• All Your Parents’ Rights in One Article

    All Your Parents’ Rights in One Article

    Parents have a myriad of rights to leave to care for their children. It can get very confusing, and won’t get any clearer when the rather complex Shared Parental Leave comes into force. This article sets out the different types of leave, who qualifies and what rights there are to pay during leave. Maternity Leave […]

  • Are you worrying too much about returning to work?

    Are you worrying too much about returning to work?

    Some people thinking about returning to work find they are consumed by worries. These often start with ‘What if…?’ What if …. I can’t do this work anymore? What if … no-one will employ me anymore? What if …. my children/partner/family miss me? What if …. I’m not able to take time off for emergencies? […]

  • 7 Ideas for Inspiring Flexible Working in your Workplace

    7 Ideas for Inspiring Flexible Working in your Workplace

    Especially for International Women’s Day Anna Meller wrote an e-book to help women inspire change at work, and helping you make your workplace a more flexible one. Anna firmly believes you an inspire change to, after all “change happens best when nobody notices” and “small changes add up”. Just pick one or two that you […]

Why work needs to be energising as well as family-friendly: Nicola's story

Why work needs to be energising as well as family-friendly: Nicola’s story

We always advise women returners to target roles that will be energising and motivating for them and not to solely focus on finding a job that is part-time and flexible. If you find your ‘family-friendly’ work boring then you are unlikely to be happy with your work-life balance. Nicola’s story illustrates this perfectly …

Nicola’s story: Back to insurance (via nursery teaching)
Before I had children I worked in insurance broking and risk management. When I had my first daughter I went back to work 4 days a week but when I had my second daughter I didn’t want to delegate to a nanny anymore and decided to become a full-time mum. By the time my youngest was 2½ and at nursery I needed something to fill my days to stop getting frustrated. So I took a job as a nursery assistant teacher and worked there for 5 mornings a week term-time for 5 years. I enjoyed meeting new people but there was no mental challenge. The death of a close relative led me to reassess my life and I realized I was drifting. I considered training to be a schoolteacher but didn’t have much enthusiasm for it. I kicked my heels for a while and then contacted my old boss who I had kept in touch with over the 10 years since I left insurance. I asked him to let me know if he heard of any job, provided it was flexible. I also told all my friends and old work contacts that I was looking.
By pure chance one of my husband’s friends was having lunch with another mutual friend and mentioned that I wanted to get back into insurance. This friend worked for a risk management consultancy which was recruiting and approached me about a role there. I asked for 3 days a week, flexible according to demand but not Fridays. This was agreed because I was clear about what I wanted and what could work for the business.
I now absolutely love my life – it was definitely the right decision to go back. Even though I am working longer hours, my life feels more my own and I have got back my self-respect. I thought I’d be exhausted but in fact I have more energy than when I was working a few hours a day in the nursery. I’d rather be busy than bored!

For other inspiring return-to-work stories see www.womenreturners.com/success

julianne&katerinaAuthor: From the blog Women Returners: Back to Your Future aka Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, an occupational psychologist and an executive coach who support professional women to return to work after a long career break.

 

Julianne and Katerina will be running 2 workshops at the Mumsnet Workfest  for Women Returners: Overcoming fears, worries and guilt, Practical approaches to get back to work after a long break.

All Your Parents’ Rights in One Article

All Your Parents’ Rights in One Article

Parents have a myriad of rights to leave to care for their children. It can get very confusing, and won’t get any clearer when the rather complex Shared Parental Leave comes into force. This article sets out the different types of leave, who qualifies and what rights there are to pay during leave.

Maternity Leave

You can take up to 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave (OML) and a further 26 weeks additional maternity leave (AML), regardless of how long you have worked for your employer. In order to qualify, you must tell your employer the date when you wish to start your leave before the end of the 15th week before you’re due to give birth. The first 2 weeks after birth are compulsory maternity leave, when you are not permitted to work.

Qualifying employees are entitled to a maximum of 39 weeks statutory maternity pay (SMP). For the first six weeks you are paid at 90% of your salary, the remaining 33 weeks are paid at the lower of either the standard rate of £136.78, or 90% of your average gross weekly earnings. The statutory rate will rise to £138.18 on 6 April 2014. Check your company maternity policy because some employers offer enhanced maternity pay.

Terms and conditions of your employment continue during your maternity leave, except in respect of pay. You should continue to receive your non-cash contractual benefits such as medical insurance or a company car if this is for personal as well as business use. You are also entitled to any pay rises given during your leave, though this will take effect on your return unless within the first 6 weeks when maternity pay is determined by a percentage of your salary.

Holidays accrue during maternity leave and can be taken before or after your leave but not during.

You have the right to return to the same job after OML. After AML, your employer can offer a suitable and appropriate alternative if it is not practical for you to return to the same job.

Paternity Leave

Dads, or mum’s partner, are entitled to 2 weeks’ Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL) paid at £136.78, rising to £138.18 on 6 April 2014. Many employers offer this at full pay. Although most men choose to take the leave as the baby is born, it can be taken at any time within 56 days of the birth. To qualify, dad must have had at least 26 weeks’ service 14 weeks before the due date.

If dad qualifies for OPL he is also entitled to APL, if mum goes back to work. APL cannot be taken until baby is 20 weeks old and no later than baby’s first birthday. Dad must be working for the same employer as he was when he took OPL. He is entitled to the unexpired portion of mum’s SMP, paid at the same rate.

Parental Leave

All parents are entitled to take up to 18 weeks unpaid parental leave before their child is 5. The leave accrues in respect of each child, so a parent of 3 children could take up to 54

weeks. Leave must be taken in blocks of a week and can be limited to 4 weeks per year. Employers can postpone the leave for up to 6 months where the business would be unduly disrupted.

To take the leave, employees must have been with their employer for at least a year. Leave can move between employers, so for example if you had taken 3 weeks leave and got a new job, you could take up to 15 weeks in that new job once you had been there for a year.

Dependants Leave

All employees are entitled to a reasonable amount of unpaid leave to deal with dependants who are ill or injured. The leave is also available because of unexpected disruption of childcare or to deal with an incident at school.

Shared Parental Leave

There has been much publicity around Shared Parental Leave, due to apply to parents of children born after April 2015. Parents will be able to share 50 weeks’ leave after the 2 week compulsory maternity leave. They can take leave in consecutive blocks or at the same time. They can even ask their employer for non-continuous leave, though employers will have the right to refuse this. Maternity and Paternity pay will remain at current levels.

To qualify, employees must have 26 weeks’ service 14 weeks before the baby’s due date. Both parents must meet the “economic activity test”, which is to say they must have worked for at least 26 of the 66 weeks before the baby is born, and have earned at least £30 per week for at least 13 of those weeks.

Flexible working

Parents and carers have the right to request flexible working, such as working part time hours, changing the hours they work or working from home. An employer can only refuse a request for a sound business reason. If the employer refuses to consider the request or refuses it based on incorrect facts, the employee can complain to the Employment Tribunal.


black new logoAuthor: Louise Taft (Prolegal). Prolegal provides prestigious expertise without the elevated costs expected in this area. We employ the people, the resources and the technology needed to deliver you the highest quality of service in employment law.

Are you worrying too much about returning to work?

Are you worrying too much about returning to work?

Some people thinking about returning to work find they are consumed by worries. These often start with ‘What if…?’

What if …. I can’t do this work anymore?
What if … no-one will employ me anymore?
What if …. my children/partner/family miss me?
DepressionWhat if …. I’m not able to take time off for emergencies?
What if … I can’t find a flexible role in my field?
What if … I fail?
What if … I can’t get good childcare?

The volume and variety of doubts and fears can be enough to cause paralysis and prevent any further progress with activities that might eventually lead to a new role. Everything feels too risky.

Getting beyond worry

If you are finding that your worries crowd in every time you think about how to return to work, what can you do?

  • Write down all your worries. Getting them out of your head and seeing them written down can reduce their power over you. Some of them might seem more manageable once you lay them out.
  • Talk your worries through with a trusted friend or your partner. Articulating your concerns, and investigating them with a compassionate and understanding companion, can help you to see them from a new perspective and loosen their hold on you.
  • Ask yourself ‘What’s the worst that can happen?’ – you might find it is not so bad.
  • Think about how you could test out your worry with an experiment which feels less risky. For example: take a refresher training course or find a small volunteer project to remind you of your professional skills; commit to an activity you enjoy which means you are unavailable to your family for a fixed, regular but small amount of time and see how they cope.
  • Remember that worries and doubts are normal in any change, so don’t wait for them to go away before taking action.
  • If your worries stem from needing to let go of certain domestic roles or jobs that you have always held, work out how you might be able to delegate or renegotiate and get some practice.

For more ideas and to address specific worries, take a look at our posts on being a martyr or perfectionist, feeling selfish, regaining confidence and being overly self-critical.

julianne&katerinaAuthor: From the blog Women Returners: Back to Your Future aka Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, an occupational psychologist and an executive coach who support professional women to return to work after a long career break.

7 Ideas for Inspiring Flexible Working in your Workplace

7 Ideas for Inspiring Flexible Working in your Workplace

Especially for International Women’s Day Anna Meller wrote an e-book to help women inspire change at work, and helping you make your workplace a more flexible one. Anna firmly believes you an inspire change to, after all “change happens best when nobody notices” and “small changes add up”. Just pick one or two that you feel are most likely to succeed in your organisation and help build more flexible workplaces.

Anna’s top 7 most practical tips for inspiring flexible working

  • Re-design your job for flexibility, start by defining your job objectives, and make sure you get clarity on what you are meant to achieve and what you should focus your time and energy on.
  • When you are looking for more flexibility, consider working the same hours, and look for ways you can redistribute your hours eg. to evenings, early mornings, weekends or distance working.
  • When your organisation is hiring, mention there are flexible recruitment agencies that may well bring in the talent they are looking for if they can offer more flexibility.
  • Schedule a team meeting to discuss work life balance, and what it means to different people in your team. How can you support each other in achieving this?
  • Have you got all the skills you need for flexible working? Check it out on the e work life assessment tool and identify skills gaps for yourself or your team.
  • Be a role model. If you are a middle or senior manager working flexibly, be visible. It’s invaluable to show others that it can be done, inside and outside the organisation.
  • Identify the business case for flexible working for your organisation. There’s a good one on the Agile Future Forum to help you get started.

Would you like to know more? You can read the full story in Anna Mellers e-book: Ten Ideas for Inspiring Change in the Workplace .

Author: Inge Woudstra, Trainer, Speaker, Consultant and Founding Director of Mum & Career

Using your instincts in career decision-making

Using your instincts in career decision-making

“I’m thinking about applying for corporate jobs again and have been approached about a part-time Marketing Director job. I know it would be a good move and work with the family but for some reason I’m putting off making the phone call to the recruiter.”

Marion had left the corporate marketing world 6 years before to spend more time with her two children who were approaching senior school age. She now felt keen to return to work and had been focusing on the logical plan of using her past experience and networks to get back into a leadership position. She’d had a few promising leads but noticed that she was dragging her feet and putting off following up on them. Why was she making this so difficult for herself?

As we talked, I noticed that Marion’s energy soared when she spoke about friends who had set up their own businesses and about her own ‘impractical’ entrepreneurial ideas. When she reverted to talking about the ‘realistic option’ of going back to mainstream corporate life her energy drained away like a pricked balloon. Her tone of voice and body language were telling a different story from her words. As we talked, she identified a strong reluctance to give up her freedom and autonomy and the focus of our conversations switched to the feasibility of entrepreneurship. Having turned down a second round interview for the Marketing Director role, she is now enthusiastically developing her own venture.

Rational vs Instinctive Decision-Making

Many of us tend to believe that our decisions should be directed by our rational brains and we distrust our emotional response. But we need to remember that our experience of working, be it positive or negative, is subjective. Whether we enjoy a job depends just as much on how we feel about it as how good it looks on paper. Our emotions are often linked to underlying values, like Marion’s pull towards freedom. And an instinctive reaction can pick up something intangible (like a company culture or a manager’s personality) that does or doesn’t feel right before you can explain the reason why.

And there’s another reason to listen to your intuition. It’s true that ‘gut feel’ can be misleading and lead to faulty conclusions*. On the other hand, psychology studies show that we do not always think best when we rely on reason alone. For more complex decisions (like career choice) our rational brains can hit information overload. If we put our attention elsewhere and allow our unconscious mind time to work through all the factors and come to a decision, we are more likely to make an ‘instinctive’ choice that we will be happier with over time, even if goes against a logical pros & cons evaluation**.

Ways to incorporate the emotional & instinctive in your decision-making

1. Follow your energy. When you talk about each of your options, notice when your energy levels rise and when they drop. What are you most drawn to investigating? Ask your friends/family what they have noticed too.
2. Try describing yourself out loud in each of the different options: “I’m running my own business”, “I’m a Marketing Director”. Which intuitively feels best? Which feels more like ‘you’?
3. When you find yourself over-deliberating about your options, take a break, engage in an activity that distracts your mind for a few hours and then write down your decision before consciously thinking any more about it.

And in general, when you’re considering your next move, value your emotional reactions just as much as your logical analyses.

Note: names and some details have been changed to maintain confidentiality

Further Reading
* For examples of biases see Daniel Kahneman, Thinking Fast & Slow
** One study by Dijksterhuis & van Olden asked participants to look at 5 posters and choose which one they liked best using 3 different techniques: 1) pros & cons 2) gut feel 3) look, solve anagrams, look again, decide. A month later the 3rd group were happiest with their choice. This Unconscious Thought Theory effect has been replicated in more complex decisions such as renting an apartment (See Richard Wiseman, 59 Seconds).

julianne&katerinaAuthor: From the blog Women Returners: Back to Your Future aka Julianne Miles and Katerina Gould, an occupational psychologist and an executive coach who support professional women to return to work after a long career break.
     

Pregnancy Discrimination

Pregnancy Discrimination

Campaigning organisation Maternity Action estimate that 60000 women lose their jobs because of pregnancy or maternity discrimination every year. This is despite the Equality Act 2010, which protects you from unfavourable treatment because of pregnancy, pregnancy related illness or maternity leave.

Pregnant woman at work with laptop looking stressedIn my experience, the most common problems arise from pregnancy related absences and around returning to work. I’ve advised women whose employers object to the number or timing of her ante natal appointments. There is a right to paid leave: you should not be asked to make up the time or to rearrange appointments outside office hours. Employers should not apply absence policies to women with pregnancy related illnesses except to the extent that this is to assist her (such as a referral to Occupational Health to consider whether any adjustments might enable her to return to work). Nevertheless, I have advised many women disciplined or even dismissed because they have taken time off with pregnancy related illness.

Having said that, outright pregnancy discrimination is still common: women tell me that their employers’ attitudes towards them have changed once they announce their pregnancy, with an assumption that she is no longer committed to her work, won’t return after her maternity leave or will only want to work part time. Employers raise performance concerns out of the blue or suddenly announce the role is redundant. One was even told that she would be replaced if she took her full entitlement to maternity leave. When one client complained about something her manager had said to her, he denied it, saying that her memory was bound to be affected by her pregnancy.

Returning to work is one of the most common times when women experience problems. Some women find their position has been filled and their services are no longer needed; their employer claims they are redundant. Your maternity leave must not play a part in any decision that your role is redundant. Any selection process should not take account of absences for maternity, ante natal appointments or pregnancy related illness. If you have been replaced during your maternity leave, your role is not redundant and it is unlawful to dismiss you. If your role is genuinely redundant, you have priority for any suitable alternative vacancies.

I would advise any woman experiencing discrimination to get something in writing as soon as possible: send an email setting out the problem, whether that be asserting your right to time off for an appointment or complaining about a comment about your pregnancy. If your employer has a HR department, get in touch with them as well as speaking to your line manager, or manager’s manager if they are the problem. If that doesn’t work, raise a formal grievance.

If things aren’t resolved internally, get legal advice as soon as possible. It’s important to remember there are short 3 month time limits to bring Employment Tribunal claims for discrimination. Whilst you may well have a lot on your plate preparing for a new baby, you might lose your right to claim if you wait.

black new logoAuthor: Louise Taft (Prolegal). Prolegal provides prestigious expertise without the elevated costs expected in this area. We employ the people, the resources and the technology needed to deliver you the highest quality of service in employment law.

       

Paternity Leave – Know your Rights and Responsibilities

Paternity Leave – Know your Rights and Responsibilities

The legalities of maternity leave can be confusing enough, but paternity leave adds to these complexities through the issue of under-exposure. Many new fathers do not know what to expect legally from their employer when they choose to take paternity leave; and they don’t know what responsibilities they must comply with. We’ve shone a spotlight on the issue to illustrate the key points, but for a fuller picture of legalities, click here.

Ordinary Paternity Leave

Ordinary Paternity Leave (OPL) was introduced in April 2003, entitling eligible employees to 1-2 weeks of paid leave. This is available in cases where a partner has given birth or where you’re adopting a child, so explore your rights with your employer from this basic premise. As a move towards shared parental rights, you can now receive up to 26 weeks of paid leave, as Additional Paternity Leave (APL) if the mother, or co-adopter, returns to work. This allows the father (or mother, in the case of same-sex partnership or adoption where their partner takes the traditionally ‘maternal’ role) to spend time “caring for the child or to support the child’s mother/adopter”. You cannot, however, get both leave and pay. There are rules on how to claim, and when your leave can start. Here are some of the basic points to keep in mind:

  • You must take OPL within 56 days of the child’s birth, or the placement for adoption.
  • OPL is only available to employees, and you must’ve been continuously employed for no less than 26 weeks before the 14th week before the expected week of childbirth (EWC). In adoption cases, you must’ve been employed no less than 26 weeks ending with the week in which the child’s adopter is notified that they’ve been matched with a child.
  • You may take OPL any time between the child’s birth and its 56th week.
  • You must either be the child’s father, or the spouse/civil partner of the child’s mother/adopter.
  • You must also have some responsibility for the child’s upbringing, either as a biological father or as a part of a family relationship with the mother/adopter.
  • You must provide your employer with written notice of your intent to take OPL no less than the 15th week prior to the EWC.

Additional Paternity Leave

  • Minimum statutory entitlement from your employer for APL is for one period of leave, taken in consecutive weeks, lasting minimum two weeks and maximum 26.
  • APL must be taken between 20 weeks after and 12 months after childbirth/adoption placement, and depends upon your spouse or partner having returned to work from their maternity/adoption leave. To take APL you must, as an employee, satisfy the same criteria as for OPL.
  • In addition to OPL, for APL the mother/adopter must have been entitled to maternity leave, statutory maternity pay, maternity allowance or adoption leave, and have returned to work with two weeks of their leave time remaining.
  • You must give at least 8 weeks’ notice for APL requests.

Statutory Paternity Pay (OSPP and ASPP)

  • An employee is entitled to Ordinary Statutory Paternity Pay if they match the criteria for OPL and have received normal weekly earnings for the 8weeks ending the 15th week before the EWC (expected week of childbirth), and these earnings must be no less than the lower earnings limit applicable at the time. These earnings are calculated on a weekly average of the employee’s gross earnings from the employer.
  • You should give at least 28 days’ notice to your employer from the date on which you want to receive OSPP.
  • OSPP is payable for 1-2 consecutive weeks and is paid at whichever is less out of the government’s rate (£136.78 from 7th April 2013) or 90% of the employee’s usual weekly salary.
  • Additional Statutory Paternity Pay (ASPP) will depend on the number of unused weeks of maternity pay/adoption pay left when the mother/adopter returns to work. The mother/adopter must have returned to work with at least two weeks of maternity/adoption pay benefits remaining.
  • ASPP is paid at whichever is less out of the government’s rate (£136.78) or 90% of the employee’s weekly earnings, and will be payable until the end of the mother/adopter’s maternity pay, or the date of the child’s first birthday, whichever comes sooner.

Returning:

You have THE RIGHT to return to work after OPL and APL, just as you would after Ordinary Maternity or Ordinary Adoption Leave, as well as if you’ve taken four weeks, or less, of Parental Leave. If you take more than four weeks of Parental Leave (or additional maternity/additional adoption leave), you have the right to your job or a similar one, where it’s impossible for you to have your old one back. To be a ‘similar’ job, it has to offer the same or better terms and conditions – you cannot be demoted or downgraded. If you refuse this ‘similar’ job, and you are seen to be unreasonable in this choice, your employer can choose to take this as your resignation.

Redundancy:

You have EQUAL redundancy rights as your colleagues when you are on paternity or parental leave. You also have the right to be offered any suitable alternative job if you’re selected for redundancy, even if there are employees better suited to the role). The only way you can be made redundant is if the employer can clearly justify making this step, for example if a part of the business closes, and everyone in this section is made redundant.

Keeping in Touch Days:

You are entitled to KIT days during Additional Paternity Leave, just as in maternity or adoption leave, though these days are optional, and both employer and employee need to agree to them. The type of work and the pay need to be agreed before you come into work. Some employees can work up to 10 paid KIT days during their leave.

Your Rights:

Your employee rights shouldn’t be affected when you take paternity, maternity, adoption or parental leave (though surrogacy is still a complicated field).

The terms and conditions of your employment are protected – you are entitled to any pay rises or improved terms and conditions given out during your leave, and you can continue to build your holiday entitlement whilst on leave, to use before or afterwards. Pension contributions, however, usually stop if you take any unpaid leave like maternity or parental leave (unless your contract says otherwise).

The Future:

A system of statutory parental rights has been suggested by the government which should come into play in 2015, allowing parents to share the paid leave that is currently only applicable to mothers. Once introduced, OPL will remain, but APL will be abolished.

Author: Phoebe Ryan, content and online PR executive writing with Pannone Solicitors.

Seeking professional challenge AND flexibility? Why I decided to create it for myself

Seeking professional challenge AND flexibility? Why I decided to create it for myself

Is eighteen my magic number? Eighteen months ago, I decided to leave my corporate career. In December 2013 I actually did leave after eighteen years (it took a long time to work through how best to direct the next phase of my career!). I’m now eighteen days into my new venture of self-employment and thought I would take a moment to reflect.

Why did I make this crazy decision? I took no severance package, I had no certainty of clients – it seems like a risk.

Looking for a new professional challenge

However, for me, the greater risk was actually to do nothing. I’ve had an amazing corporate career and enjoyed many successes and a wide variety of experiences. I have learnt much from wonderful leaders and colleagues. As a Mum of two girls now aged 8 and 5, I also cannot fault my previous employer in terms of flexible working. I worked part time in a senior position and that was not the problem.

The reason I decided eighteen months ago to leave, was because I craved a new professional challenge. I wanted to take the skills and competencies that I had and employ those in different sectors, for different sized organisations and optimise that variety. I also feel that I have a huge amount of valuable experience to bring value to smaller, medium and growing organisations.

Senior level and flexible working

What isn’t straightforward is moving companies at a senior level and maintaining flexible working. I’m positive there are examples of women (& men) who have achieved this career migration blended with an integration with home life (I’m not a fan of the phrase ‘work-life balance’). However, I was impatient myself to start the new phase in my professional career. The searching for, and negotiation of, what is still viewed by many as a privilege (and an earned one at that ) to not work 9 – 5, 5 days a week in a specific office location – was too much of an uncertain obstacle to me. I found I would talk with a Recruitment Consultant and either not mention my preference for flexibility or play it down – I’d learned that when you do, the conversation changes.

Getting the job done vs. availability

The absurdity of ‘flexibility’ and it’s actual rigidity and perception in organisations today occurred to me. It’s going to take longer than my immediate career life span for the current working paradigm to shift sufficiently for organisations to be less interested in people’s availability and more interested in outputs, talent and fit for a job. The fundamental fact is that I get the job done. Well. How and when and where … well I’m a professional. I make good decisions about when I do actually need to be at a certain location and when I don’t. I make good decisions about connecting with people and building relationships. I make good decisions about when I need to prioritise to achieve a deadline. My integrated life is full, but completely manageable if I can control my own schedule without needing to seek permission or justify to others where I am. Sure … measure that if I’m not delivering the outputs. Trust that I will make the right choices – after all, it’s in the interest of the job holder to continue to deliver isn’t it?

Hence my decision to keep my professional development going by finding my own integrated solution, rather than seeking those rare enlightened few who would hire at a senior level with flexibility.

The new challenge

This is not the only reason I decided to work for myself. I am a pragmatic, intuitive professional and this enables me more than just flexibility in terms of work schedule. I can determine how I work, my method, who I work with and where. Is it challenging me – yes! In so many ways and it’s just the early days, but the root cause for me to leave my corporate career was to seek and live new professional challenges – so in that sense it is delivering already.

As an HR professional, once I freed myself from the constraints of conventional working options, this became fascinating. Research shows that there is going to be a fundamental shift in our approach to working in the next decade to twenty years. I read and connected with ‘Future Work‘ by Alison Maitland and Peter Thompson  with new enthusiasm. What better way to understand the coming employment trends that technology has enabled than to experience and live it myself?

And so here I find myself, after 18 years of wonderful and varied HR experiences and after 18 months of very considered deliberation, 18 days into what I am expecting to be an interesting, challenging and hopefully fulfilling chapter in my career (fulfilling for both myself and my Clients).

Along my eighteen month journey from decision to action, I had many inspiring pieces of advice and interesting conversations. Two I would like to highlight are as follows: Hillary Lees at Essence Coaching for helping me to ask myself the right questions and manage my inner critic. Dr Sam Collins founder of the Aspire Foundation for introducing me to the power of Vision Boarding.

Author: Paula Leach, Director, Indigo Day Ltd , Paula Leach on Facebook. If you are an HR professional, CIPD qualified with corporate experience and you would like to embrace Associate working with Indigo Day Ltd, please contact Paula Leach directly at paulaleach@indigoday.co.uk. She would love to hear from you as she is excited to be building a fabulous network of highly professional and experienced HR colleagues.