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5 Tips to Help You Move from Public Sector to Self-Employment at Mid-Life

In November 2011 the Office for Budget Responsibility predicted that there will be 710,000 public sector redundancies by 2017.

In February of this year, the Institute of Fiscal Studies predicted this to be over 1 million which is 300,000 more than originally predicted by the Office for Budget Responsibility.

The public sector that was once considered a secure place to work has seen considerable cuts resulting in significant numbers of job losses over recent times.

The past few weeks have seen industrial action in many public sector departments due to the cuts that continue to be made.

To those who have worked in the public sector for many years, the prospect of having to rethink their career can be pretty daunting.

I worked in the public sector for 28 years and up until a few years ago, thought that I would continue working in the public sector until I retired.

With fewer jobs in the public sector, what can those losing their jobs do? One option is to become self-employed.

I can almost hear the gasps of shock and horror amongst some of you at the mere thought of becoming self-employed but if this is something that has crossed your mind, why not explore it further.

The experience and skills that you have gained over the years could be marketed such that you carve out a niche for yourself in a business that you enjoy doing.

When the opportunity for voluntary redundancy came up for me 2 years ago, the more I thought about the prospect of leaving and creating something of my own making, the more it appealed to me.

Now I enjoy helping other women to make such a transition and will share with you 5 tips that will help you when deciding what kind of business it is that you want to do if you have thoughts about working for yourself.

These 5 tips worked for me and are working for my clients who too are making the transition to self-employment:

1. Know Your True Self

What is important to you? What are your values? It is important that you take this into consideration when considering what it is that you will do.

There is no point starting a business that is not aligned with who you are otherwise there will be discord.

2. Discover Your Passion

What is it that you get excited about doing that could be turned into a viable business? It needs to be viable because you do not want to end up doing a very expensive hobby.

If you are going to set up your own business, doing something that you are passionate about will be more fulfilling.

3. Identify Your Skills

What experience have you gained over the years? What skills can you transfer and what skills do you need to develop?

Will you need to retrain and if so, how will you finance it?

4. Banish Your Fears

What are the fears that prevent you from taking that step? How realistic are they? How helpful are they to your situation?

Identify your fears and what you can do to overcome them? Find someone who is impartial to you that you can speak to, they may be able to help you reframe the way that you are looking at things.

5. Step Out In Confidence

Do you feel confident enough to ‘put yourself out there’? If not, what do you need to do to improve you self-confidence? Find out what is causing your lack of confidence and develop techniques to overcome this. You may need support with this.

Once you know the kind of business that you want to do, you can then start your business planning and market research.

When I was considering what business I wanted to do, I thought about the experience and skills I had gained over the years and what it was that I enjoyed doing the most.

The aspect of my work that I got the most satisfaction from over the years was helping to develop and motivate people, hence the creation of my coaching business Abounding Solutions.

The transition from employee to self-employed was a steep learning curve and one which I truly enjoyed. I love the freedom and autonomy that working for myself brings.

Getting my first client and receiving payment from my first assignment was a wonderful experience.

Many people are fearful of setting up a new business in this current economic climate, however, there is an increase in the number of people that are doing this.

In my journey growing my business, I have come across many women who previously worked in the public sector and are now self-employed who say that they would not want to go back.

There are lots of women who worked in the public sector for many years and are now faced with having to make a significant mid-life career change.

A lot of these women believe that they do not have the confidence to go out there, start all over again and carve out a new career for themselves. They get told things such as ‘there are no jobs out there’ or ‘no one will take you on because you’re too old’ or ‘the private sector won’t take people from the public sector, particularly at your age’.

Constantly hearing these sorts of negative messages can knock a woman’s confidence even further, to the extent that they believe it.

But it does not need to be like this, there is another way. You can do something else AND do something that you enjoy.

If this applies to you, improving your confidence will give you the courage to pursue a career that you love.

The prospect of working for yourself can seem very scary when you have always had the security of employment. Those fears can be overcome but it means stepping out of your comfort zone.

Are you thinking of making the move from employment to self-employment but lack the confidence to do so?

If so, 'Improve Your Confidence and Transform Your Life' in a workshop for women that will help you to identify what your fears are and what is causing your lack of confidence. You will learn techniques to help you overcome this and put together an action plan that will help you to transform your life.

The Event takes place on 26th August 204 at the University of London. Further details can be found here .


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