Make the leap to self-employment a little smaller

Make the leap to self-employment a little smaller

When you have been working in a steady job for some time, it can feel extremely daunting to suddenly become self-employed. And there is no doubt that you should take the time to ensure that you are fully prepared for the leap that you are about to make. Many people find that becoming self-employed was the best decision that they could have possibly made, but there is no pretending that you won’t encounter some obstacles along the way. So, let’s look closer at how you can make the leap that you have before you appear just a little smaller and more manageable.


Have a Clear Plan

First and foremost, you need to have a clear plan in place of how you are going to be making your living. And this may be something that you have been working on for some time. For example, perhaps you are going to run your own business and you have been taking the time to build up some steady cashflow. Or else you could be going freelance, and it will obviously help you to have plenty of consistent clients. This is why so many people start planning to go self-employed months or even years before they do so.


Sort Out Your Finances

When you first go self-employed, you may find that you aren’t making as much money as you did when you were employed, so you need to have a windfall to make up for this in the form of a savings account. You should also reevaluate your household budget to see if there are any cutbacks that you can make to better prepare you for any financial challenges ahead of you. And you may want extra backup in the form of sickness insurance from Qdos. You are in a much more precarious position when you are self-employed and you need to be prepared for this fact.


Be Realistic

Rather than assuming that everything is going to be plain sailing when you become self-employed, you need to be realistic in accepting that there are bound to be challenges and complications along the way. And it is the first few months which can end up being particularly bumpy. The most prepared people are the ones who put a contingency plan in place to keep their life on track if everything happens to go wrong.


Nurture Your Connections

It can be quite a lonely world when you are self-employed, so it is important that you maintain the connections that you has made in the working world. You never know what sort of jobs may arise from your friends and former colleagues. You may even decide to return to employment one day and your connections could provide you with an easier route back.

As we have tried to reinforce throughout this article, making the leap to becoming self-employed can certainly feel daunting, but these are just a few of the ways that you can make yourself better prepared for it.

*Photo at the top by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Christine Buske is a former academic who left science at the bench, and now considers herself a woman in tech. She is a frequently invited speaker, and enjoys talking about career transformation (particularly leaving academia for the business world), tech, issues around women in tech, product management, agile, and outreach. She is a proud Canadian resident, and qualifies as a "serial expat".

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