One of the biggest dreams many people have in their careers is becoming self-employed. For those that have made the transition, you already know how difficult it can actually be. The initial career transition from your regular nine-to-five job into the world of becoming self-employed can seem overwhelming.
Thankfully, there are options for you to seek help with career transition assistance. They provide interview coaches and job search specialists to help you get the job you want.
To start preparing yourself, here are six tips to help you master the art of being self-employed.
- Create a Professional Website
The first thing you’ll want to do is to create a professional website. This will act as your portfolio for all of your work, share your resume, and highlight some of your best work. It’s an opportunity to begin branding yourself in your field of expertise.
Some of the key steps to building a great website include:
- Keep it simple and easy to navigate.
- Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly.
- Provide clear contact information.
- Add client or previous employer testimonials.
- Create a blog with regular content relevant to your industry.
- Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Once you’ve developed a digital portfolio, you can start connecting through various social media platforms and building your network. LinkedIn is the most optimal social network to help not only find new freelance work but also to connect with other influential people within your industry. It can also help set you apart from other self-employed workers who are in search of freelance jobs.
Your LinkedIn profile should be updated with the same types of content as your website. This would include your portfolio of work, resume, and can provide you with additional credentials through skill tests. This will show potential companies that your skills are suitable for their needs and give you a leg up on your competition.
- Work On Self-Discipline
On a soft skill level, self-discipline is one of the most crucial elements to becoming self-employed. Since you won’t have a manager hovering over your shoulder, you have to be your own boss. You are in charge of your schedule and meeting deadlines.
- Build a Scheduled Routine
Maybe you don’t want the typical Monday through Friday work schedule. Regardless, you’ll want to ensure that you are designating certain days and times to be for work only. It can be easy to slack off or, on the flip side, work too much. Choose your start and stop times, along with any breaks you take throughout the day, just as you would if you were in the office.
- Set Up An Appropriate Work Station
In order to stay productive, you need to have an environment that is conducive to your work style. It’s more than simply setting up your computer. Maybe you’ll need a whiteboard to jot down ideas or greenery around your workstation to keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
Find what works for you and make it your designated spot. That way, when you aren’t working at a local coffee shop, you have a space within your home to get down to business.
- Get Situated With Your Finances
Being self-employed means you will need to manage your finances. Oftentimes, you will not be receiving a typical W-2 form where taxes and other costs will be taken out. Because of this, you are now in charge of paying your own taxes every year.
Start by putting at least 30% of every paycheck into your savings account. From there, you will want to start keeping regular track of all your work expenses. You’ll want to save your receipts and keep an inventory of any write-offs you may have. If you aren’t sure where to start, we highly recommend you work with a professional accountant.
The most important thing to do when you are looking to transition into becoming self-employed is to remember that you are your own boss. You are the one in charge of finances, your website, branding, and all of your deadlines. And of course, having the necessary self-discipline will get you to where you want to be.
What does it really mean to be an Entrepreneur?
We see that word a lot, especially in the business world. Entrepreneurship is an idea that is often tied to the concept of the American dream. An individual chooses to put their head down and work hard to open a business and are now reaping the benefits of investing their time, money, and energy.
For those of us who have a job in the traditional sense working for a company that we do not own, the idea of becoming an entrepreneur can be both exciting and intimidating. Not everyone is built to start a business and pour their soul into helping it grow and become their main source of income. So what does it really look like to be an entrepreneur in 2022?
Betting on yourself
Anyone who has started a business themselves will tell you that the key to success is believing in yourself, as cliche as that may sound. With all of the responsibility of the business falling on your shoulders, there is a lot of weight that you have to carry. Figuring out the product or service itself, marketing the brand online or through your network, and handling the logistics of owning a business are just some of the tasks that will fall on you. Depending on what industry you are in, you may need to take the time to be certified, especially for some trades where a license is required. Getting through “impostor syndrome,” or the belief that you do not have what it takes to achieve your goals, will be key to creating long-term success, but this is only possible if you truly believe in your abilities and your business.
Assuming all of the risk
The scariest part of being an entrepreneur is the inherent uncertainty. Will your business be successful? How long before you start to turn a profit? Will this business be able to support your livelihood both in the short term and in the long? These are questions that you will undoubtedly face as a business owner, especially early on. All of the risk associated with owning a business is yours. The best way to manage this risk is to seek assistance in the areas that you feel uncomfortable in. Don’t understand how to keep track of clients and invoices? Research the best software to help you. Having trouble with taxes? Hire a tax professional to work through the details with you. There will likely be aspects of owning a business that you will not even know exist, so be sure to do your research.
Reaping all of the benefits
While there is significant risk associated with entrepreneurship, there is also the possibility of success. In the event of success with your business, you will reap all of the benefits of your growth. Whether that means achieving financial independence, or simply living out a purpose and feeling fulfilled, you receive the full reward as the owner of that business. This is what most entrepreneurs keep their focus on and what gets them through the long hours and extreme investment of their assets. They look forward to the day when they reach their financial or personal goals, which makes the whole journey worth it.
The freedom of choice
This factor is especially evident with the wave of new businesses that have started since the beginning of the global pandemic. A huge number of workers have filed applications for new businesses in the last few years, with over 551,000 applications in July of 2020, a huge jump from similar time periods in years past. That trend has continued into 2022, with many workers leaving their regular jobs in order to pursue entrepreneurship. One of the main draws is the freedom of choice. You can choose what type of business to run, what product or service you will sell, what your company culture will be, where to allocate resources, and even what hours to work. People may have left previous positions for any number of reasons such as low pay, feeling undervalued, poor management, long hours, or simply burnout. By starting a new business, an entrepreneur has the freedom to customize the role to suit themselves. Even if there are long hours, the feeling of self-determined fulfillment can override the difficulty of running the business.
Entrepreneurship should not be taken lightly
As stated before, becoming an entrepreneur is not for everyone. Even if you come up with a great idea for a product or service, you may not have the capacity or the drive to turn it into a thriving business. It is important to spend time in reflection and doing research before taking the leap to make sure that you understand what you are getting into and what it will take to be successful. Lay out your goals, come up with a plan, seek outside advice from people who know you and professionals in the field you are interested in, and then make a decision. If you choose to go for it, then be ready to defeat that impostor syndrome.
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