Never a better time to work for yourself!
Work that is good for us all
The “right to work” philosophy I learnt about at school seems to have changed from its original Article 23 interpretation. These days the right is more of an expectation that work will be provided by somebody or other, and if it’s not then compensation should be given. And that’s without getting at those who would interpret it as “the right to work if I choose to!”
Anyway, the point is that we can’t all expect to be given jobs or claim benefit as an alternative – we have to create our own jobs. As the man said nothing happens until somebody sells something, and that could be your own talents
Work that is good for business
- It’s at a lower level of demand
- It’s a requirement that is regular but intermittent
- It’s for a short term period of time
- It’s for a more flexible mix of skills
- It’s for all the reasons that businesses have previously outsourced work during delayering, downsizing, re-engineering and so on that see them turning to non-payroll people
Also, apart from providing flexible on-demand cover the “outsourcee” is often appreciated for the fresh thinking and results orientated attitudes they bring to the business
Work that is good for you
- Frustrated by hierarchical structures and procedures
- Wanting to adjust your work – life balance
- Needing variety and fresh challenges
Perhaps the only thing holding you back so far has been the natural concern about insecurity versus the relative safety of employment. So with that advantage being currently less distinct maybe another reason why now is the right time to believe in yourself and take that leap of faith.
- Become a Contractor You may like the idea of working for your old employers or their competitors on a freelance basis? It’s certainly a good first step to take and you can secure a bigger slice of your gross pay. However working for one company can amount to employment which is why HMRC introduced IR35 to provide guidelines and prevent avoidance of PAYE and National Insurance contributions
Accountancy firms offer specialist advice on how to manage your tax arrangements and you can also engage with an Umbrella company to handle tax and NI for you. I came across this not for profit organisation PCG who give free advice and a full range of support services for Contractors and freelancers
- Interim Management This option again sees you working for one company on a short-term contract. Typically these appointments are made when the business is undergoing some change or has a senior executive role temporarily vacant. You can choose the Umbrella Company route where effectively you are working for an agency or you can set up your own PAYE and NI arrangements with the employing company
Marketing yourself can be made easy by signing on with good Interim Management Agencies who can provide you with a flow of assignments. Two very useful sources of information and support are the Interim Hub and the Institute of Interim Management.
- Self-employed Consultant/ Sole trader This continues to be the most popular step into self-employment. You have marketable know-how as a management trainer, internet marketeer, employment lawyer, accountant etc. With minimal start up costs to cover the essentials of a computer, website, business stationery, and membership of useful business networking groups – and the time and energy to get to those breakfast meetings – you can quickly be up and running.
You could end up as an external consultant to a wide client base or be developing a portfolio of 3 or 4 companies with 1 or 2 days a week of contracted work