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A Day in the Life of a Mom Managing Full-Time Work and a Side Hustle: Meet Eliz

Without the diverse, hardworking, intelligent, and kind people who make up our team, Shield wouldn’t be able to offer the level of service we do. At Shield, we love our team and know that our unique perspectives and backgrounds make us stronger while our common values connect us. That’s why each month, we love sharing our team’s stories through our A Day in the Life series, where we hope you can get to know our team a little better.

This month, we’re profiling Eliz Juane-Vargas, one of our Accountants based out of the Philippines. 

Meet Eliz

Eliz joined Shield in late 2018, just after the birth of her daughter Isabella. 

“I realized that working from home is a great thing for a young mom with young kids,” she says. “And now I’m also five months pregnant with my second baby.”

For Eliz, the flexibility of setting her schedule and working from home has made it so much easier to manage this season of life. 

“I couldn’t imagine how to meet the demands of being a mom while having to work nine to five in an office and have to commute and stuff,” she says. “Even that travel time takes away a significant chunk of my time. I’m so glad I don’t have to do it anymore.”

But Eliz didn’t always feel this way. 

“When I was younger, I really enjoyed working for big companies because my goal back then was getting as much experience and beefing up my resume,” she says. 

“It was a good fit at that time, but then I think as your life changes, you suddenly know when you need to move on to something new.” 

After years working in large corporations, the desire for more flexibility and autonomy led Eliz to start her own small firm with her Aunt, who is also an accountant.

“What I liked about that time was the flexibility. We set up an office in Manila, which was still in the business district, but I didn’t have to come in every day, and I had some time during the week to do other stuff.”

Eliz used her newfound spare time to pursue creative interests, including training in makeup artistry. 

“I’ve always been a very creative person,” she says. “When I became an accountant, I didn’t have time to pursue anything creative, so I’m glad my schedule changed, and I had that opportunity.”

She completed a makeup artistry course and then apprenticed with a professional makeup artist until she was ready to take on her own clients. 

“I mostly specialized in weddings because after makeup school, I apprenticed with a wedding makeup artist, but I also did print ads too.”

This schedule of part-time accounting and part-time makeup work continued once she got married. But when she was ready to start having children, Eliz knew she wanted another change to her work. 

“For me, working in a company like Shield is the best thing that I can do now because I can still do my makeup, but I’m sort of more selective now. I make sure that not all my weekends are booked, and I’m more picky with the assignments,” Eliz says.

Eliz says some friends and family wondered if she might leave accountancy to pursue makeup full time, but the mix of both is what inspires her most. 

“I’m still able to do my creative stuff to keep me happy and also not waste my profession,” she says.

“I love utilizing the left side of my brain as well. That’s my degree. I studied it. I love it also, but what I don’t love is  doing just that forever.” 

A day in the life of Eliz 

 

Regular Schedule

When the helper is on vacation or isolating

5:30 am

Sleep

Wake up, enjoy a warm drink

6:00 am

Wake up

Work while everyone is still asleep

7:30 am

Have some me-time, read or watch TV shows and enjoy a nice quiet breakfast.

Continue working

9:00 am

Start work. I usually plan my day the night before, but I go through my email to see if there’s anything urgent.

My daughter wakes up between 9 am to 10 am. We cuddle with her for a little while and encourage her to do her activities for the day with her nanny. 

My daughter wakes up. Although times like these are tiring, I do enjoy bonding with her doing different activities: take a walk in our village, play, sing, exercise together, have brunch.

I check my email/skype every once in a while for anything that needs urgent attention.

12:00 pm

Lunch break

1:00 pm

Continue my work. My daughter comes to me once in a while to give little hugs and kisses or let me know what she has been up to.

If it’s a Monday, we have our finance meeting at 3-4 pm

3:00 pm

Take a nap with my daughter.

 

If it’s a Monday, we have our finance meeting at 3-4 pm

4:00 pm

Have a snack, take walk with my daughter in our village, or go for a drive

It’s my husband’s turn to look after our daughter. I have a quick snack and continue with my work.

5:00 pm

Work on remaining tasks. I try to log off before dinner as much as possible. Plan tomorrow’s work schedule.

7:00 pm

Dinner

Dinner. When we don’t have a helper, we usually just order take-out so we don’t have to stress. 

7:30 pm

Relax with my husband and daughter – enjoy some screen time with daughter, talk to my mom or brothers, or catch up with friends through chat or video call

Finish any remaining tasks and plan tomorrow’s work schedule.

8:30 pm

Try to do some light exercises or prenatal yoga

9:30 pm

Continue with my relaxation. If there’s a series that I like, I will probably marathon watch it until I fall asleep.

Relaxing with my husband and daughter – enjoy some screen time with daughter, talk to my mom or brothers, or catch up with friends through chat or video call

 

Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic

Like many countries in the world, the Philippines has been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. To quell the spread of the virus, most provinces have remained in varying stages of lockdown since the March 2020 onset making regular life activities extremely difficult. 

“There was a time when only one person per family was allowed to go out, and there was a strict curfew, and then after a while, they eased it, but minors and senior citizens are still not allowed to go out,” Eliz says. 

This means that despite living close to her family, Eliz has spent the last year sticking to her immediate family bubble consisting of her husband, daughter, and their live-in nanny. 

“My daughter has grown up so much since last year it makes me sad to think that my mom and dad haven’t been able to be with her for a long time,” she says.

It’s also meant that Eliz’s nanny has had to follow quarantine protocols whenever she visits her family in another province. 

“When we are nanny-less, we have a different schedule, so I’m glad that with Shield, I’m able to do that. I don’t have to be absent from work,” Eliz says. “I will give a heads up to my manager that, ‘Oh, I won’t have a nanny for a few weeks.’ I just tell the dates where I need the schedule change, and it’s all ok.”

Eliz will work early in the morning while Isabella is still sleeping and then later in the evening to accommodate both childcare and work tasks. 

“I have longer breaks [in the day] when our nanny is away, but I’m glad we can still make it work,” she says. 

When the restrictions ease again, Eliz is looking forward to traveling with her family and getting back to her makeup clients. 

— Bree Caggiati

 

Read more about our team and how we enjoy working remotely!

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