Classifieds Saira Majid explains how having her family inspired her to give up a high flying job to set up her own accountancy business. Working from home means she can spend time with her children and still work in a career she enjoys. 1. Who are you and where do you live? My name is Saira Majid, I live in Holyport in Maidenhead with my husband Azhar and my three children, 11 year old Hamza, eight year old Salam and Hidaya, who is four. 2.Why did you set up the business/or why have you changed career? I am a qualified Chartered Accountant and in 2005 I set up my own accountancy practice called Saira Majid Accountants, so I could work from home. I felt that running my own business was the best option for me because I had a young family and I wanted to be a ‘hands on’ mum. Having my business gives me both the income stream I need and the flexibility to work around my family’s needs. I now run a successful business and employ three staff. 3. What did you used to do? I have had a number of jobs in the past, I worked as a Business Studies Lecturer in a college and since qualifying as an accountant I held various positions in multi-national companies such as ICL-Fujitsu and Xansa Plc. As a Finance Manager, I had to work long hours. If there was a deadline my team would be in the office until very late and I would log on again when I got home. I prepared accounts for our divisions in the Asia–Pacific region and the USA and because of the time differences I had to get up early and work late. Getting up at 5am for a conference call or responding to an email at 10pm wasn’t uncommon. It wasn’t easy but I enjoyed the fast paced nature of the job and didn’t have any children. 4. What inspired you to set up the business? Since having my own family, I loved the idea of having my own business and being a ‘Mumpreneur’ and being my own boss, so for me it has been a natural progression. I think modern technology has made it easier for mothers to work from home. I often recall having to respond to client emails while feeding my baby with the other hand or working on my laptop whilst watching my son’s swimming lesson. It hasn’t always been easy, I gave birth to my daughter by c-section and three days later I was working again as my client had a payroll deadline. I am lucky as my husband is very supportive and I couldn’t have set up my business without his help. As an accountant I deal with lots of new business start-ups and have to give business advice too. I am very passionate about business and give my clients a lot of support and advice in addition to accountancy services. I have been made a finance director for a few of my clients as they want me to be part of their businesses too and I love it. Charity work is very important to me as I want to give back to my community. One of the highlights of my year has been my work as a business mentor for a charity called MOSAIC; I worked on a National Enterprise Challenge with local secondary school students. I mentored a team to the live finals, where they had to do a “Dragon’s Den” style pitch about their business idea to a very prestigious panel of dignitaries. I even got to meet HRH Prince Charles, he was very kind and really interested in what we had to say. 5. What are your plans for the future? I am really excited about the future, I feel that as my family grows older my business can grow too as I have more time to take on work. I am always looking to develop on a personal level and take on new challenges. I will continue with my charity work and try to continue being a positive role model for other women. One thing is for sure, I cannot see myself going back into full-time employment again! To learn more call 07877795716 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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FAMILIES Thames Valley East
Families Thames Valley East magazine