Many women are considering making the leap from employment to self-employment – and is it any wonder? For those of us who don’t thrive well in the corporate world, it can be a smart and often lucrative move to go from being an employee to becoming your own boss. So, what is the attraction to being self-employed and why are so many women considering it?
Gain flexibility of your time and your creativity
Flexibility is a huge driving factor behind our desire to be self-employed. We want to get out of the 9 to 5 environment and gain control over our time. However, it’s important to also understand that working for yourself can mean longer days. The upside to this? You’ll be able to plan your working time around your family and select which days you will be working.
When it comes to your creativity, you want control over your own ideas. You want to see them through from start to finish, without having to rely on others and getting approval. You understand that there IS the option to get outside help, in the form of outsourcing etc., but that’s the beauty of it – it’s an option you get to choose!
Another big driving force behind wanting to strike out on your own is a need for a career you truly love. Many women are fed up with feeling undervalued and underappreciated. We want to feel like we matter and that we’re doing something that matters; something that can genuinely make a difference to someone – us included. Often we’re frustrated by the lack of innovation and communication in an employed position – we also want the power to make own decisions and to steer our own career path.
Whether we’re looking to get stability in our income or cut back on the expense of childcare and/or commuting, finances need to be considered, prior to making any career change. Gone are the days when an employed position meant having a job for life, now it’s often laced with unsteady times at work, talk of cutbacks, restructuring, as well as demotion etc.
What’s holding you back?
There are three core reasons why more women haven’t yet made the leap to self-employment – they feel they’re lacking the confidence to go it alone, they have minimal, to no, support or they feel totally unprepared for the change.
However, in knowing why so many women are steering towards self-employment, as well as their main reasons for not yet making that leap, you can get prepared.
Your next steps
If you’re currently feeling trapped in the corporate world, or dream of having ultimate control of your time and creativity, then going self-employed may be a good route for you. But before you make that leap, you need to know what the next steps are.
- Step #1: Have a plan! What do you want to achieve and by when? What contingency plan will you put into place, if funds are short?
- Step #2: Get clear on your timescale and schedule. Plan a workable timescale for your transition. Schedule in how much time you can currently dedicate to your business and decide how you’re going to make the move a gradual one.
- Step #3: Consider the financial implications. You ideally need 3-6 month’s cash reserve in your bank, prior to going it alone. Look through your finances and see what cutbacks you make can make, to trim back your finances. What income do you need coming in each month? What will you save by going self-employed (i.e. travel, childcare etc.) – and what will it cost (in terms of set-up, equipment, training etc.)?
- Step #4: Start building your business portfolio now. Have a clear idea of how you can start to build your experience, testimonials and customer base, from where you currently are.
- Step #5: Get support. You may be working for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you must do everything on your own. You’ll want to hire a mentor or coach to help you make your transition a successful one, as well as looking to outsource those things you’re either not keen on doing or don’t know how to do effectively (such as bookkeeping, social media etc.).
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