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Posts Tagged ‘working’

How I became my own boss

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014

I worked in pensions for nine years, in two different companies. I loved the people I worked with, but the work was often boring and monotonous.

When I returned to work after maternity leave, I was reliant on tax credits and housing benefit to be there, and I quickly realised that I had no chance of ever improving that situation. There was no chance of a pay rise or promotion, and any raise I did get would be quickly swallowed by the same amount being deducted from my benefit. I realised that if I stayed there, I would not be in a better position financially for quite some time. I was scared to do anything about it though; now that I had a child, I couldn’t afford to just quit my job and have no money.

I began doing some social media work for a friend’s company; I updated her Facebook and Twitter, took photos in her shop and posted them onto her social media accounts. I did this mostly on my days off, and found that actually I enjoyed it more than my “proper” job.

One day she asked me if I would consider leaving my job and doing what I did for her, for several local companies. She knew lots of people who were interested in using me for their social media. I declined, telling her that I couldn’t afford to do something so risky while my daughter was still so young; I needed to stay where I was had job security. The next week, we were all called into a meeting and told we were now in a 30-day consultation period for redundancy. I felt like this was a sign, and spent the entire 30 days praying they would pick me… It worked; they did!

That was at the beginning of October, and I’ve been my own boss since! I love meeting potential new clients and showing them how I can help them. What I do isn’t rocket science; quite often I’m just doing something they don’t have time to do themselves. I also do some book-keeping for my friend’s company, and I write. I love being my own boss; I love being able to choose what I do and when I do it. There’s no dress code, and nobody cares when I take my lunch break! It’s hard work, but it feels easier because I know that when I work hard it will benefit me and my daughter, not a faceless corporation.

At times it can be stressful, but I enjoy my work a lot more than I did before, and working from home makes my life a lot easier; I can put dinner in the oven to cook between sending emails, and put the washing on between Facebook updates. I can also work in the evenings, when my daughter is asleep meaning that I have a lot more flexibility in my working week. And when my daughter’s nursery has a “stay & play” event, I can move my work around so that I can join in; something I would never have had enough holiday allowance to do in a normal job. It can be tough, as I found out last month when my daughter was off nursery ill for a few days and I still had work to do; but on the whole, I’m enjoying being my own boss.

I think the best advice I could give someone considering this sort of move is to ensure you have a strong base of support around you. I’m very lucky to have several people I can call upon when I need advice, help or just a pep talk. You might be going it alone in business, but use all the support you can get!

taken from (plus a video to train for your listening )

Spain urged to change its long working hours and late culture

Saturday, May 25th, 2013

Spain’s long working hours, late nights and fondness for bank holidays are costing it dear, according to an organisation campaigning for the country to radically change how it uses its time.

Most shops and businesses are open from about 10am until 8pm, with many taking a three-hour break between 2pm and 5pm. It can be hard to find a restaurant prepared to serve lunch before 2pm and families often don’t sit down for supper until after 10pm.

Even soccer doesn’t escape the late culture: la liga always has a 10pm kick-off on Saturdays.

The National Commission for the Rationalisation of Working Hours is dedicated to persuading politicians Spain should get in line with its European neighbours when it comes to waking, eating, working and sleeping.
Personal lives
The commission’s president, Ignacio Buqueras, believes late lunches, suppers and bedtimes are not just bad for the economy, but also for Spaniards’ personal lives.

“Our current working hours are closely linked to our leadership in Europe when it comes to lack of productivity, workplace accidents, low birth rate, divorce and school dropout rate,” he told El Comercio newspaper.

His organisation suggests Spaniards shorten their working day, beginning at 7.30am-9am and clocking off at 4.30pm-6pm, with only a short lunch break. It also wants the country to cut down on its frequent midweek days off, believing they also hinder the economy.

Spain has 12 bank holidays scheduled for 2013, compared to nine in Ireland and eight in the UK. Mr Buqueras is particularly concerned by the Spanish habit of creating recreational puentes (bridges): if a holiday falls on a Wednesday, for example, many people will take the Thursday and Friday off too.

The government of Mariano Rajoy proposed moving midweek bank holidays to Mondays or Fridays but has delayed the change, perhaps mindful of how voters cherish extra-long weekends.

Another worry for those seeking to overhaul Spain’s timekeeping customs is the phenomenon known as presentismo – literally “being present” – whereby workers spend long hours in the office to impress their superiors without necessarily doing much.

The Irish Times Fri, May 17, 2013, 01:00

Long hours link to dementia risk

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Working long hours is definitely not good for your health as a recent study shows.