Biting the Bullet

15 July 2011 - Career

Well, I've finally done it ... Last week I handed in my notice at work! Now is the start of my new adventure ...

It's a three month notice period, so come mid-October I'll be officially working full-time for myself. It was a very difficult and scary decision, but also very exciting! Up until now this plan has always been something for the future. However, I've started to realise that if I don't bite the bullet soon - I never will!

Before continuing, it should be mentioned that my reasons for this have absolutely nothing to do with my current place of work. It has been a great company to work for and I've met some great people. My reasons purely relate to my future career plans.

From part-time to full-time

For the past few years, I've already been doing a lot of freelance work in my spare time. This gives me a big advantage in that I have enough work already to fill part of the week, and have also gained quite a few contacts. So far I've been registered as a sole trader, however as of today I'm now officially an owner of my own limited company! In the past, I've handled my own finances, which has given me knowledge of how tax and national insurance work on a basic level. However, now that I'll be doing this full-time, I've decided to use an accountant. It's one thing handling my own accounts when I'm just doing a few hours a week, but another when doing it full-time. I'd much rather focus my attention on my work rather than worrying about the intricacies of limited companies, VAT, PAYE, expenses, etc.

The bullet bitten

So, back to last week. As I say, I've been thinking about this for quite a while now, and have recently been getting itchy feet about doing it sooner rather than later. The three-month notice period gives me plenty of time to find extra work to fill the remaining days that my current freelance projects don't fill.

Before handing in my notice, I sent a few 'feeler' emails out to various contacts to get a idea of what work was out there. The response was very positive, and it sounds like there will be plenty of work available. So with this in mind, I made up my mind and wrote two letters: One was an official resignation letter, and the other was a letter to my immediate boss to thank him for all he has done for me. I've been working for him for almost ten years now across two companies. The previous company (which he was a founder of) was actually bought out by my current company and we were all TUPE'd across.

He's been a great boss, and at the previous company, many years after initially hiring me, he also hired a temp office manager. The temp that he hired has since become one of the most important people in my life and in just over a month, we'll become husband and wife. So I thought it was only right to write him a more personal thank you letter.

Pros and Cons

As said previously, I've been thinking about doing this for a while. During this period, many times have I weighed up the pros and cons of working from home, and wondered whether it was right for me. Fully aware that there are negatives as well as positives, I've still always come to the conclusion that the negatives are far outweighed!

There are many things I love about the idea of working from home. I'm the first to admit that I'm very much a home-body. So working from home has great appeal. Especially the freedom of being able to choose my own hours. I know that I can be committed and hard working even with the extra distractions that may occur around the house. The time I spend currently getting ready for work and then actually getting to work is pretty much 1-2 hours of time where I could have been working if I was working from home. Then of course I save time again by not having a return journey.

My plan is to split the day into two blocks, and have a longer than usual lunch where I also go to the gym each day. Many years ago, I used to train daily, but now find that I never have the time. To be able to break-up my working day with a gym session, not only gets me back into my training, but also provides a really nice break in the middle of my working day. I'm a strong believer than people can't productively work solidly for 8+ hours. You may be sat behind your computer for that length of time, but if you're honest with yourself - you're not getting 8+ solid hours of work done. Maybe it's just me, but being able to get up out of bed, solidly work knowing that it's just for three hours (not 8 hours), then having a few hour away from the computer (gym, relax, etc.), then solidly work again for another four or five hours - then I'd be so much more focused and get so much more work done.

Well that's the theory anyway - but only time will tell! I said in my very first post that my blog posts will be fairly infrequent, and so they have been. However, I'm planning on trying to improve this and post more often. So watch this space if you're interested to hear how my journey maps out ...


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