a bit of a run through the park on the way. He refuses to leave and we have a standoff at the park gates for a good 5 minutes before (bribed by treats) he comes with me. 

5.30pm: I finish up my day, clear out my emails and Slack messages and check our metrics for the week so far. 

Friday 

8.00am: I usually work from home on Fridays or from a cafe or hotel lobby. But today I’ve got a hospital appointment so I work from my phone in the hospital waiting room - less fun, but grateful that this is possible. Made myself a huge breakfast before I went as a treat. 

12.00pm: We have Friday afternoons off at Flexa, usually finishing around 2pm. I crack on very speedily for a few hours so I can finish my week! Had a bit of an odd speed lunch because I wasn’t hungry - celery, leftover blue cheese sauce, and all my vitamins. 

3.00pm: Head out with Gruff for a walk round the park and land at the pub to meet a friend. We have a few pints and an early dinner and talk about everything from work to grief, to cults, to tv. 

10.00pm: In bed, listening to my audio book knowing i’ll fall asleep and not know what happens. I’ve realised that taking my Friday afternoons off, even if that means working a bit on the weekends (remember I work 3 different roles!)is the best way for me to feel rested and balanced. Waking up on Saturday morning, having had a rest or doing something fun on Friday afternoon, and knowing I still have two whole days of weekend is the best feeling.  

What does your flexible working week look like?

Everyone's workweeks look different. We're curious to hear how you make it work for you. Got a routine that fits around your life? Share it with us! Whether you're an early bird, a night owl, or something in between, we want to know how you do it. Tell us about your flexible working week. Email hello@flexa.careers with your flexible work week.