Working for yourself: the ultimate in flexibility

catherine mckinnonThe part time and flexible jobs market is still growing and can be very competitive in some parts of the UK. As a result, some women are turning to self-employment when they are unable to find a suitable flexible job. This was certainly the case for Catherine McKinnon.

Catherine owns the South Manchester franchise of personal assistant company, Pink Spaghetti, a company that recruits franchisees who want a career that fits around family and other commitments.

“After graduating with a textile degree in 1999 I worked for Dorma until 2009, when they sold the brand and I was made redundant while I was on maternity leave.  During my time there I worked on various sites, in a range of managerial roles and with a variety of departments.  It gave me a good understanding of how businesses run and their complexities. After I was made redundant I took some time off to have a family.

I looked for work after having my first child and there was nothing that would offer flexible hours or part time, certainly not doing anything I wanted to do, which is why the franchise option was so appealing.

I now have a boy aged seven and a girl aged four and they are the reason why I opted for a flexible pattern of working.  My partner works away a lot and I have no family close by, so I have to be the one that can drop everything to collect the children. I want to do the school runs and be there for them.

My franchise covers the South Manchester area. Being able to work when I choose and around the family is great, but I still feel like I work within a bigger company so I never feel alone.

Being self-employed isn’t easy, but if you want total flexibility then it is definitely a good option.  Alternatively, set up on your own, doing whatever you are passionate about, but make sure you find a good support network and that you have done all of your research.  There are lots of networking groups out there that will help give you support and don’t be afraid of asking for it.”

Interview and article by Amy Schofield

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