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Help me sort my work life out! Should I leave my job??

(6 Posts)
TiredWife Wed 13-Apr-05 11:27:47

I've been mulling over this for many months now. Am in a job which pays well, I am major breadwinner, but I am sick of working fulltime.
Put in a request to work at home one day a week last year, but was turned down on the basis that I manage a team and 'need to be there to supervise' which is quite frankly bo**ocks as they are all managers in their own right, and very self-motivated, AND it was just ONE day I'd be otu of the office FFS!

My company, although good in many ways, does not have a good record of granting part time/ flexible working requests beyond admin level (I am a senior manager in the dept...) I 'know' now that if I asked to go to 4 days it would almost certainly be rejected.

So I keep toying with the idea of leaving. Only problem is DH has his own business, works from home, and therefore his income is not quite enough to cover it, AND it feels more 'risky' than my 'big corporate' salary (although of course I could just as easily be made redundant tomorrow...)

I have 2 kids aged 2 and 5 and sometimes I just feel so painfully aware that if I don't do soemthing soon then I will miss out completely on my youngest's last years before starting schooll full time.

I'm just so worried I'll give up work and then in about a year regret it. And the likelihood of me finding a job as good as the one I have now, so close to home seems slim.

If I left I would probably try to set myself up in my own 'consultancy' as I am a specialist in the field I operate. DH says he has absolute confidence that I would do very well too - I am more worried that I am a bit lazy and would probably find it too demanding to do properly, together with the extra childcare /afterschool stuff I'd then be doing.

Has anyone done this and can convince me I'd be doing completely the RIGHT/ or WRONG thing???

I'd be interested to hear people's perspectives and experiences....

Sorry for such a long post, but I really need to try to sort this our in my mind to make a decision.

TiredWife Wed 13-Apr-05 13:17:17

<bump> (please.... anyone??)

bossykate Wed 13-Apr-05 13:52:46

hello tiredwife

no experience of doing this, but i wanted to reply that based on what you've said i think the answer is YES.

you are right to say that you will never get the time with your children back again, and if you have an option (i.e. working as a consultant) that will allow you to work more flexibly, imho you should try it.

if you are nervous, then i recommend you analyse the risks and set about mitigating them. For example, take the time to build up some savings if you don't already have them - say to tide you over for 6m. Go through your budget and reduce your cost base as much as possible. Do you need to make any large purchases, e.g. replace your car? Do it before you leave work.

as to whether you will regret it - no-one knows the answer. however, again there are steps you can take to position yourself should this eventuality occur, e.g. can you negotiate a sabbatical from your company? at the very least you can keep in touch with the key people in your organization and leave on good terms so that there could be a way back. however, if you plan to work as a consultant in your field anyway, you will be building up a good network of contacts in the event you decide to return to the security of corporate employment.

just my 2c. good luck with your decision.

zubb Wed 13-Apr-05 14:21:49

I have done something similar in that I left my job after having ds1 to become a consultant so that I could work from home.
I actually earn more now for doing 4 days a week than I was before - even allowing for having to cover all those costs that you usually don't have to (insurances / pensions etc).
I made sure that I had a signed contract from a company before I handed in my notice as I was (am) the main earner - but that will depend on what area of work you have - mine is quite small and specialist so I needed to be sure that there was something there for me.
If you can make it work then I think it's a great way of working - ds1 and 2 still go to a childminder so that I can get on with work, but for reduced hours compared to what they would have been. I can take ds1 to pre-school and pick him up. It means that I sometimes work in the evenings, but having that flexibility is the major plus for me, and doing a couple of hours between 7 and 9 isn't hard at all.
As for the motivation - that is sometimes hard, but I have deadlines for lots of my work so that focusses the mind, and keeping in close contact with clients also means that you can't let it slip too much.
Negatives are that you don't have maternity leave - I'm expecting number 3 soon so am saving for that ; not the same security with contract work ; can be isolating if you are used to an office environment, but phone calls and meetings do help; your partner may expect that you can clean the house / cook every day as you are 'at home' - it soon becomes clear that it doesn't work like that .

TiredWife Wed 13-Apr-05 14:40:16

Thanks BK for your thoughts, and Zubb for your experience!

Zubb - can I just ask - do you work for a variety of clients, or just say on a long term contract for one? The reason I ask is that I'm not very keen to switch just to being employed on a consultancy basis doing the same thing, but with still all the corporate bullshit going on around me!

Also, how much did you 'set up' your consultancy before you left? DId you talk to contact 'off the record' etc?

zubb Wed 13-Apr-05 14:47:29

I have one main contract but then have smaller ones as well that aren't as regular - a job-by-job basis. With the main client I have contact with a number of people within the company, so work on a variety of projects, but don't have to deal with any of the politics of it all.
I started talking 'off the record' before I left work to get a feel of what was available and if it would be viable, and defined the area that I would cover. It helped in that there were a number of small companies setting up around that time that needed help and didn't neccessarily want to employ someone.
As BK said I left on very good terms with the company I was with, and have kept in tpuch with them, so that if I ever need to there is potentially a way back for me.

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