Changing careers: 10 steps to self-employment

Before you read this, we want to be totally honest with you. There is nothing practical here. It’s not about taxes or Companies House or how to introduce yourself as an entrepreneur without giggling like an idiot. It’s the emotional stuff – the feelings, instincts, all of that. Is a part of you suspicious that PAYE isn’t the way forward? Here are the 10 stages of jacking it all in…

  1. Your first thought in the morning is “Oh, not again”. 
  2. You realise you’ve got skills. People like you. This makes the company you work for money. But weirdly, does not make you much money. Hmmm…
  3. Your stress levels reach peak. Perhaps you leave the house wearing two different shoes. Forget to put on a bra. Call your husband Peter (when his name is Simon. Which begs the question ‘Who the hell is Peter?). You’ve no idea what you’re achieving. It’s definitely not wealth or self-respect.
  4. BREAKTHROUGH: “What if I did this – or something else – for myself?”
  5. The seed is planted. It’s the beginning of the end for you and PAYE. Oh God. 
  6. You tell someone you’re going to leave and do your own thing. Now you definitely have to do it. 
  7. Suddenly PAYE seems absurd. You’re an adult but someone tells you when to eat lunch? You’re an adult but someone else tells you where to sit all day? I mean, that’s weird, right? 
  8. BREAKTHROUGH: “I want to do [INSERT DREAM]. This is how I’m going to do it.” This is you, talking out loud, to a friend, husband, boyfriend, your mother. Basically someone you trust who has probably, at some point, had a conversation with you while peeing. 
  9. You hand in your notice. People ask where you’re going. You reply “to do my own thing”. Colleagues are jealous. Some of them are a bit mean. It is brilliant.
  10. DAY ONE: Exhilaration, fear, determination. PAYE is over. Life begins again. 
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