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Should you become self-employed in 2020 or stay in a paid job?

- January 14, 2020 3 MIN READ

Feeling stuck and tossing and turning with indecision about what to do. It’s a process to weigh up the scale of choices and options. 

And likewise the question is often reversed for those self-employed to jump back into the regular income land of being an employee.  I know because I’ve grappled with that on and off for the last 16 years of running my own businesses.

But there is no better starting point than with courage to ask yourself the honest and hard questions – and to allow yourself to answer without judgement. Self-protection, fear and delusion are some of the biggest causes of career misery and indecision. So in your quietest moments be reflective and listen to the competing voices by being honest with yourself. 


And check into your ‘WHY’ you do what you do, why you make the decisions at the core of your self – dig down hard and have a hearty review of BRAND YOU.

And in asking and answering these questions be aware of the three ways we process information our Head, Heart & Gut.  

Our Head is full of financial, cold commercial type data. Our Heart is full of the human relationships, how we impact others etc.  And our Gut is where the gold lies to connect what is our truth and knowing.  And unfortunately most people ignore their Gut with detrimental results.  Listen and ‘feel’ how your gut responds in any situation/question.

Most professionals and executives want similar things from their careers to a greater or lesser extent.  90% of people I interviewed when I ran a recruitment agency shared they want to be happy, challenged, be respected, learn, be inspired with good managers and opportunities etc.

Evaluation questions:

But that’s just ‘top line’ – what does challenge look like for YOU, what does a good client or manager look like for YOU?  And I assure you that everyone has their own bespoke reality of those answers. Dig deeply for your personal reality as you need to define every element before you evaluate where you are at.

  1. Do I make a difference?
  2. Am I challenged?
  3. Am I trusted and respected?
  4. Am I remunerated well/fairly?
  5. Are my ideas encouraged and implemented?
  6. Do I actually enjoy the work I do/the industry?
  7. Are there pathways for development?
  8. Does the job align with my future goals?
  9. Did expectations = reality (of a new job/company)
  10. Do I feel involved in the business?
  11. Am I appreciated and valued?
  12. Do I have a good mentor/s to learn from?
  13. Is the environment great or unpleasant?

Rationalise, Justify, Reassure

So let’s take evaluation up a notch to get real clarity. Start to observe your inner chatter and outward thoughts and words. Do you notice how often you are rationalising, justifying and reassuring yourself about your current situation or decisions? A NO is often masked as indecision through fear.

Notice in life that when someone is over explaining or extenuating their reasons, a little voice in us goes “hmmmm, something doesn’t feel right here, I don’t trust this”! If you observe there are multiple reasons then you are often fooling yourself. And notice how your body feels when saying or thinking those decisions or excuses!

If you keep having to RATIONALISE, JUSTIFY & RE-ASSURE yourself and others about WHY you stay in your current job or company vs going out on your own know in your Gut that you are probably in the wrong place. If you are doing this constantly, you already have the answer to your question.

If you decide it’s time to jump the first place is to start with cranking up your marketing and personal brand mindset. 

So what will it be for you in 2020? The comfort zone or the jump into self-employment – or the reverse? Whatever you choose the elements of personal branding, LinkedIn, marketing communications all intersect. May the choices you make be for the right reasons. 

You only have one life and honestly there is no joy in misery – for yourself and friends and family around you.