As soon as I first contacted The HR Dept I knew it was for me – it just felt right. Every day has been fantastic"
Ian Pilbeam – Edinburgh & The Lothians

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Build a Business From Your Home

Sarah Bradley joined The Network in 2018 when she launched The HR Dept Leeds South. Before joining The HR Dept, Sarah was working as an HR and employment law consultant for a competitor before becoming team manager and then overseeing the employment law advice line. In this spotlight interview, Sarah revisits her reasons for joining The Network and the benefits of being her own boss.

What attracted you to joining The HR Dept?

My corporate career involved a lot of travel and saw me working in London, Glasgow and Manchester. I was moving house every 2 ½ years from the age of 21 because every time someone asked me if I wanted a job in a different region or different country, I’d take it. Then, I turned 40 and said to my husband “I need to get off the hamster wheel.” I hadn’t lived in Yorkshire for quite a few years, so I said, “let’s go home.”

So, we moved home, and I began job searching in my local area and came across The HR Dept. The amount of travel in my corporate career was actually one of the early attractions to The HR Dept. I remember my husband saying to me “do you not feel operating and marketing solely in Leeds South will be quite restrictive?” and I said, “I can’t imagine anything better!”

As a risk averse person, joining the franchise was daunting as I didn’t know things like when the first invoice would be paid. However, I am a strong believer in the power of training and induction. I reached out to a number of licensees and followed the model as outlined in my induction and ultimately, it worked, and this was an amazing feeling.

Tell us a bit more about life as an HR Dept licensee

I always thought I’d want a big team, but as time has progressed, I’ve realised I’m happy doing this on my own as that’s what works for me.

I don’t work anywhere near the long hours I used to in my corporate career, and I don’t work weekends. I work a 5-day week where I am available from 9am – 6pm if clients need me. I enjoy the flexibility of working for myself. If there’s a quiet run in the middle of the day, I will pop out and do a food shop or go to the hairdressers but will ensure I have my phone with me, so I am always contactable during office hours.

In terms of the future, my objective at the moment is to build up my pension pot.

How did you shift from the corporate life to a business owner mindset?

When I worked in London as a Senior Manager, I was on good money but when it landed in my bank account, I spent it. I think this is because when you’re paid a corporate salary, you don’t think so much about the future and pensions for example. When it comes to managing your own business and you’re paying yourself from the profits and dividends, you naturally manage your money differently which really pays off.

My business has allowed me to afford bucket-list holidays and funded a massive refurbishment of my kitchen and the downstairs in my house as well.

I feel richer now than I felt on my corporate salary, because of the freedom of doing things my way.