What are your 2017 work resolutions? To work less? To work smarter? To work flexibly? Let 2017 be the year it all falls into place. Here are my resolutions. What are yours?
- To lose the commute
Having taken redundancy at the end of last year, I’ve already done this, but it’s one to hang onto. Losing those 2 hours of travelling to and from work and instead using them to do drop off and pick ups/be at school and be a bit more involved has proved invaluable.
- To work flexibly
This one is a bit trickier, but essentially this means taking on projects that allow me to schedule my own working weeks, rather than simply working from home 9-5 rather than in an office. Giving me flexibility to scale up on quiet weeks, and scale back when things go a bit crazy/people are ill/or we want a holiday.
- To block out work and family time
Having failed at this at the end of last year, essentially trying to work and study while children watch Paw Patrol on repeat, this year the aim is to carve out strict working hours so work is work, and family/social time is just that. So I’ll work during the school day or nursery hours. Switch off from pick up til bedtime and work in the evenings if necessary.
- To take on interesting/well paid work
This might sound obvious, but if I’m going to work flexibly, it still has to be worthwhile, not only from a financial point of view (otherwise I may as well go back to the office) but also from a career point of view – sure, there are jobs that pay well that might not be interesting, but it’s also about knowing your worth, turning down those jobs that don’t work for you and being open to every opportunity.
- To develop several income streams
We all know Brexit means Brexit. And that no freelance job lasts forever. So my aim is to have a few different ways of making money, some that pay more, some that are more fun. So it might be writing, editing, blogging but also buying and selling, investing, consulting, teaching. Different jobs that keep life interesting, and diversified. Just as I don’t want to be in an office all day, I also don’t want to be in my home office all day either!
- To take some risks
The main reason for giving up the office job, apart from being around for the kids more, was to give myself the chance and space to try new things – whether that’s setting up a new business, writing that children’s book or going on a yoga retreat for a month to read books and get fit (that one’s in my dreams), it’s about taking some time to try new things that might not work but will be fun anyway.
- To measure success on lifestyle rather than money
Again sounds obvious, but it’s probably safe to say I’d earn more in an office job than freelance (for a few years at least) but that’s not to say the former is the right decision. Rather than spending hours counting up earnings and tax payments, it’s worth remembering the bigger picture. The space, the freedom, the time with the children and hopefully less frantic evenings and weekends.
- To keep learning
So rather than getting comfortable in a few jobs that pay the bills, the aim is to keep training, learning and pushing for new roles, even if some of those might be unpaid. The way I see it, I’ve got another 20 years at least in work – and I want those years to be interesting, challenging and hopefully ultimately working for myself – but if that doesn’t work out to be for me, I want to be able to find a “proper” job that’s great too, rather than feeling I’ve gone backwards. Is that too much to ask?
How about you? Do you have any work/life resolutions for 2017? Finally time to launch the business? Go part time? Go full time? Take redundancy? Let me know and sign up to our newsletter for tips and success stories from other working parents in the same boat! You might also be inspired by some of our success stories from mums who have already nailed it!