Moving from employment to self-employed

It’s been 5 years since I took the plunge into self-employment. At the time I was working for a small company in an HR capacity. I had been in full-time employment for 4 years then. As I reflect back over the last 5 years and how nervous I was about the plunge, I wonder about the value of 4 years of desk-bound servitude and how those years informed the way I would approach self-employment.

You see, I’m now in a position where I am employing people to become a part of my own company, The Narrative Lab, and that raises some unique concerns …

We’re a virtual company and we work this way because of our experiences of the limitations associated with being bound to an office. The challenge I now face is employing young people who have had very little or no office environment experience. I am now wondering how beneficial it is to their careers to have a virtual environment as the forming experience in their career?

Virtual environments, while growing in popularity, are the exception not the norm. Is it fair to allow a young staff member to get used to the sometimes comfortable benefits of a virtual, work-from-home environment if they are likely to end up in a office-bound environment at some point in their careers?

I dunno. Your thoughts?

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4 responses to “Moving from employment to self-employed”

  1. I think it’s awesome that, as a boss-to-be you’re even thinking about the impact of your work environment on the people you hire! Would that there were more like you out there.

    Btw – the new site design looks awesome. Is it built on WordPress?

  2. aiden says:

    Thanks John. Yep, wordpress it is. Custom design by Anthony van Beek.

  3. vaughn says:

    Dude, I have some thoughts, sorry some questions:
    1) I know you the boss, but is the decision yours alone?
    2) Employees choose employers as much as you choose employees. If a virtual office is one of the perks/disadvantages that comes with the job, won’t they be choosing that?
    3) Is the self discipline (and whether the employee has enough of it to work from home) that you hint at but don’t mention directly going to evident in the quality of their work regardless of whether they work in an office or at home?
    4) If you had no job and someone offered you a job where you worked from home and that was not ideal but it was a job opportunity with work that excited and stimulated you, would you take the job???

    I know you’re thinking of it from the employees perspective, but can you get what you require from employees as an employer if they work from home?

    Would you compensate them from working at home? Could be an interesting debate!!!

  4. Garth says:

    Excellent question!

    A physical offices teaches important disciplines which if not learned leave that person at a career disadvantage. However, a person’s character will determine ultimate success in both the physical and virtual office.

    For those young employees who have not/not yet experienced a physical office, you could mentor them in day-to-day activities with comparisons and contrasts between your environment and a physical office. Your mentoring will better prepare them for either environment.


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