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Category: Work

Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Four Easy ways to Make Money from Home

Ever since I gave up my first business back in 2015, I’ve made it my mission to find legitimate ways of making money from home. For a little while I was a stay at home mum, but like many others before me I needed something else in my life. I needed to feel the purpose that comes from having a business. I missed the excitement of building up my own empire and the rush from striking good deals and making money in my own right.

The good thing about working from home, is that you have the space to create multiple income streams. There’s the opportunity to seek out numerous ways to make cash, all from the comfort and warmth of your own four walls. I for one, have never looked back since I began freelancing. The fact that I make money from home means that I’m always here for my children, as well as constantly feeding my desire to be successful at work!

There are so many ways that you too can make money from home, all it take is effort and a lot of determination.  Here are four easy ways you can make money from home;

 

Freelance writing –

Freelance writing is a great way to make money from home. If you love to write and have the skills to produce good quality copy, then this option could be for you. There are numerous online platforms that provide freelancers with work at their skill level, as well as giving them the opportunity to rise through the ranks as they gain experience. The beauty of this role is that you can take on as much or as little work as you wish and payment is usually made swiftly. If this is of interest to you, I’ve written about more about making money from freelance writing HERE! 

 

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Sell unwanted jewellery –

Most of us have jewellery in the house that we no longer wear. Whether they’re pieces that are no longer in fashion or they’re just not your cup of tea anymore, often they sit collecting dust. The fact is though, that you could be sitting on a pile of cash without even realising it! You can sell jewellery for cash with little to no effort, all you have to concentrate on is the reward. With gold prices currently at a record high, now is the time to get searching through your jewellery box. The best bit about it is that you can be paid for your wares in as little as 24 hours.

 

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Complete online surveys –

As much as completing online surveys is never going to make you a millionaire, there’s still the possibility to make a little extra money for a rainy day. A quick Google search will present you with a whole host of survey sites, some pay in cash, others in points that can be exchanged for vouchers and some in gifts. The secret to making money from home with these surveys is volume. They take very little brain power to complete, you can do them whilst sitting in front of the TV of an evening. Do as many as you can in the time that you have and reap the rewards!

 

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Sell unwanted household items –

As with unwanted jewellery, many of us have a house full of things we no longer need nor use. An easy way to make money from home, is to list these items on online marketplaces and auction sites. Someone else is bound to want what you have and you can use the cash to get something that you really need instead. Not only are you set to make a tidy sum from selling your stuff, you’ll also de-clutter your home along the way!

 

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*This post was written in collaboration with Post My Gold. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

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#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

#MumisBest Guest Series – Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now, I will leave you in the hands of Romina from Mini Mummi Blogger!

 

I’m a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. I’m sure most of you would agree that, by the third trimester, your pregnancy feels never-ending! Aside from constant nausea until about 16 weeks, my pregnancy was pretty uneventful until late into my second trimester. I ended up with symphysis pubis dysfunction (https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/symphysis-pubis-dysfunction), and more than once had to work from home for several days in a row because it hurt too much to walk (and couldn’t really move, in any case!). Pregnancy is a singular experience – yes, you are performing a miracle, but you’ve got to endure relentless symptoms and pressures along the way! Needless to say, by the middle of my third trimester, I was well and truly ready to go on leave. At the end of the Christmas closure at the office, I went straight into my maternity leave one month early.

After several years without a proper break, I was looking forward to some downtime. Retrospectively, I think I wasted most of that time sitting on the couch binge watching Downton Abbey and a bunch of other shows I can’t even list now. I wish I had done something more productive and rewarding with that time.

My labour was pretty intense: I was induced twenty-four hours after my water broke because I wasn’t getting enough contractions. Obviously I don’t have any prior experience to compare it to, but the contractions got really full on really quickly and there was barely any respite in between. After nine hours, an episiotomy, and a vacuum, my gorgeous little man came into the world. Despite the elation and boundless love I felt, I was still pretty knocked out by the birth and it took several weeks for me to start feeling somewhat normal. Coupled with the difficulty of breastfeeding in the first couple of months (that’s another story that I won’t go into here), my son was about 3 1/2 months old before I could really start doing “things”.

We’ve gone for a lovely walks in the sun, read books, played with a variety of toys (that I have to keep rotating because somebody is very inquisitive and gets bored playing with the same thing for too many days in a row), and even started baby swimming lessons! I adore my little man and I love spending time with him. But sometimes, I miss doing things that I did before, like reading a novel, doing a musical at the local community theatre, or even working on my uni course. Now that he’s almost 7 months old, I’ve started finding pockets of time here and there to indulge in some of my own hobbies. I’ve really enjoyed putting together my own mummy blog, and realised that I’m at my best when I have something productive and rewarding to focus on. That doesn’t mean that I don’t find taking care of my baby rewarding or productive, of course it is. I’m talking about something that is just for me, for my own satisfaction, and my own sanity.

While I wish I didn’t have to leave my son to go back to work, the cost of living and other things mean I do you have to. I’m lucky enough to have a job that provides flexibility and understanding, which helps; and I also don’t have to go back full time, which I’m grateful for. So, as I pass the halfway mark of my maternity leave and am staring “return to work” in the face, I’m forced to think about what that means for me. If being a stay-at-home mum was an option, would I actually want that?

If I’m honest, the answer is no. I’m the type of person who needs to be challenged in an intellectual environment, as well. I love writing and thinking and learning – in fact, I’ve barely stopped studying since I first went to university a good 13 years ago. I don’t just have to go back to work, I want to. There’s nothing wrong with staying at home to raise your family, if that’s what you want and if you can afford that option. My own mother was a stay-at-home mum until we were teenagers; that worked for us because we didn’t have much family around to help look after us kids, and my dad was able to support us on a single salary. But that just isn’t for me. And I’m lucky that my son has two grandmothers itching to mind him!

Equally, there’s nothing wrong with going back to work part time or full time, even if you can afford not to. Some mothers need to feel that they are contributing financially to their family, or like they are “someone” besides a mother. Every mum needs to do what suits her best, and fits in with her own circumstances. After all, if a mother is operating at her best, feeling confident and fulfilled in all aspects, she will be better able to care for her children.

I dread the prospect of walking out the door on my way to work and seeing my bub’s sad little face because his mummy is leaving him behind. But, such is life. My ideal scenario would be to have my own business, and be able to work from anywhere. The best of both worlds! It isn’t an option at the moment, but it’s in the cards. I guess I’ll just wait and see!

Bio:

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

You can see more from Romina here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Claire from Bubbles and Babies!

#MumisBest Guest Post – Claire from Bubbles and Babies!

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Claire from Bubbles and Babies!

 

Sitting down and thinking about my ‘work’ situation is something I’ve been meaning to do for a while. Quick look back to a year ago I was working 40 hours a week running a pub with my dad on top of that I was also running an events company with my sister so another 25 plus hours a week there. I was a workaholic I’m business minded and was all about the money, my motto was the more you put in the more money you take home and yes this was very true. At 24 I brought my first house, 3 bedrooms, semi detached nice garden! I worked my bum of saving everything and god it

was so rewarding!

Fast forward to today, I have an 8 month old, Aria, and I’m pregnant with twins! Yes twins and an 8 month old what am I doing! My life has done a complete 360. I spend my days doing baby activities and mum duties and oh do I love it! I also have been recently diagnosed with Ulcerative colitis, a bowel disease that effects my daily life. It’s crazy to look back and think about all them long nights staying up till silly o’clock working putting in all the hours I could just to make more money! Now I’m up late cooking baby meals and cleaning and by late I mean 10 o’clock!

Work for me at the moment is my family, brining up babies and running a house hold. And yes I said WORK because this is a full time 24/7 7 days a week job, no sick days no holidays no days off just to have some fun and drop in at a spa! It’s a job and it is a lot of work and at the end of the day no one patts you on the back and says you did a great job, you have to say it to yourself and make yourself realise your smashing it! I have a hole new understanding for stay at home mums! I never understood it until I walked in there shoes for myself.

I loved my job and I loved working but right now I’m exactly where I’m meant to be and for the next few years this is where I will stay. I won’t feel guilty for it, if anything I feel so blessed that I’m able to afford to be a stay at home mum and be able to be here everyday! I praise any women that goes back to work and I praise every women who stays at home. We as mums are all just trying to do what’s best for our family and what works for one won’t always work for another.

One day i will go back to work but for now I’m proud of my STAY AT HOME MUM title and will wear it with pride.

‘Here’s to strong women, May we know them, May we be them, May we raise them.’

You can see more from Claire here:

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#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

#MumisBest Guest Post – Lisa from What 2 Buy for Kids

Welcome to another instalment of my new guest series #MumisBest!  #MumisBest is all about the ever-growing SAHM/working mum debate.  I really want this series to highlight that there’s no right or wrong way, but whatever works for you and you family.  If you’d like to take part do get in touch, I’d love to hear from you!  For now I will leave you in the hands of Lisa from What 2 Buy 4 Kids!

 

Juggling home and work life can be a challenge, but I love what I do and it’s all worthwhile! I work in the office Monday to Friday and try to do on average 35 hours a week. If I need to, I do work at home in the evenings, but I try to keep Saturdays and Sundays free for doing family things.

When the kids were younger, I was a SAHM, and I loved every minute. We had so much fun, enjoying activities, such as baking, gardening, arts and crafts, and imaginative play was a huge part of our lives! We also would meet up with other mums and children for playdates, trips to the park and activities such as Jo Jingles and Tumble Tots. But once my kids were school age, I needed to fill in the gap and extra time that had now been created. I wanted to do something that I was passionate about, but also do something that would allow me to work from home. Before I had my kids, I was a primary school teacher, so I wanted to use my knowledge and expertise as a teacher (as well as a mum).  I put my thinking cap on, and came up with the idea of setting up a website selling fun and educational toys and gifts for kids.

So, 7 years ago what2buy4kids was born. I started the business from my dining room at home. In the beginning I worked pretty much all the time, working when the children were at school and when they went to bed at night. It was handy working from home, though, as I didn’t need to rely on childcare. I could still drop the kids off at school and pick them up. The school holidays were more of a struggle and I had to rely heavily on children’s holiday camps, activity clubs and overnight stays at grandparents and friends’ houses were a godsend. I would try to have either a morning or afternoon off work now and again, so we could go to the cinema or the local park for example. Days out to the local farm, Chester Zoo etc…  had to wait for the weekends. Weekends became very special, where we spent real quality family time together.

Last year, my business had grown so much that I had no alternative, but to find larger premises with offices and a warehouse attached. Fortunately, for me, this came at the right time, as my kids were now old enough to look after themselves. I still do work lots of hours, but I do try to have Saturdays and Sundays off. Easier said than done, especially in the run up to Christmas!!!

The hardest thing about being a working mum is finding the right balance between work and home life. I sometimes feel guilty when I can’t drop and pick up from school, when I miss a school sports day, Christmas play or end of term concert, but I always make sure that someone goes in my place. I do my best to balance work and home life and that’s why I’m not always in the office. As I’ve already mentioned, my weekends are very precious, and we always try to do fun and exciting things on my days off.

Everyone’s situation is unique and different, and there’s no right or wrong answer, as to whether you should be a SAHM or working mum. My advice is to do what feels right for you, but if you are considering working, my top tip for working mums is to do something you enjoy and are passionate about – then it really won’t ever seem like you are actually working!!!

Bio:

Hi – I’m Lisa, wife to Jeremy and mum to 3 kids. Chris is my eldest, Emma came along two years later and Katie is the baby of the family. I live in a small village, called Appleton, in Cheshire. I run my own business, what2buy4kids, which is an online toyshop selling good quality toys and gifts for kids from birth to 12 years.

You can see more from Lisa here:

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How to Pursue a Career in Driving

How to Pursue a Career in Driving

Choosing your perfect career can be difficult, but if your perfect career is in driving then this great guide will give you the information you need to make the next step towards your dream job. The guide explains five of the most popular routes to a career in driving…

Driving instructor

The primary role of a driving instructor is to teach people the skills and knowledge that they need in order to drive safely and pass their driving test.

Entry requirements

Before registering for Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) instructor training at a facility such as Pass ‘N’ Go’s driving schools in Durham, you must:

  • Be aged 21 or over by the time you qualify.
  • Have held a driving licence for a minimum of three years.
  • Be able to read a licence plate from a distance of 90 feet, even if this is performed when wearing glasses or contact lenses.
  • Have completed and passed enhanced criminal records and motoring conviction checks. For this, you can’t have any prior disqualifications from driving in the four years leading up to qualifying as a driving instructor. You also can’t have any criminal offences, whether these are related to driving or not.

Essential skills

These are the skills required in order to become a successful driving instructor:

  1. Able to give clear instructions.
  2. Able to adapt your style of teaching to suit each learner.
  3. Display excellent driving skills.
  4. Have a sound knowledge about all aspects of road safety.
  5. Able to react quickly and safely to any problems that you encounter when teaching someone to drive.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Check the driving ability and knowledge of each learner driver.
  • Plan a number of lessons with the intent of preparing a learner driver for their driving test.
  • Teach aspects of driving laws, the Highway Code and road safety.
  • Instruct on how to use vehicle controls, turning procedures, reversing techniques, steering and parking safely.
  • Demonstrate how to react to emergency situations.
  • Discuss the basis vehicle checks.
  • Keep records of all appointments and payments.
  • Manage your own business.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £15,000 and £20,000 when pursuing a career as a driving instructor, though this can rise to between £20,000 and £30,000 with experience.

However, the average salary for driving instructor jobs, according to Totaljobs, is £42,500.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 657 jobs related to the search ‘Driving Instructor’ — check them out here.

Bus driver

The role of a bus driver will be to transport passengers on local journeys.

Entry requirements

Before pursuing a career as a bus driver, you will be required to hold a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence and a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence—otherwise known as a Driver Qualification Card (DQC).

The majority of employers will also request that you are at least 18 years old and have held a full driving licence for at least a year.

Essential skills

These are the skills required in order to become a successful bus driver:

  1. Fantastic driving skills
  2. Good customer service skills
  3. Clear communication skills
  4. Good geographical knowledge

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Take fares.
  • Check tickets and passes.
  • Give information about timetables and routes.
  • Help passengers when they have difficulty getting onto and alighting from a bus.
  • The ability to keep to timetables.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £14,000 and £17,000 when pursuing a career as a bus driver, though this can rise to between £18,000 and £23,000 with experience. The most experienced drivers can earn £25,000 or more once highly experienced.

The average salary for bus driver jobs, according to Totaljobs, is £22,492.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 1,344 jobs related to the search ‘Bus Driver’ — check them out here.

Coach driver

The role of a coach driver is to transport passengers on a wide variety of journeys, which can take them to local, national or overseas destinations.

Entry requirements

Both a Passenger Carrying Vehicle (PCV) licence and a Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC) — sometimes also referred to as a Driver Qualification Card (DQC) — will need to be held before you pursue a career as a coach driver.

Many employers will require you to be at least 18 years old and to have held a full driving licence for a minimum of 12 months.

Essential skills

These are the skills required in order to become a successful coach driver:

  1. Fantastic driving skills
  2. Good customer service skills
  3. Clear communication skills
  4. Good geographical knowledge
  5. If driving abroad, then basic foreign language skills and an understanding of overseas traffic laws will also be required.

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Help passengers when they have difficulty getting onto and alighting from a coach.
  • Check documents of passengers.
  • Both load and unload luggage.
  • Make announcements throughout a journey.
  • Check that all passengers are back on board before setting off on a return journey, as well as after each scheduled stop.
  • Keep the coach clean.
  • Carry out basic vehicle checks of the coach.
  • Record driving hours.
  • Report any incidents when on the road.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £14,000 and £17,000 when pursuing a career as a coach driver, though this can rise to between £18,000 and £23,000 when experienced and then to £25,000 or more once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 1,145 jobs related to the search ‘Coach Driver’ — check them out here.

Lorry driver

The role of a lorry driver is to both transport and deliver goods between suppliers and customers.

Entry requirements

You must be over 18 years old and hold both a full car driving licence and a Certificate of Professional Competence (Driver CPC) before pursuing a career as a lorry driver.

Essential skills

These are the skills required in order to become a successful lorry driver:

  1. Fantastic driving skills
  2. Fantastic knowledge of aspects of road safety
  3. The ability to work alone for long periods of time
  4. The ability to concentrate for long periods of time
  5. The ability to accurately complete record sheets
  6. The ability to accurately complete all necessary paperwork

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Drive a variety of commercial vehicles which weigh in excess of 7.5 tonnes — this can include articulated lorries, tankers, trailer wagons and transporters.
  • Carry goods from one destination to another, which could be based in the UK as well as overseas.
  • Plan delivery schedules and routes through communication with transport managers.
  • Supervise and help with the loading and unloading of goods.
  • Ensure that loads are secured safely.
  • Take note of traffic reports and change routes when necessary.
  • Complete delivery paperwork accurately.
  • Complete log books accurately.
  • Carry out basic maintenance of a vehicle, which could include brake, oil and tyre checks both before and after a journey.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of between £18,500 and £22,000 when pursuing a career as a lorry driver, though this can rise to between £23,000 and £28,000 when experienced and then to between £27,000 and £35,000 once highly experienced. Overtime may also be available.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 1,547 jobs related to the search ‘Lorry Driver’ — check them out here.

Taxi driver

Taxi drivers are tasked with picking up passengers and charge them fares before taking them to their requested destination via the quickest route.

Entry requirements

Before pursuing a career as a taxi driver, you will need to apply for a taxi driver’s licence. This can be carried out either from a local council’s licensing unit or via Transport for London (TfL).

There will be unique conditions from one licencing unit to the next, but most usually request that drivers are over 18 years old, have held a full UK or EU driving licence for a minimum of 12 months and have passed a medical, a criminal records check and a geographical test.

Essential skills

These are the skills required in order to become a successful taxi driver:

  1. Good driving skills
  2. Good awareness of road safety
  3. In-depth knowledge of an area where you will be carrying out duties as a taxi driver — this will include being able to identify landmarks, one-way systems and street names
  4. Customer care skills
  5. Maths skills

Day-to-day duties to expect

  • Take job details via multiple means, which includes via an in-car computer, using an app, through a phone call and over a radio.
  • Help passengers to both get in and exit a vehicle where necessary.
  • Help to load and unload luggage when required.
  • Take accurate payments for fares.
  • Log payments for fares online.
  • Keep a vehicle clean.
  • Keep a vehicle in a roadworthy condition.
  • Keep both accounts and records up to date.

Expected salary

You can expect a starter salary of £14,000 when pursuing a career as a taxi driver, though this can rise to £20,000 when experienced and then to £30,000 once highly experienced.

Jobs available*

Indeed currently has 299 jobs related to the search ‘taxi driver’ — check them out here.

 

*Jobs available logged as of June 2017.

Sources:

http://www.drivingexpert.co.uk/driving-career-category.html

https://www.totaljobs.com/salary-checker/salary-calculator

http://www.payscale.com/research/UK/

https://nationalcareersservice.direct.gov.uk/job-profiles/home

https://www.indeed.co.uk

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Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

Are our Screens Doing us Harm? The Importance of Reducing Exposure.

When I think about how long I spend sitting in front of my laptop, I appreciate that it’s probably more than what’s recommended. Especially on the days when I don’t have time to take a break in between tasks. My screen time doesn’t end when I’ve finished writing though. When I do finally shut my laptop, you can guarantee that I’ll just migrate over to my smart phone and continue working discreetly on there. Throw in a little more time on the iPad and I’ve spent the majority of my day looking at a screens.

I know I’m not alone in this, but it really is shocking to think that screens are such a dominant feature in our lives. It appears that we’re now unable to go for long periods of time, without referring back to our trusty technology! I must admit that this wasn’t something I’d given much thought too until recently. Working is something that I love to do, so I don’t see spending time on my laptop or my phone as a chore. Often I’ve no desire to down tools, so I don’t and the hours keep on racking up! However, when I was contacted by Ocushield this week, it really hit me that I spend so much time looking at a screen with no concern for my health what so ever.

 

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What are the dangers of too much screen time?

Our computers are capable of emitting low-frequency and radio frequency electromagnetic radiation. This kind of radiation has been linked to many medical conditions including, but not restricted to; depression, Alzheimer’s and cancer. It’s frightening to think that something we use so much and on a daily basis could be so dangerous.

The symptoms of overexposure include; tiredness, headaches and dizziness among others. I for one have suffered with headaches on many occasions, when I’ve had a full day at my desk working on my laptop.

 

What can you do to protect yourself?

If like me, you need to use your laptop to work and if your phone is never too far away, there are a few simple steps you can take to make your working environment safer. Think about the following:

  • Sit a safe distance away from your computer screen, ideally around 10 – 12 inches away.
  • Take regular breaks, even when you have deadlines to meet. Walk away from your screen and have a breather.
  • When using smartphones and tablets, don’t hold them too close.
  • When you’re working, divert your eyes away from the screen at regular intervals. Blinking more often can be beneficial too.
  • Minimise glare from your screen by using a computer screen cover for eyes, you can get these for smartphones and tablets too.

 

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Looking after our eyes is so important, but it’s not always easy to down tools altogether to get away from our screens. Therefore it’s necessary that to take the rights step to protect ourselves from the effects of overexposure. After all, if we don’t look after ourselves now then our work will only end up suffering in the long run!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

 

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What Kind of Work Space Works for You?

What Kind of Work Space Works for You?

When I began working from home, productivity wasn’t my strong point. Having never had a job that I didn’t have to leave the house for, I had no idea how distracting working in your own living space can be. There’s always something to be done at home; DIY, housework and the Sky planner to work through. It soon became apparent that my working environment wasn’t helping my progress.

Our work space can have a massive effect on our concentration and the quality of our work. If you get it right, the sky’s your limit. If you get it wrong, you may as well stop wasting your time. This week I’ve teamed up with Pall Mall Estates and a fabulous group of my fellow bloggers, to find out what working kind environment is perfect for them. There are so many variations of what makes up ideal working conditions, what works so well for one person could be a recipe for disaster for another!

 

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What works for me –

 

When blogging and writing became a serious profession for me, I had to develop a fool-proof plan to make sure I continue to make the best of my time. My work station changes depending on what task I have at hand. If it’s something that requires my full attention, I need complete silence and a clean area around me. No clutter and no mobile phone in sight. This is how I spend most of my time, occasionally I’ll listen to a little music but only in between tasks to give my brain a little respite! There are times when I work in front of the TV, but only for jobs that I do day in and day out. The ones that I could do with my eyes shut!

 

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What works for others –

Stacey from One Small Human – ‘I like a window and lots of natural light to concentrate. And I do tend to play music too. But the natural light is the biggest thing for me.’

Beth from Twinderelmo – ‘Smooth radio! It is the best soundtrack to work to. I hate working in silence – feels eerie!’

Victoria from Lylia Rose – ‘Natural light and a clean and tidy desk. If I need to concentrate then I like to sit upright at my desk with no noise or distractions around me.’

Victoria from Mummy to My Little Cheeky Monkey – ‘My desk is by the window and if the kids are away I have music on, but if kids are home I normally have the TV for background noise.’

Kirsty from Life with Boys – ‘I need silence and a clear space. I can’t work in mess and this means I find it very difficult to really get into my work quickly. With a one year old my house is rarely tidy.’

Clara from The Balance Collective – ‘Now I’m writing a lot more than I used to, I’ve realised I get too distracted by music with singer’s (as I end up joining in and get carried away with the song. So now it’s classical music! Enough to remove the “loudness” of silence, but doesn’t transport me away from the words I am trying to write.’

Tricia from The Birth and Baby Academy – ‘Either total silence or a busy coffee shop. Both work really well for me. Sometimes less distractions in a busy coffee shop weirdly!’

Katy from Katykicker – ‘I listen to the ‘music for concentration’ playlist from Spotify on my Sonos and it really helps me focus.’

Louise from Pink Pear Bear –  ‘By myself, in total silence with a limitless supply of tea!’

 

Thankyou to each of these amazing bloggers for giving an insight!

 

What’s the ideal working environment for you?

 

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*This is a collaborative post.

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The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

The Day My World Stood Still. Well, Nearly.

Blogging, writing, social media and emails galore. Sound familiar? I’m not moaning, it’s the theme tune to my life and I love it. However, since I found myself on this path I don’t think I’ve downed tools for even a day. I’m always conscious of deadlines, I squeeze work into my day any which way I can and when it’s finally time to go to bed I work for a couple more hours. You know, for good measure.

Well this week something amazing happened. I scheduled all content, put down my phone, closed the laptop, packed the kids into the car and took the whole day off to enjoy being a family. OK I’ll admit that I did have a few sneaky checks of my phone, completely cold turkey was probably a bit of a big ask! For the most part though I just enjoyed some time out, knowing that work would still be waiting for me when I got back.

I’ve written so many times about how taking a break is one of the best things to make your business thrive. It seems I’m not very good at taking my own advice. I’m always banging on about how refreshed a bit of time out can make you feel and how it can give you the motivation to crack through a load of work when you get back to it, I fully believe it too. So I just can’t work out why it’s taken me this long to act on it!

So what has taking a break taught me?

 

  • That the world won’t implode if I don’t reply to an email in 30 seconds flat.
  • That the day goes by in less of a blur if you take some time to enjoy it.
  • That my concentration improves markedly after taking some time out.
  • That going to bed at a reasonable hour once in a while is necessary.
  • That the world looks much prettier when you aren’t looking at it through a camera lense.
  • That I love my job and a break is necessary if I want to succeed!

 

It turns out that taking a break isn’t a bad thing at all. In fact it’s completely necessary for each and everyone of us to stop what we’re doing once in a while and take stock of where we’re at. I’ll definitely be taking another break sooner rather than later, all work and no play makes Zoe a very dull girl!

 

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Women in Business – Homemakers, Mothers and Entrepreneurs

Women in Business – Homemakers, Mothers and Entrepreneurs

Ever since I entered the world of work, I’ve been inspired by women in business. You know; the kick ass, got their life together women that make running a business look like a walk in the park. The women that stuck two fingers up to the daily grind and leapt into a seemingly uncertain world. I admire these women even more now that I’m a mother. Building up a business is hard work. When you throw a home, partner and children into the mix it becomes a complete juggling act.

When things get a little hectic over here, I often wonder whether I should have waited until my children start school before I began building up another business. I have another two years until they’re both in education though andI know I wouldn’t have lasted that long without working. So instead of dwelling on how hard things seem in any particular moment, I like to turn my attention to the amazing women that have struggled on through the tough times to build their empire. Taking reassurance and inspiration from their determination and achievements.

There are so many amazing women in business out there. They’re homemakers, mothers and entrepreneurs, powering through each day to teach, provide, learn and achieve. So with this in mind, I got in touch with fellow women in business to give you a little insight into how their lives tick!

Women in Business

Vivienne from The Mother’s Room:   ‘I run two small businesses, both inspired by my children! My main focus is my newborn and wedding photography business, but I love supporting new families to carry their babies through my sling consultancy. With support from my husband and some fab childcare, it means that I can juggle work and still be there for my children as much as possible. It does involve a lot of late nights and many strong cups of tea, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.’

Christy from Welsh Mum: ‘I’ve owned an exotic pet shop (physical shop in Cardiff and online shop) for 10 years. 7 years ago my husband started working with me as well, so now it’s a family run business. My son is currently 5 months and we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead. As I’m self employed I could only get the statutory maternity allowance from the government from day one, which is quite limiting financially. My husband was entitled to zero paternity as a self employed worker. So I am currently doing work on the social media, customer service, updating the website etc. from home with the baby. He’s also come into the shop with me on quite a few occasions and I’m sure it will become a second home to him as he gets older. He’s been around snakes & lizards from day one so he’ll certainly be used to a little bit of exotic nature! It has been very challenging trying to focus and find time to look after a newborn and actually be productive. Blogging has helped me with my creative side which I’ve found very relaxing and an essential release. Most of all I’d say being willing to work after the kids have gone to bed is important if you’re self employed. Often I do 2-5 hours work in an evening once he’s asleep as this is my only quiet time to really, really focus on what needs to get done.’

Sarah from Mumzilla: ‘I’m cofounder of a plants by subscription company called BloomBox Club. Because we are both mums, we allow super flexibility on working hours, which works really well. No more 9-5!’

Laura from Mum on a Mission:  ‘I run a cake decorating school from home. I teach during school hours and in the evenings so it fits in around family life. I also run a profitable blog which I do during the school day when I am home alone. Working for myself has helped me to not only earn some much needed money but also be sociable & meet new people. I struggled not working when I first had my son but his disability means its impossible to get paid employment because of the amount of time off I’d need. But I need to work because I get bored so quickly! My brain needs the challenge.’

Donna from The Sleep Thief’s Mummy: ‘I’m a self employed recruitment consultant with a (nearly) 4 year old and an 18 month old. It’s nails but while they’re at nursery/grandparents I have to cram in as much activity as possible. The hardest thing is when they’re ill and I have to take time off as (as much as I love looking after them and being able to be there for them) I’m only able to work 16 hours a week at the moment and it always comes down to me as my husband can’t get the time off – the most important things for me are to be organised and focused.’

Danielle from Someone’s Mum: ‘I earn enough from blogging to stay at home now. I was a teacher for twelve years but I gave it up when the blog became profitable. For the last 3 months or so I have earned more than I did teaching full-time. I get to stay with my children, support my son more (he has autism) and I love the nature of being my own boss and not having the awful pressure of results etc. It can be hard to juggle as until recently both children were at home most of the time. (My son just started school) I have to work most evenings at weekends. I love the flexibility though and it has transformed the quality of my life.’

Chantele from Two Hearts One Roof: ‘I run a wedding and newborn photography company and a studio photography company with my hubby. We had the wedding business before we became parents. It was hard to adjust at first but 1 year on we have learnt to juggle parenting and our businesses. It’s involved a lots of work late at night, having to be more focused and organised to get work finished and out to our clients in the shorter amount of time we have. We started the studio business to actually allow us more time with the dude, as our studio is built in our garden so we can work from home, no travelling involved. It takes lots or drive, determination and a passion for what you do but we love our job so can’t imagine it any other way now.’

 

I’d like to say a huge thankyou to each and everyone of these amazing women for contributing and for being truly inspirational! 

 

 

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#cleanuptheFword Campaign with Digital Mums

#cleanuptheFword Campaign with Digital Mums

Over the past two years I’ve thrown myself into building up my blogging and freelance writing business. I spend hours each day working hard, striving to achieve. I also spend hours each day bringing up my children, who at two and one are with me full-time. How do I do it? Flexible working!

I knew as soon as our first daughter was born that I would have to give up work, but with a husband who works long shifts for the NHS I had very few options as far as my work life went. I could either give up work altogether, or figure out a way to work flexibly from home around the children. I tried the stay at home mum role for a little while, but I struggled not working at all. So armed with a notebook and a laptop I decided to give the flexible working thing a whirl!

 

Did you know? Out of 68% of people who would like flexible working options, only 12% have actually dared ask for them?

 

I found almost immediately that flexible working opened so many doors for my family. Working from home, during hours that suit me,  means that I’m always there for our girls. When they go to school I’ll be the one that does the school run and who helps them with their homework. I’m here for to see all of their firsts and I’m here to comfort them when they need me. The extra income I earn means that we aren’t restricted financially and working gives me the release I need from motherhood. It gives me chance to be me and to achieve my goals outside of being a parent.

 

Did you know? 51% of employees in the UK think that asking for flexible work would be viewed in a negative light by their employer?

 

I know that after giving flexible working a try, I would find it difficult to go back to fixed hours. That’s why I feel so passionately about the Digital Mums #cleanuptheFword campaign. Raising awareness around flexible working is key to making it more acceptable in the eyes of employers and giving employees the confidence to ask for flexible hours. To find out more information on the Digital Mums #cleanuptheFword campaign visit their site HERE! It’s time everyone did #WorkThatWorks for them!

 

 

 

*This post was written in collaboration with and contains figures from research conducted by Digital Mums.

 

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