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25/10/2013 09:59 BST | Updated 26/03/2014 07:59 GMT

Start Your Business, Seven Steps to Become Ready for Self-employment

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Start Your Business. 7 Steps to become ready for self employment

If you're a senior professional looking for your next position in what's become the bleak and inhospitable landscape of the corporate jobs market, you're probably getting used to rejection by now.

However, by following these 7 steps to become ready for self-employment you could get back in the driver's seat and start your business.

Just like 56-year-old Steve Wood, who after applying for over 220 jobs in six months, earned only one interview. Not much to show for someone who before redundancy was on a top salary in a senior role in the electronics industry.

Yet despite such continual rejection, the unremitting slaps in the face, many carry on regardless, struggling to get back on the right side of the corporate door. For some, that dream will come true, but for increasing numbers such admirable persistence doesn't pay off.

For them, the dream will never come true again, as HR departments batten down the hatches against older workers who are seen as over-qualified, 'too experienced', too expensive, or in some other way unsuitable for the roles on offer. What's more, new skills are constantly needed, and it's not always easy to acquire them when you're already holding down a challenging full-time job.

Not surprisingly, that means older workers tend to spend longer unemployed than any other age group - for someone aged 24-49 that equates to three to four months more than for someone in the 18-24 age bracket just below.

Eventually, with all other avenues seemingly closed off, some set up a business out of desperation. But why do it out of desperation? Why not make going into business a first choice option?

Don't waste time and effort chasing the corporate employment 'unicorn' and accept that if you're over 50, possibly even the wrong side of 40, the corporate world has turned its back on you, and make the decision to strike out on your own instead by getting ready to Start Up your Business. At least give yourself a chance to contemplate the possibility before rejecting it out of hand. Instead of letting fear kick in and think: 'No way,' allow yourself to think: 'Why not ...'

Here are just some of the advantages you can experience if you decide to start your business:

  • It means you're not reliant on what other people offer you, making you independent from a diminishing jobs market with its ever fewer suitable positions.

  • It immediately puts you in control of your own future, something that is psychologically positive and beneficial, especially when you feel the world no longer wants you.

  • It allows you to create a lifestyle and work life based on quality of life and your own interests, rather than driven by others' agendas.

  • It offers you the opportunity to use and capitalise on your skills, expertise and knowledge, when in the corporate world those same qualities would make you over-qualified for most of the roles on offer.

So how do you turn your back on the traditional job search, and move on to start your business, someone who takes charge of their own life, and their future, on their terms?

Start Your Business. 7 Steps to become ready for self-employment:

1. Even if the threat of redundancy isn't yet on the horizon, you should seriously consider the possibility of setting up on your own. If the chances of redundancy are increasing, or it's a certainty, you need to act now to make going into business on your own a reality sooner rather than later. It takes a big shift in mindset to succeed, so start getting ready now by using the time you have to your advantage - you'll be glad you did.

2. In thinking of a business idea, look to your interests, pastimes and hobbies for inspiration. There is no better way to earn your income than from pursuing something that you enjoy.

3. Find motivation in the stories of others who have moved from corporate employment into successful self employment and business start up. If they can, so can you.

4. New Entrepreneurial business owners are independent and self-driven, but that doesn't mean you should have a 'do it all yourself' attitude. In fact, the earlier you seek support from others, with different skills and expertise from your own, the faster things will start happening for you. Asking for help is a sign of intelligence not weakness. Look at successful entrepreneurs: they all have coaches and mentors because they know they can't achieve success on their own. The specialist, targeted help that you need is available, this is what we do, helping you start your business, helping you create a viable business.

5. Be confident in your own abilities. Just because the corporate world no longer needs you, doesn't mean that what you have to offer has no value. Far from it. You have a lifetime of experience and knowledge that you can put to good use exploiting the myriad of opportunities that are out there, particularly through the power of the Internet to create online businesses.

Start developing meaningful relationships that can lead to partnerships and joint ventures. Research how you could access finance through crowd-funding platforms. Connect with influencers in your target market through social media. The opportunities are there if you chose to see them and seek them out. We live in amazing times, so start being 'opportunity-wise'.

6. Set yourself a timescale and a deadline for taking action. If you don't, days will slip into weeks and weeks into months and your life won't progress as it could. The first thing on your list should be to create a step-by-step plan to get you moving forward. This will give you direction and allow you to measure your progress.

7. Make preparing for self employment your new job. See it as an opportunity for you to redirect your life, and not go down the same path again and again. For this to happen, you need to create a new vision for your life and a plan to make that vision happen. And if you don't know where to start your business, we can help you with this.

And particularly if you have been disappointed by countless rejections, heed the words of W L Bateman, author, in his one and only famous quote, on the need for change:

"Keep on doing what you've always done, and you'll keep on getting what you've always got."

That's something to remember before you send out yet another application.

By Maite Barón 'The Corporate Escape Coach™', author of 'Corporate Escape: The Rise of the New Entrepreneur'. You can start taking action by Corporate Escape Book Chapters" target="hplink">downloading two free chapters of my book and booking your place to 'Your Dream Business in a Day™' workshop.

© 2013 Maite Barón. All rights reserved. If you'd like to use this blog for your ezine, newsletter or website, feel free. Please do include a live link to our website and the following attribution:

Maite Barón 'The Corporate Escape Coach™' helping ambitious professionals who want to become self employed successfully achieve their corporate escape to create a viable and successful business. You can find useful resources, sign up for free reports and read more blogs at http://www.MaiteBaron.com

This Article was first posted on the Corporate Escape Blog