Q. I spent most of the pandemic at home, working and taking care of my kids. It was tough, and I was actually looking forward to the chance to get back to the office. But even though I may be ready, the daycare center and after-school program I used are not yet running at full capacity. My managers are running out of patience with my need for flexibility. My priorities have changed. I want to take part in the gig economy, where I have more control over my time—and my health. How do I transition to self-employment?
A. Many people have been giving serious thought to becoming self-employed after the pandemic. Many people begin the transition to self-employment by keeping their current job and fitting in freelance work at night or on weekends. That is difficult to do when you are already stressed from childcare and your full-time job. You may want to see if your current employer is open to part-time work—or even to becoming your first freelance client.
There are several ways to build a client pool:
- Short-term contract positions let you build up connections and a reputation in your industry. You will need a resume to apply for those positions.
- Networking is vital to anyone who is self-employed. Keep a resume on hand to provide to anyone who has a lead and needs more information about your capabilities and experience. You may want to join the local chamber or business networking groups.
- Reputable online job websites can connect you with people who are looking for individuals to handle a special project.
- Self-promotion online—posting on professional sites like LinkedIn, establishing your own website, and even creating an e-book—gives you visibility. Take advantage of print opportunities also, in the local paper or business magazine.
You should be aware that self-employment comes with a few extra legal and financial requirements. For example, California recently tried to pass Proposition 22 which tightened the rules defining independent contractors. The legislators were concerned that companies used the “independent contractor” designation to deprive workers of health, retirement, and other benefits. Whatever your own take on this situation, you must be careful that your jobs confirm to “independent contractor” status. Furthermore, you should prepare to take over the high cost of benefits yourself, especially health insurance for you and your family.
Robin’s Resumes® has helped many people transition to self-employment with resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and cover letters that show their value to future clients. Contact us today.