As the contracting economy makes 9-to-5 jobs look increasingly like quaint relics from an earlier time, many victims of the recession are finding ways to make work work for them.
Tanya Godard had a great job with a pharmaceutical company. She got married, got pregnant and took maternity leave. A few months later, her position disappeared.
“I didn’t have a job to go back to,” the Ontario mother of one says. Luckily for her, she had started working a flexible, home-based job with a company called the Pampered Chef. It’s an update on Tupperware parties, featuring kitchen devices instead of storage boxes. “Ours are more interactive because we have all the fun tools,” Godart says.
She does about three “Cooking Shows” a week, but it ranges to accommodate her other commitments.
“I get to decide when I want to do shows,” Godard says. For example, she took it easy in February and then worked extra hard in March to make up for it.
“It I need an evening off here, or a weekend off there, it’s flexible enough that it allows me to do that. That’s the best thing about this job: It’s your business. You get to determine how much your want to work.”
Godard works with a couple of other ladies, who work part-time. The ladies bring Pampered Chef products to people’s homes and show them what they can do.
“The shows are fun. They’re very interactive,” she says. “I get all the ladies — or gentlemen! — up around the kitchen table and we make a fun snack, or meal or desert.”
Guests look through the catalogue if they want to buy anything. Hosts get a discount.
Godard says the heart of her work is the importance of family dinners. Her own family regularly eats together, giving them time and space to reconnect, she says.
Her favourite Pampered Chef tools are her food processor and garlic press. “Nice and quick and easy.
With my food chopper, I can do up a spaghetti sauce in minutes. I can chop up all my vegetables really fine for my father-in-law when he comes. He doesn’t eat vegetables — he doesn’t even know they’re in there,” she laughs.
Godard says with her tools, she can whip up a $3-a-serving meal in under 30 minutes, letting her spend more time with her family — or working for the Chef.