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Challenges of working for yourself and on your own

by Katie Court/ Friday 2nd February 2018

Working alone on a rock in the middle of the sea

We have all been there … you are having a rubbish day at work, you have already worked countless additional hours this week, your boss is on your case, your colleague’s sense of humour is driving you insane and you are informed by a member of the team who appears to have spent most of the day updating their social media that it’s your turn to do the tea run… this is the point most of us start to think what it would be like to work on our own, right?!

What could be better …. You have complete decision-making autonomy and more importantly your decisions are made on what you believe in. If some things don’t work, “who cares” it will make you better informed and qualified to make future decisions based on your own experience. You have complete flexibility and can work to your own time frames. For example, if you want to go at watch your kids take part in sports day or need to take the dog to the vets then you plan your day accordingly without having to seek “permission” from your Manager… and of course you don’t have to contend with the stressful daily commute.

All of this said, when I worked on my own I worked from home and I have to say I found one of the most difficult aspects was the lack of social interaction. I missed colleagues asking if I had had “a good weekend” and someone to chat through different work situations with. You don’t have the immediate work support environment that you are used to and quite often take for granted, while communication with others can become impersonal and "faceless”… oh, while the office Christmas party can be pretty lonely!!

Another thing to be conscious of is the need to separate your work and personal life. It is all too easy to become completely consumed with your work, as you have no one around you to share the day to day responsibilities with. What can start with just answering a few emails at the dinner table can very easily turn into a constant distraction and a great annoyance to those closest to us. There are also going to be times when things are difficult and challenging situations arise… It’s these times that require a strong reliance on your own self-motivation and dedication.

How to tackle it

From my own experience and talking to other in a similar situation, I implemented a number of things to overcome the challenges of working on my own:

Firstly, I gave myself a structured working day; I started work at 8:30am, aimed to shut down my computer at 5:30pm and made myself take a lunch break (when possible, just to get a change of scenery). That’s not to say I didn’t take the odd early finish when I needed to (that was one of the perks) but that was what my average day looked like.

I got dressed for work (I can’t honestly say I was completely suited and booted every day), which made a real difference in my own mindset. When dressed for work, I felt I was going into an office opposed to working in a hoodie and trackie bottoms.

Finally, and in many ways the one that was most important to me; take advantage of opportunities to interact with other professionals who maybe in a similar situation to you, working in the same sector or industry, networking meetings, special events, grabbing lunch with an ex-coworker, anyone who within a professional capacity that you will have common ground with. You will probably be surprised at the benefits this will provide.

How can SSG support you with the challenges of working on your own?

SSG’s is all about providing on-going support in whatever package is required. The success of the support we provide is not only process driven but is also very personal to each and every person we work with. All businesses are different & each business owner has a different set of requirements & faces a different set of challenges. It is our job as a support business to roll with the punches, to go with the flow of what you need. Sometimes that’s as simple as having someone to pick up the phone to.

James Kapadia of Aspiria Recruit, launched his new venture back in November 2017 based in Exeter, Devon with the help of SSG, here's what he had to say about the experience:

“So far, SSG have given me the platform and the support to build a business on a very small personal budget, as they provide you with the major parts of the business that would normally cost a lot of personal investment when starting a business. However, now that I’m 3 months into running the business, I’m starting to really see the value in having the team at SSG alongside me. I didn’t think that they would continue to be so supportive, accessible and involved in the ongoing marketing, technical and financial side of the business. Having them at the end of the phone has been a real emotional support, to what could have been an isolating and lonely few months. More importantly, their support has allowed me to spend time selling and recruiting, so while SSG take an ongoing service charge, the difference in what I’m billing with them by my side is more than what I’m paying SSG. It’s been a real success so far and I look forward to continuing our very healthy relationship!”

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