Working for myself, I love being able to set the hours and days I want to work but it hasn’t always been that way.
When I worked in my full time corporate role I remember many occasions when I wanted to be there for one of my children’s school events like a sports day or assembly but I couldn’t because of an important meeting or work trip.
Don’t get me wrong, I made the majority of them but it always came with sacrifice. Having to ‘make up hours’ at work or feeling I had to justify myself to my childless colleagues why I was leaving early that day or coming in late. Even justifying myself to other working mums!
When I look back, I don’t know why I put up with it for so long! If I knew then what I know now I’d have made the leap much sooner because life is so much sweeter now!
I’m able to take my girls to school, go to see them in their sports days and assemblies, say yes to friends coming over after school for dinner. And the best bit?… I’m my own boss!
I know some of you are still in your 9-5 jobs dreaming of quitting to build your own business. One of the first things I did at the start of my journey to escaping the 9-5 was get more flexibility in my working week.
Here’s how the simple strategies I used to get my boss to agree to flexible working:
1) I made sure my work was up to date and was providing a tonne of value to my boss.
I know it’s not easy when you really don’t want to be there, but your boss needs to see you as an asset worth investing in.
2) I simplified my work.
I made sure that all the work I did had a process behind it that was easy for someone else to follow if I wasn’t there.
3) I asked!
I just called a meeting with my boss and talked through my proposal to work more flexibly. Check your company policy on flexible working beforehand. There are so many ways into flexible working. For example, compressed hours, working from home, reduced hours, 9 day fortnight etc… Make sure you know exactly what will work for you. I asked for 1 day per week working at home and 2 days with an early finish which reduced my hours by 4 hours per week.
In the UK, all employees have the right to request flexible working and your company must consider it. They can only decline your request if there’s a justifiable business reason why you can’t or it will add considerable cost or strain to your team. (not too likely!) For the most part, if you’re a valuable part of the team, your boss will want to help.
Working flexibly was a bit of a game changer for me. I got to see what my life would be like if I worked from home more often. I got to take my kids to school once a week and pick them up three times per week. It allowed me to get some crucial hours back into my week to start to work on my new business and eventually to start to get my first clients while I was still in my job!
I could see what was possible!
I know you might feel scared and be thinking to yourself, ‘There’s no way my boss would agree to that!’. Well, what have you got to lose? Give it a go.
If you’d to talk it though more and get a plan in place to go from working full time, to working flexibly to escaping your 9-5 then get in touch. I love helping women like you have the career of their dreams and work on their own terms!
What can you do today to get more balance in to your life?