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Melissa DeLeo on August 15, 2011
We have all been asked this question at some point in our lives. Personally, my answer was always “a doctor”…or a “power ranger.” Neither of those options has panned out (yet) but as I have met more and more inspiring professionals, many of whom are also cancer survivors, I have learned another possible way to answer that famous career question. “I want to be…self-employed.”
And whether you are just now starting to consider self-employment or you are a seasoned self starter, Cancer and Careers can help you along the way.
There are a number of reasons why you might be considering self-employment during or after your cancer diagnosis. Maybe your personal values and work-related goals have changed. Maybe your job cannot accommodate your treatment plan. As you start considering changing lanes from employee to self-employed, you must first identify your goals. Sit down and make a list. And do it honestly. Whether your goals are to follow your passion and creative energy, or secure a viable income for yourself and your family, you cannot achieve it unless you pinpoint it.
Next, develop a game plan. Self-employment is undoubtedly liberating. But truth be told, it also requires a tremendous amount of work, dedication and motivation. To set yourself up for success consult one of Cancer and Career’s free career coaches who are skilled veterans on topics of freelancing and consulting.
Additionally, I have found that the best way to think something new through is to listen and learn from living examples. Be sure to read our past Career Coaching posts on the dynamics of self-employment. These posts were submitted by cancer survivors working through issues you may face going forward.Or pose your question directly to your peers. Join our Google Group and start a discussion of your very own about becoming your own boss.
Being self-employed is itself a feat, as any of the more than 14 million Americans who are their own bosses can attest. Add to the mix a diagnosis of cancer, and the days can seem suddenly overwhelming. If you've just gotten a diagnosis of cancer, and you're self-employed, here is a game plan for getting through—developing the right frame of mind, making the most of your insurance, holding on to your clients, handling your workload and maintaining most of your cash flow.
Click here to read Cancer and Career’s expanded self-employment article addressing these unique issues. Or sign-up for our free "Ask The Experts: Career Advice" teleconference in October, where you can get answers from Cancer and Career's career coach, Julie Jansen.