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2018: The year for women to get in control of their careers

Kerry Hull

Kerry Hull | Marketing Manager

Monday 15th Jan, 2018

Only 30 per cent of UK women have their dream career, so what needs to change this year?

This year marks 100 years since women aged 30 and above were granted the right to vote for the first time. This, combined with recent high-profile stories highlighting issues affecting women in professional settings, from how they are treated to how they are paid, has led some to dub 2018 'the year of the woman'.

The launch of the 'Time's Up' movement has created the feeling that change is in the air - a sentiment strengthened by the powerful speech given by Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes this weekend, where she stated: "I want all the girls watching here, now, to know that a new day is on the horizon."

All of this is creating an inspiring landscape for women to take more control over their own destinies, whether that's in their personal relationships or in their working lives.

But according to the recent Women at Work survey carried out by Toluna, only 30 per cent of women aged between 25 and 35 say that they are currently in their dream job, showing that there's a long way to go before women are actually happy with their careers.

What would make women happier in their jobs?

Toluna's research - which involved 1,000 working women - led to the discovery that most of the women who are unhappy with their current professional situation are dissatisfied because they are unable to work in the way that they want.

Almost eight in ten of those questioned said they dreamt of being able to work from home so they could better balance their personal and professional commitments, while nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of respondents expressed a desire to work for themselves.

So, with 2018 setting itself up to be a year of empowerment for women, what are women waiting for?

Janice Caston, Vice-President of Global Marketing at Toluna, commented: "While gender equality in the workplace is still an early work in progress, it's equally important to understand what actually makes a great career and workplace for women.

"Out of the 1,000 women who answered the survey, only 30 per cent of women are currently in their dream job, with 54 per cent stating they would quit their current job for a dream job, even if it meant a drastic cut in salary."

But by choosing to take greater control of their careers and work as limited company contractors or freelancers, this doesn't have to be the case.

Contracting: An empowering choice

Deciding to become a limited company contractor provides workers with the power to choose their own working hours, pay rates and areas to develop or specialise in. It gives workers the chance to gain a work-life balance that suits their individual needs and puts them in greater control of how much they're earning and how much their professional worth is valued.

This way of working is often especially attractive to busy working mums, which has led to the coining of the term 'mumpreneur' in recent years. This refers to mothers who have chosen to become their own boss in order to pursue their own dreams, but who still want to be able to do the school run and attend events like their children's plays and assemblies, which wouldn't necessarily be possible in a traditional nine-to-five role.

For those who are hesitant about making the leap to self-employment, inspiration can be drawn from powerful and risk-taking women throughout history who have taken charge of their own lives, and those of others, to bring about positive change.

And there's always help at hand. PayStream's limited company service My PSC can assist with the administrative side of running a limited company to help make sure it's fully compliant, while a wealth of support can also be found via networking events and collaborative co-working hubs.