Hazel Manktelow

I remember those mornings where the challenge was to get me and two children out of the house before 8am. It was then a mad dash to drop one child at nursery, the other at school before I had even begun the commute to work. Once you get into the office you present a serene, professional manner while recovering from the frenetic start to the day.

The start of my day is now pleasantly different since I joined FLP as a family law specialist and I work from home. I now walk the children to school and don’t rely on breakfast clubs. I can be at my desk for 9am to start the day. My work/life balance has changed beyond recognition. Not only is my day my own to plan and less pressurised, but I have so much more job satisfaction. I’m self employed and now every professional decision I make has a direct impact on my business.

I don’t meet with clients in my home, I’ve chosen not to do this. I can meet with clients at their home, their office or I have a choice of meeting rooms in the local area which I hire. This gives my clients so much more flexibility.

FLP are leading the field in their use of technology, which has made a refreshing difference to how I work. I don’t need to be based in a conventional office where clients can come into reception between 9 – 5:30pm. I have a mobile, my landline, I can use Skype, conference calls as well as email. I keep my clients informed if I am not going to be at my desk for a period of time and my phone is diverted to the main office when I am not available. Due to the case management system and paperless office which FLP operate, any member of the team can access the electronic file to assist clients if I’m not available. After years of working in larger firms, I know first-hand that this kind of service is not standard.

I am responsible for generating my own caseload. As for anyone making the move to become self-employed, this was a worrying prospect before I took the leap of faith and joined FLP. However, clients and the recommendations have followed me and I haven’t had to worry about this. I also have a personal marketing plan through FLP and they are very supportive and have helped me to build my client base. I’ve made the decision to try to attend one marketing or networking event a week. This ensures I continue to raise my profile but also ensures I get out of the house and meet other people and share business experiences.

One of my worries when I decided to become a specialist and work from home was whether I would be lonely and would I have anyone to discuss cases with. For 18 years I had worked in an office environment. FLP are always at the end of the phone and I can go into the main office and hot-desk should I want to – although the trips to Brighton always seem to involve a shopping element which is not good for the wallet!

I choose my workload, I run my diary, I choose how to market my business. I have found this way of working extremely liberating. No longer do I have targets imposed upon me, targets are of my own making. No longer am I paid the same amount regardless of how hard I work, the harder I work the more benefit I see. I can be creative, and work in a way that I love, which ensures I provide the best service for my clients.

Yes, it was scary to give up a secure salary but the reality is nowhere near as frightening. I am about to celebrate a year at FLP, during which I haven’t looked back once. I can’t wait for what the next year will bring.

If you would like to speak to one of our Directors informally about the opportunities to join the Family Law Partner team please get in touch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please note: our response to comments will be for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *