Mums at Work: Homing in on Work

Overworked and pregnant, an ex-auditor and accounting manager decided to switch fields to make time for her family.

INTERVIEW LOW LAI CHOW

You could say it’s a big year for Lynn Er. The high-flying property agent has just turned 40 and has been ushered into motherhood for the second time with the delivery of her baby boy early this year.

Life wasn’t always such a breeze. Working her way up from being an auditor to an accounting manager, the mother of two boys was once so used to working such hectic working hours, she had no time left for other things that mattered to her — even family.

Things had to change, and this epiphany struck her about eight years ago, while she was expecting her first child with her 41-year-old husband, Victor Ng, whom she married in 2004.

A Career Switch
“I decided to become a property agent as soon I gave birth as I wanted to spend more time with my child yet not giving up my career,” she divulged to Motherhood on her seemingly drastic job switch.

“Our working hours are very flexible and we can schedule property viewings based on our timing,” she said, adding that time management is her most treasured tool and that her time is split balancing the two equally. “Being a property agent provides me the flexibility to adjust my timing as I can be there when my children and family need me. There are no boundaries in terms of hours.”

These days, Lynn works for ERA, helping to match both international and local clients to their dream residential properties in prime districts. The biggest perk of her job? An increased capacity to be more involved in her children’s lives, especially in their formative years, without putting an unnecessary strain on her professional life.

Asked about how hard it was to make the transition from a normal office job to one she could exercise autonomy in, she said it couldn’t be better, “I really appreciate the flexibility of being a property agent as I don’t feel like I missed out the growth of my children and I get to spend quality time with family. I have the chance to focus on my career and yet be a good mum and wife.”
“This was exactly the life I was looking for.”

New Mummy of Two
As a newly-minted second-time mum in the past year, she reflects that while having just one child would mean she has more time to dedicate to all aspects of her life, she has no regrets: “My baby is so cute that I’m so happy to be a mum again. It’s good that I have experience being a mum. It really helps a lot with my second child.”

Patience is of the essence when it comes to family and work. “Being a property agent, you have to be patient with your client and understand their needs. This is exactly what I’ve applied to parenting. I’ve learnt to be patient with my children and understand their needs. Likewise, being a mother, I have to be efficient and know how to prioritise.”

“Procrastinating is a no-no, especially in my position. I have a responsibility to take care of my children and be successful in my career.”

For the Love of Her Kids
Her parenting philosophy is to simply love (“I don’t believe in punishing or caning my children. I believe in communication and using love to guide them.”), while she says seeing her children smile makes it most rewarding in being a mum.

As for the traits she most desires her children to take after her, she hopes her children will learn to have gratitude for what they have (“I’ve worked very hard to provide them with a comfortable life and I hope they will appreciate it”), although she can already see that her eldest boy is emotionally intelligent and has a good attitude.

“He is very sociable and could blend in very well with his friends.”

It goes without saying that the people who most inspire and drive her in life are her two children.

Things to Consider While House-Hunting
Tips from Lynn!


“There’s no good or bad house,” says Lynn, only a house that fulfils your requirements and preferences. Here are three things to watch out for.

1. Understand your needs. “How many rooms do you need? What is the budget you can afford? For families, you would want to look into facilities such as playgrounds, swimming pools and a big compound for the children to run around. Also, you may want to look into whether you want to be near to school, whether there’s a train station in the vicinity, public transport options and where to shop for groceries.”
 
2. Assess if the community is a good fit for you and your family. “It’s also important to understand whether there will be suitable family neighbours to make friends with. This will be very helpful and convenient for you and your family.”

3. The orientation of the property. “The direction or facing of the properties is very important. You may not want to choose a house facing the afternoon sun as this will increase the use of the air conditioner. Besides, you may not want to choose houses facing the road as it will be noisy or dusty for the children.”

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