Have you got what it takes to be self-employed?
Working for yourself can be empowering. You’re in charge of everything to do with your career – it’s an exciting time! But before you take the plunge, it’s important to see if you’re really cut out for this career path.
We’ve gathered some typical traits of the average self-employed person below. Do you match up?
Organisation is the key to becoming successful. Not knowing how many hours you have left to deliver work to a client is not a good situation to find yourself in. Thankfully, if you aren’t naturally gifted with organisational skills, there are many tools to help support your workload. It’s important that don’t solely rely on these alone, however, being organised is a skill you’ll have to work on continually. It’ll not only make your processes better but will improve your client’s experience with you as a business. Word of mouth can be a very powerful referral channel.
When you’re working on your own from your home, out on site or from a shared space, you need to be capable of motivating yourself. If you don’t then who will? You can decide not to do any work if you choose, but you won’t be getting paid at all.
You always need to be on the lookout for new business. That might include actively putting together a new client strategy or making contact with everyone you’ve ever worked with. However you get new business, you need to constantly be pushing yourself to find your next client.
You’re OK with irregular income
Not knowing exactly where your money is coming from month to month is something you’re going to experience, at least to start with. Sure, you might have new, exciting projects or clients lined up for your initial foray, but do you have anything lined up for six months’ time? Clients can give notice on their contract at any time – unless you stipulate otherwise – so don’t get too comfortable. Always aim for the minimum income to pay your bills and live, and treat anything over that as a bonus!
Infrequent time off
This is something you’ll get used to as you adapt to your new career and build your brand and client list. But when you first start out, you’ll notice you’re working longer hours and taking fewer days off. Remember that that’s natural with any new business. You need to put the groundwork in to make it successful. If you’re OK with that, then working for yourself is a good career move for you.
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