I recently decided to leave a full-time job and become self-employed: here’s why…
It wasn’t an easy decision but I thought I should write something to explain my choice — which might also serve as my personal reminder if things get tough.
There are three main reasons why I decided to make the leap to independence — consider these my principles:
More time with my family
About 8 months ago, I became a father for the first time. I knew I’d enjoy it but I didn’t realise quite how much of an effect my daughter would have on me; her infectious laugh, those glistening, eager eyes: I’m smitten.
Although learning to parent has been complicated, it’s brought me and my wife Rachael closer together. Occasionally we’ve wondered what we were wasting our time on before we had a child!
As my daughter Amelia grows, I don’t want to miss all her important milestones. I want to be able to spend more time with my family than evenings and weekends. I don’t like feeling like a part-time dad.
Pick and mix projects
Having the power to choose the work I pursue, was also attractive. As I’ve worked in agencies previously, variety has never really been a problem: I’ve worked with all shapes and sizes of clients in all kinds of industries, but sometimes those clients didn’t understand the benefits of user research — no matter how many ways you explain it or show it to them.
The clients I’d choose to work with will see the value that research provides; they’ll insist on talking to end-users about their individual needs and assessing their unique context.
Regain my identity
Although I have always enjoyed working in permanent teams, I feel like I have lost my identity. I had become complacent in my work, and with processes that I’ve developed; I’d lost my sense of self-worth. I became ol’ reliable Simon — at times, feeling somewhat taken for granted.
I decided that it’s time to rebrand myself; to network and meet new people, and to shout more about what I have done and what I can do.
Looking to the future
It’s scary not knowing where or when the next project will come my way, but it’s also thrilling. In a year, when I look back at this, I’m hoping I’ll have:
- worked with lots of enthusiastic clients;
(a mix of energetic start-ups, and large established organisations)
- met numerous new contacts;
- earnt enough money to pay the mortgage;
- been able to spend more time with my family.
Time will tell. In the meantime if you’re looking for a Designer / Researcher; get in touch 😁