So you’ve taken the plunge and decided to become your own woman (or man). Now what?
Arguably the timeliest advice I’ve ever read on the subject is to make your job situation work for you while you have it. Two main areas to remember are finances and health care.
While the health care situation differs around the world, many jobs do have some form of medical coverage attached, such as dental, life, or health insurance coverage. While you’re still working is the time to explore options for carrying that coverage over once you’ve left. For instance, my last 9-to-5 job had a life insurance plan that I could continue after work, and retain the same coverage. When I left, I kept it, and avoided having to go through the extra effort (and possible expense) of qualifying for a new policy.
Likewise, consider maximizing your earning power with credit. Now is the time to see about getting a line of credit with your bank, and getting whatever credit cards you qualify for. Avoid company cards, as they can often only be used at one business, and their rates can be higher (an exception is cards for companies you’ll end up buying from for work, like business supply stores). And of course, resist all urges to use them – you may need those empty cards later!
As well, it doesn’t hurt to plan to trim your budget. While you have income, consider cutting down on non-essentials, and putting away the money. This doesn’t have to be painful, but getting used to living on less now will make it easier later, when it may not be optional!
Until you get paid for your work, there’s little difference between self-employed and unemployed. However, you are in the enviable position of knowing when you’re going to be out of a job, letting you make the most of it. Work to manage expenses and build up your safety net, and you’ll find the effort and time was well spent when the day comes to set out your shingle!