Wow, last month was crazy. I feel like I’m only just coming up for air. Tuesday was really the first day of ‘normality’ for me. I had to give myself a few moments, alone in our quiet home, just to centre myself, take a deep breath and go “aaaah”.
May marked the month that I returned to being employed by someone other than me! I’m now a Supervisor at a lovely charity shop one day a week – just a six-month contract, but a milestone nonetheless. I haven’t had a boss (unless you include Ethan) since 2014, when I officially handed in my notice for my digital comms job in London. I’ve been through an intense month of training but as of this month, I’m back to working my regular hours.
Moving house really triggered my search for part-time work. I decided a small but regular income would come in pretty handy prior to our move (blinking stamp duty is leaving us penniless!), and I want to make a contribution. My blog is still my full-time job but, as is the way with freelance work, you’re not guaranteed a regular monthly income. We’re making a big financial commitment with moving, so it made sense for me to secure some regular work.
I did wonder if I’d be able to get my head round returning to employment, after such a long time being self-employed. It’s different for sure, and has had its challenges, but I honestly think the whole experience has been really good for me. Here’s why.
It’s making my brain work in different ways.
Working in retail uses a totally different skillset to working on my blog. And I love that the two are so different.
I’m learning and developing new skills all the time in my new role which is challenging, but in a good way. Sometimes you’ve got to push yourself out of your comfort zone, right? Because that’s when you realise you’re more capable than you thought. It’s a big confidence booster.
It’s kinda nice to get out of the house.
Don’t get me wrong, I love working from home. The solitude doesn’t bother me. BUT, I’ve realised how beneficial it is for me to be out of the house, working in a different environment for one day a week.
There’s physical and mental separation which I think makes it a bit easier to switch into work mode. I am disciplined when I work from home, but that separation is lacking. It’s nice when I return home from my part-time job because I sit down and think, “I’m done.” With my blog, I can work on bits and bobs all evening without ever really properly switching off. I think that’s something I need to work on!
I was lucky to be trained by my counterpart in another shop who was so lovely and helpful. She is a mum of three and for her, working one day a week in the shop is her break from regular ‘mum life’. She works very hard in the shop of course but for her, being at work is way easier than being at home and she really enjoys having that time for herself (and the extra money of course!).
The boys get to spend quality time together.
They go swimming, play computer games and lounge about, happy as Larry. They haven’t really had a dedicated day like that before, when I’m not here. I miss them both, obviously, and I get major FOMO, but I know it’s important that they have their time together too.
It’s different for Ethan, seeing me physically leave the house and go to work. He knows that blogging is my job too, but going out to work in a shop is a much easier concept for him to understand!
Share your thoughts
I’m happy that I’ve made the move. Yes, this last month has been busy and stressful – doing something new is not easy. While I still have a lot to learn, I do feel a bit more confident in myself and my abilities. It’s early days of course but at the moment, I’m feeling positive about the changes. I’ll keep you posted on how I’m getting on.
Have you returned to work recently? How do you feel about it? Please feel free to share your thoughts below.