On Your Own: Part 5
© Douglas E. Welch 1997
There is one situation that makes life much easier for new consultant.
Having a partner who has a steady, full-time job can provide a
?safety net? and allow you more freedom and time to get a business
started. This can allow you to ?Ping-Pong? careers, with first
one, then the other, climbing the career ladder over a period
I am personally very lucky in this way. My wife of 11 years understands
this process. While she has struggled to make it in the television
industry, I worked one corporate computer job after another. Last
year, she achieved a major milestone in her career and this allowed
me the freedom to pursue my career as a freelance writer. Without
her, I would still be working both jobs and wondering when I would
ever be able to make the leap into being a fulltime writer.
Besides the obvious monetary safety net provided by such an arrangement,
there are other benefits, as well. Health care is probably the
Health insurance can be a major factor in deciding to start your
own business. Its significant costs have to be figured into your
financial plans if you are not covered under a partners health
plan. If you are covered, it is like getting thousands of dollars
in increased income before you even sell your first hour of consulting
If you are not covered you can look into health plans that are
sponsored by small business associations. These associations sell
insurance at group rates to their members at significantly lower
costs than individual rates.
If you are considering leaving a corporate job you may be old
enough to have one or more children. There is an interesting effect
that takes place when one parent starts working from home. Since
one parent now has a more flexible schedule and works from a home
office, they often become the primary care-giver for the children.
They are available to pick up sick children from school, run household
errands and other family tasks.
It is important to understand this shift so that you and your
partner are not caught off guard. It is possible to integrate
these new responsibilities into your new career, it only takes
some time and understanding.
Pulling your weight
One problem that can crop up is the difference in earnings between
the two partners. It takes time to develop a business and both
partners must understand this. There can be no recriminations
about earnings or the whole business will break down. Also, you
must not judge yourself too harshly. Doing the best job possible
should be your first goal. The money will follow.
Hopefully, this month has been enlightening. I will discuss further
issues for consultants in upcoming columns.
Douglas E. Welch is a freelance writer and computer consultant
in Van Nuys, California. Readers can discuss career issues with
other readers by joining the Career Opportunities Discussion on
Douglas' web page at: http://home.earthlink.net/~dewelch/
He can reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org