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Is It Time to go Solo?

Things to consider before the great leap into self-employment

There are a few things that have changed forever in the past two years, and one of the greatest societal shifts is definitely the re-assessment of the workplace model – from working at home/living at work to more flexible timings, healthcare considerations, both mental and traditional. If there is one thing global lockdowns have given us, it’s a bit of that much needed time and space to think and reflect on life choices.

When we have the headspace to ‘breathe’ away from a crazy commute, toxic colleagues or a micromanaging boss, our minds can certainly wander. It’s easy to dream about leaving a full-time role and the constraints that come with working for someone else and taking self-employed routes. Giving up a job for greater freedom, being your own boss and in control of your future destiny.

No two ways about it though, there are benefits to the security a job gives you. Giving up the guaranteed pay cheque, bonuses, healthcare, gratuities and even help with school fees or accommodation costs can be a terrifying prospect. So how do you know when the right time to fly solo is, all things considered?

You’ve grown – your job hasn’t.

When there is no opportunity for future progression, promotion, or personal growth at your company, it can be time to move on. Even from a role you once loved, everything has a deadline and people grow and change. Self-employment is the perfect opportunity to challenge and prove yourself. The hunger for something more can be greater than any security an organisation can give you.

The routine is a chore

As creatures of habit, we are meant to love nothing more than routine. However, in the modern world, that’s not necessarily 9 to 5 (or usually longer) or even 6 days a week. These ‘old-fashioned’ legacy timings of a working week are not always conducive to a modern lifestyle. Sometimes, your boss might be open to paring back your hours of working in a different, more flexible way. If not, and whether it’s childcare, caring responsibilities, health, or it just no longer works for you, then the freedom of what working for yourself brings could be just what you need next.

You’ve done your research.

If you aren’t working for someone else, what are you going to do? It’s easy to assume anyone looking to go self-employed, knows exactly what that is, but you’d be surprised at the number of people we hear who ‘want to do something for themselves but don’t know what’. If this is you – do not leave your secure role, whilst it’s still tenable until you’ve done your research. If you absolutely do know, then again, do your research. You will know if there is either a market fit for your big idea, the costs of setting up and getting started, and also potentially have your first clients lined up.

We won’t tell, but you’ve already ‘started’..

It’s perfectly legal in most instances to start your side hustle whilst you work for someone else. Essentially, you just need an NOC from your employer to keep everything above board, and obviously the requisite license if you are actually trading. You don’t need a business license until you issue an invoice/make a sale, so you can take your time in trying out your idea whilst you still have job security. If you are considering starting something up in rivalry or competition to your employer however, it’s very much best to cut all ties. Soliciting their clients for your own means, or even taking database information to use for yourself is against the law and any code of ethics.

When or how you choose to become self-employed is entirely up to you. It shouldn’t be a rash decision however that leaves you financially vulnerable or worse. Take your time, and with all things considered, then take the leap, we are sure you won’t look back and when you make your first million – the coffee’s on you!


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