Jeannette Button
Career business

Thrown in the deep end

Recent employment circumstances have forced me to make some hard and fast decisions. Ok by “employment circumstances” I mean redundancy. Yes it happens, it has happened before and all I did was work harder to prove that they couldn’t do without me.

This time it’s different. I’m comfortable, I have mortgages, teenagers doing the important years at school. I’m older. Am I special? No. Just forced to asked myself “what are you going to do now?”

Within a week of learning that my comfortable salary, car, paid holidays and city office would be no more, I decided to go out on my own. And now I have two months to set up my own business. Am I excited? Yes. Scared? Petrified.

But it’s funny, the situation has forced me to do something I have secretly wanted to do for years and as I discuss it with friends, fellow career women, entrepreneurs and life dreamers like myself I am encouraged by their support and belief that I can do it.

It’s like I have been thrown a life vest. I am still treading water, very, very fast but I am not sinking.

So many people have said that this is just the opportunity I needed. How many times have I said I’ll do something and then never done it. There is a blog page still sitting in the back of my mind that I planned when the kids were in primary school, the eldest is now in year 12. How many times have I looked at other clever and inspiring women, and wondered why that wasn’t me?

So as I quickly learn about ABN, GST, BAS and MRR, I’m sharing some tips for others thrown in the deep end.

Five tips for dealing with job redundancy

1. You’re not special

A sad reality of our times is that businesses – in fact, entire industries – close down. Don’t take anything for granted, especially when life seems so cosy.

2. You’re not alone

Talk to your friends, share your thoughts and fears. You’ll probably be pleasantly surprised in the faith they have in you to change the situation for a positive outcome.

I wasn’t alone in this change of employment circumstance – my colleagues also have to make life changing decisions. We need to support each other. Share ideas and knowledge. Ask them if your business plan makes sense or if the name for your company is daggy. I only just discovered that another friend had left her job and is also considering working for herself. We are now comparing notes on websites, rates and social media. Not quite the same as discussing our recent holidays, but still good fun and quite invigorating.

3. See change as an opportunity

I know, it sounds like a cliché, but it’s true. So many people have said this is exactly what I needed. How else would I have been strong enough to make such a bold decision and step out of my comfort zone.

4. Educate yourself

Make sure you understand what options are available to you. What is your financial situation? What is involved in working for yourself? What are all those things that employers provide that you have never really thought about? Don’t take anything for granted. Understand your situation and make sound decisions.

5. Be kind to yourself

If you can, make the change to create the life you want. Does this mean I can fit in an extra yoga class? I hope so. It does mean that  I will now be home to help my son with his homework, and he will love that.

So as I continue to flap my arms around trying to float, calm my breath and heart rate, wish me luck. With two months to go I am on a very steep learning curve. But with the support of others, and their faith in me, I am in for exciting times and hope to get to the waters edge and heave myself out. Let’s see.

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