Employee To Self-Employed: Five Essential Steps

We all need a little more flexibility in our lives, which is perhaps one of the driving reasons behind the choice that many employees make regarding their future. Rather than working for a single company, with a boss above them, people are now — more than any other time in history — deciding to take the leap and go it alone.

change ahead self employed
Wikimedia Commons

This may be a path that you have considered following for yourself, but there’s no doubt that it is a worrying path. There are securities that we associate with employment; the idea of giving these up and striking out on your own initiative is a particularly worrying one.

However, perhaps the best way to control these concerns is to be calm, thoughtful, and conscientious with every step of your transition from employee to contractor. Below is a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this often difficult, but infinitely rewarding, life change.

Step One: Define Your Specialty

Whatever role you have been working in, it’s highly likely that you can offer services in the same area. For example, if you’ve been working in IT, you can attempt to find work as an “IT specialist”; marketing geniuses can becoming self-employed “Marketing Consultants”. Ideally, you want a two-word definition that helps to neatly summarise the value you can offer to a business.

Step Two: Align The Red Tape

There’s a lot of bureaucratic hoops to jump through if you are going to strike out on your own, so you need to ensure that you have these in place as soon as possible. You will need:

  • The correct insurance, which can be obtained via the likes of QdosContractor.com. It’s important you have the right types of insurance, such as public liability and cover for legal expenses.
  • You will have to register yourself as self-employed with the tax office.
  • If you’re frequently going to work from home, you will need to examine your home insurance policy to ensure you remain covered if the house is used for business purposes.

Tick these off, and then you can be sure the bureaucracy is under control.

Step Three: Offer Consultancy In Addition To Your Regular Job

You don’t have to quit your job and start out on the path to self-employment until you’re good and ready. Offer consultancy and contracting work in addition to your regular hours initially; this should help to gauge the potential for clients.

Step Four: Network For More Clients

No one likes networking, but if you follow the tips mentioned at the Telegraph.co.uk, you should be able to make it through without too much discomfort. Attracting new clients is vital for any new business enterprise, so print up some business cards and see what you can find.

Step Five: Make The Leap

When it’s clear you have the connections necessary to build your own customer base, you can finally make the leap, hand in your notice, and become full-time self-employed. Just remember that there’s no rush to get to this point; only make the change when you’re sure you’re ready for it, and have money saved to help ease the transition.

If you follow all of the steps below, you can be confident that you will make the transition from employee to self-employed with relative ease.