Category: Business, Careers
Publication date: March 29, 2019
Extent: 180 pages

#Upcycle Your Job

The smart way to balance family life and career

Anna Meller


Women make up the majority of university graduates. They enter the workplace in equal numbers with men. But many workplaces still operate with cultures developed over a century ago to reflect a predominantly male workforce and vastly differing social expectations. So all too often as women become parents they are forced to fix things in the only way they can – by downgrading their job expectations or dropping out of the corporate world.
Anna Meller believes it’s high time we #Upcycled our jobs and careers to fit today’s lifestyles and meet women’s changed expectations. Her PROPEL model offers ambitious working mothers new possibilities for progressing their corporate careers.
In this book, Anna leads you through an evidence-based six step process that supports you in finding the balance you need. Practical exercises enable you to craft a working arrangement that meets your employer’s expectations as well as your own aspirations, and to develop the key skills you need to maintain it.


“I loved the ideas and the scientific part of the book. It is useful especially nowadays when we are so connected online. Loved the book and the way the ideas were structured in a logical manner.”


As a mother I was definitely someone who felt my career I had worked so hard for definitely no longer fitted in with my other life priorities. Anna’s book pulls out some new ideas and themes around how you can re-design and re-craft your career to fit with the rest of your life. There are some super helpful checklists, great searching questions that are really well-worded to get you to ask yourself how you can apply these approaches to changing the way your career/life balance looks.


‘Anna has written an awesome book that explains the importance of women managing their own flexible careers. In the 21st century, businesses are now becoming more inclusive places to work. The 9–5 culture is no longer a must for many businesses, the smart ones are realising it’s less about measuring hours worked, with more of a focus on outputs produced. The book explores how working flexibly can be done without hindering a woman’s career and disrupting her home life too much. Inside you will get great takeaways, including tools to help the flexible worker upcycle their skills especially when considering a leadership role. Just because a woman has chosen to work flexibly, it does not mean she is not leadership material. The change is on the horizon for women in board roles but many still think they are not able to take up those positions because of family commitments. Inside, Anna shows it is possible.’ – Vivienne Aiyela, NED London Football Association
‘Can women have it all? This is the million dollar question. Anna’s research-based book addresses the issue in a practical, tangible but always research grounded way. Packed with tips and exercises, she challenges the notion that ambition needs to take a back seat to juggle work–life balance. This is an empowering approach, as we need to start with ourselves to challenge the corporate Always On culture.’ – Dr Almuth McDowall, Professor of Organisational Psychology, Birkbeck, University of London

‘Balancing career and family is hard. #Upcycle Your Job is a welcome and timely guide that reminds us that for women (and men, too) you can take control of your corporate life. This book shows you how. Blending unique and pragmatic tools with a solid evidence-based approach that draws on the research and expertise of leading work–life thinkers, it provides a step guide to making sustainable change to achieve the right balance between work and career. My own research in the Modern Families Index tells us that all too often working mothers (and increasingly, fathers) are deliberately limiting their careers to find work–life balance. It doesn’t have to be this way, and #Upcycle Your Job shows how to do it differently, and better.’ – Jonathan Swan, Head of Research, Policy and Communications, Working Families
‘This book is a fantastic resource for working mothers who want to stay in the corporate world and find a better balance between work and family and for companies who want to benefit from agile working. It’s packed with useful insights, fresh approaches and very practical advice. Women who are working smarter, job crafting and upcycling are pioneering a better experience of work for everyone and this book provides the route map to making it work.’ – Elizabeth Divver, Group HR Director, The Big Issue

‘Despite the overwhelming evidence that flexible and reduced hours support the progression of careers for working mothers, finding that flexibility remains tough in many organisations. This evidence-based book will empower ambitious women to define and manage their own flexibility within the corporate environment to the benefit of both employer and employee.’ – Ben Wilson, Executive Director, EHRC
‘There is growing evidence that flexible/agile working and the need to be ‘Always On’ can threaten wellbeing and job performance. Written by an acknowledged expert in work– life balance, this rigorously researched but practical book helps you to find a better, more balanced way of working that also benefits your wellbeing, effectiveness and productivity. It considers the challenges that working mothers face when managing their job and career and introduces a new model that you can apply to your own life in order to take control and have a more balanced future.’ – Dr Gail Kinman, Professor of Occupational Health Psychology, University of Bedfordshire


Foreword Introduction Part 1 Preparing to #Upcycle Chapter 1 The three things we need to #Upcycle (or why women struggle to lean in) Chapter 2 How to #Upcycle your corporate future Part 2 Your tailored #Upcycling strategy Chapter 3 Preferences Chapter 4 Roles Chapter 5 Options Chapter 6 Possibilities Chapter 7 Essential skills Chapter 8 Leadership Part 3 Power tools for #Upcycling Chapter 9 Introducing positive psychology Chapter 10 Parting thoughts Acknowledgements References About the author Index



Paperback / 9781788600743 / March 29, 2019 / £16.99

Ebook / 9781788600767 / March 29, 2019 / £9.99

Paperback and eBook Bundle / £19.49


Anna Meller

Anna Meller is the UK’s leading work re-balance expert. She works with ambitious professional women seeking to balance corporate career with family life. Based on 25 years’ coaching and consulting experience Anna has developed the PROPEL model which forms the heart of this book and which is designed to empower women to make choices that work for them and their employers. So they progress their careers and their employers retain key talent.
Anna has an MSc in Occupational Psychology, is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD and a founding member of the BPS Division of Occupational Psychology’s working group on work-life balance. Her early working life involved a series of line HR roles mainly in Financial Services.