Going into business for myself?

This afternoon, I had a phone call with an old friend and colleague. We used to work together in a previous job, and although we haven’t said much to each other in years, we still remain friends.

Yesterday, my friend, who has his own business, pinged me. He had heard my news about my contract ending, and wanted to provide me with a small project. It’s not a full-time job, per se, but it’s work, it sounds like an interesting project, and it’ll look good on my resume and my portfolio.

It also got me thinking about something else. Could I make a living from doing projects like these? Can I get enough of them to sustain an income?

In other words, maybe my next job shouldn’t be looking for a new employer at all, but possibly going into business for myself as an independent contractor.

I’ll admit that the idea scares me. I don’t know the first thing about starting my own business. I Googled “how to become an independent contractor” for some ideas. I did read one article, and it seems straightforward enough. There were a number of other articles on the list that I’ll also have to look through.

I already have an idea of the type of services I’d offer. Mainly, I would do documentation work, as well as other related services as they pertain to IT and technical communication. To the best of my knowledge, there aren’t a lot of contractors who do that (I know of one local firm off the top of my head). Whenever I’ve done technical writing in previous positions, I’ve always thought of it as “doing the work that nobody else wants to do.” Perhaps there’s a possible business niche to tap into?

I have a number of friends who are independent contractors. If any of you have any advice, please feel free to ping me or leave a comment below.

I’m still making calls, filing job applications, and sending out my resume, but perhaps striking out on my own is a possible career avenue to consider.

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