Re-invention can include • Looking at how your capabilities might match other occupations. You should consider researching alternatives and shooting for them. For example, some financial services people have moved into professional services firms, some into property investment and development, and some into business advisory work. • Considering project-based employment: interim executive roles via agencies (or as landed directly through your own initiatives), and leadership of projects.

• Looking more creatively again at working on a more self-employed basis: starting your own services or consulting business. Taking the third of these ‘re-invention’ ideas a little further, starting your own business need not cost a fortune, and you can put some boundaries around the risks. You might envisage little or no income for six months or so – and this is of course a “cost” – but you might say to yourself “If this venture has not earned a fee within six months, then I will stop it at that point…” In starting up a new venture, you would need to thoroughly test your business concept, with a range of trusted advisers, and of course build a rudimentary business plan.

(There are plenty of books and websites around these activities). You can do all of these things without incurring set up costs, accounting fees, office leases etc – and it is a good idea to go as far as you can before sinking direct costs into a new venture. In fact, your accountant can form a company and set you up in three days flat! He or she can be doing that for you after you have commenced your first project if need be. You might also start using a contractor services organisation to handle invoicing initially, so that you are operating under the name of your new venture, but without the administration and related costs associated with your own company, in the first few months as you trial this experience.

A final comment here: the most stretching issue in conceiving of a business is carefully defining and testing the market for your new services, and working out how you will reach that market cost-effectively. Crack these challenges and everything else is easy! In the current market, more than ever before, professionals and executive need to consider new ways to add value in the market-place: new emerging needs (such as green energy auditing), and new vehicles in which to capture and create value-added work. Regular employment in a “job” is not the only vehicle in which to capture work and get paid for it.

Leave a comment