How are you feeling about returning to work after a break?It feels a bit of a cliché to be writing in January about New Year, New You, New Start-type stuff. But actually I think we all do reflect a bit on our life in general at this time of year, and that’s a healthy thing to do. I’m certainly reflecting on last year both work-wise and personally, and planning what I want to achieve during 2019. It’s good to set goals, take stock, think about changes we might want to make and things we’d like to do over the coming year.

I like to consider all aspects of my life when doing this. For example we moved house in 2017 and have had a fair amount of trials and tribulations with work needing doing on our new home throughout 2018. It’s been a stressful time, but we’ve achieved a lot, and one of the things I’m reflecting on now is what work still needs doing during this coming year and how to do it with minimum disruption! I’m also contemplating a number of other responsibilities/activities I have involvement in and how they might develop over the coming year.

But of course my focus when writing here is work changes. Many people I speak to about possibly working with us are prompted to take steps to explore the idea of self-employment further by having spent some time away from work, such as the Christmas break. Time off gives you ‘breathing space’ – it’s easier to think about your work life in a wider sense in terms of whether it’s fulfilling you and meeting your personal needs and objectives when you’re not actually embroiled in the day-to-day responsibilities of your role. Time out to reflect on work rather than being in work gives you a different perspective and if you don’t take that time, months go by before you realise you are still stuck in the same place.

Time off over Christmas also can prompt decisions to explore self-employment when people realise how much they are not looking forward to returning to the daily grind, old routines, repetitive problems and challenges of their employment. The prospect of going back from time off with family to a job which isn’t fulfilling or meeting your needs often pushes people into taking steps to make changes.

If you’re wondering as you return to work this month whether self-employment might be the answer to dissatisfaction you might be feeling with your working life, do get in touch. I’m always happy to talk about my experiences of working as a self-employed HR consultant (the ups and downs!) and help give an insight into what it’s like and whether it will bring the solutions you’re looking for.