Trying Out a New Career Path

October 5, 2021


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The past year and a half has brought a lot of change into many of our lives. The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic rapidly spread around the world, seeing the vast majority of us having to change the way that we live - not only for our own sake, but for the health and wellbeing of others too. Of course, social distancing and lockdowns have played a major role in saving countless lives. But they have also seen many companies collapse, mass redundancies, high levels of unemployment and a significant percentage of the population having to alter their career paths. Maybe you lost work and are looking for something new, as your industry hasn’t yet recovered. Maybe you lost your work and are looking for something new because you want to follow a new path and try something different. Maybe you spent enough time furloughed to determine your current career path wasn’t for you and your passions and interests actually lie elsewhere. You might want to take better control over your own career and work for yourself. Whatever your reason for wanting to change your career, now is a great time to get started. Here are some steps you can take to achieve your goal.

Self Employment

Significant numbers of people have decided to become self-employed as a direct result of the pandemic. As companies collapsed, people found that it was easier to sell their skills to companies and agencies on a freelance basis than to secure a full time, employed position. Freelancing is liberating. You get to choose which projects you accept and which you reject. You get to choose how much you charge for your time and services. You get to choose who you work for and who you work with. You get to choose where you work from. You also choose your own working hours. Want to take a break midday to head to the post office, attend a doctor’s appointment or simply have a rest? You can! If you’re considering becoming self-employed, here are some steps you can take to get the ball rolling.

  • Register as self-employed - first and foremost, you need to register as self-employed. This will let the government know that you will be working for yourself and collecting and filing your own taxes in a self assessment at the end of the tax year. You will receive a UTR to do this.

  • Decide what work you will be doing - countless positions can be carried out on a freelance basis. Some common options include copywriting, graphic design, web design, social media management, accounting, IT services and more.

  • Advertise your services - for clients to know that your services exist, you're going to have to advertise them. Make sure to advertise yourself well. You could use PPC. You could list your services on jobs boards. You could have your own website.

  • Figure out your pricing - what are you going to charge? It’s a good idea to do some research and find out the average rate for services similar to yours in your area. This will help you to create a fair price for clients that also generates sufficient profit for you to create a good income for yourself.

Setting Up a Business

An alternative is setting up your own business. This is relatively similar to freelancing, in that you work for yourself, but you will be providing a product or service and either outsourcing work to freelancers, or building your own team, to create greater projects in house. Some steps to take when setting up your own business include:

  • Registering as self-employed - as with freelancing, you will be working for yourself, so you will need to register as self-employed to deal with your own taxes.

  • Find an accountant - speaking of taxes, you may want to hire the services of an accountant. When you freelance and only manage your own work, you may find that it’s feasible to manage your own taxes yourself. But when you run a business, you’re likely to find things much easier with the help of a professional who knows the ins and outs of the system.

  • Product and service development - if you’re going to specialise in selling a particular product or service, you’re going to have to spend time developing it. This means going through a multistage process that will get your goods ready for the market. Come up with initial ideas, undertake some market research, do some manufacturing, try some product testing and ensure there’s room for profit!

  • Recruitment - when you start out, you’re likely to take the weight of most of the work on your own shoulders. Eventually, however, you will have to take on staff. The recruitment process can seem long, but have patience. The right candidate will come along eventually. Many startups choose to use recruitment agencies for this.

  • Training - you may have to train your staff. If you’re running a beauty salon or clinic, you may need to train your staff in new practices, such as Scalp Micropigmentation Core Training. If you’re running a factory, you may need to train staff into how to use machinery or equipment.

Shifting Companies

If you like being employed and the benefits that come with it, but simply want to start afresh or move on up with a new company, this is also an option. You don’t necessarily have to completely switch careers or roles to improve your income, improve your work life or anything else. Sometimes a different company will just give you what you’re looking for. Start by looking at companies who are advertising. You can often tell a lot about a company from their job description. Do they note the salary? Do they highlight benefits? Where does it seem their priorities lie? You can also take a look on sites like Glassdoor to read other employees’ reviews of the company. Come up with a new CV, apply for the position and prepare well for interviews!

Hopefully, some of the options above will show you just how possible it is to find a new career path that really works for you. Take some time to think things over and then go with the option that you feel will suit you best.

*contributed post*

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