Massey University CareerplaNZ

Career and student learning issues brought to you by Massey University’s Careers Service – New Zealand

Selling yourself?

Posted by John Ross on February 3, 2009

In the current economic climate it’s perhaps not surprising that more and more people are exploring the option of self-employment. It’s not – of course – an easy option, nor one that suits everyone.  It requires resilience – knock-backs will come.  It needs self-motivation – you’ll have to set schedules for yourself and win the business from clients.  It’ll take creativity and innovation, and highly-developed problem solving skills as problems, just like knock-backs, will come.

You’ll have to be a great communicator, and have good financial management skills.  It’ll take money, not least for your start-up costs, and it’ll need you to have good support mechanisms in place (your friends and family for example).  Crucially, you’ll also have to have something to offer – a product or service.  You could be running your business full-time, or could be picking up contract work around other commitments.  Indeed, contract work is likely to be more common in times of recession and is – in any case – a growing trend in the ‘careers’ of many individuals.

If you are considering self-employment, and want to look at the option in more depth, the following sites should help:

Business Information Zone

Business Mentors New Zealand

Young Enterprise Trust

Incubators New Zealand

Massey’s e-centre




2 Responses to “Selling yourself?”

  1. Mark said

    I have a sense that too many people try to “sell themselves” but take with them “employee mentality”. It is a totally different game of risk taking and poor profits for a long while. If you cannot tolerate a full financial cycle of financial struggling and even loss then it may well not be for you. Very few “quick income” options exist despite the numerous emails offering such!

    • John Ross said

      Thanks Mark, for your welcome – and astute – observations. You are, of course, correct in noting that self-employment comes at a cost. Those who pursue this option will have start-up costs but are – in addition – likely to take some time to see a financial return in their enterprise. All the more vital then to explore possible sources of financial help, and to ensure that the business concept/idea is well researched and thought through. Also, that those considering self-employment have considered the extent to which their personality, mind and skill-set suit them to this type of work.

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