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> Should I stay or should I go?
Pixelgoth
post Jun 21 2008, 10:14 AM
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Hi all smile.gif Some may know me some may not but this question is to you all. I'm not sure if this goes in this part of the forum or not so I won't be offended if it's moved.

I have only been at my current job for 4 months and I'm not really liking it as much as I thought I would. I'm working as an administrator for a Museum in London and although I thought it would be a good foot-in-the-door role I'm finding out that it really isn't like that.

Also, during a volunteer role back in January my CV was passed to a guy who runs a museum consultancy business in London. I've spoken to him again recently (as I was thinking of leaving the museum) and he thinks I'd be great as a consultant for him and has offered me a part time position for the same money I'm on now as a self employed consultany working with him and his colleagues. It's a brilliant career move and would free me up to look after my bro occasionally (who some of you may know has cancer and needs more chemo in hospital).

Basically, my problem is I can't help thinking it's all too good to be true but then I guess I'm sceptical.

Do I leave the museum doing a full time role I'm not 100% happy in and take a jump into a part time self employed role with much less security potentially doing something I'm really happy doing. For example the first project he is pointing me towards is helping a museum develop a digital interactive which was my main focus for my MA thesis and something I really enjoyed doing.

I've pretty much made my mind up to leave the museum and take this offer but I wanted some more views on the situation because, as you can see, I'm all in a jumble about it! smile.gif


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Industrial Kybos...
post Jun 21 2008, 10:30 AM
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Do it. Better to take a risk that will potentially make you happier than remain where you are and stay miserable. A possible win is better than a guaranteed lose.

Best of luck, slaaaaaaaaaaaaag!


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Cath Sparrow
post Jun 21 2008, 12:22 PM
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Word's of the great oracle Jus who just happens to be reading over my shoulder 'You've been in the museum industry long enough to know that no job is secure and if something better comes along you should jump at it.'

biggrin.gif


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 21 2008, 02:10 PM
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QUOTE (Industrial Kybosh @ Jun 21 2008, 11:30 AM) *
Do it. Better to take a risk that will potentially make you happier than remain where you are and stay miserable. A possible win is better than a guaranteed lose.

Best of luck, slaaaaaaaaaaaaag!


Thanks slaaaaaaaaaaaaaaag!

I know you're right (and you two Cath/Jus combo!).

No job is secure, never mind the museum industry, and InKy makes an interesting point (there's always a first!! tongue.gif) that I should risk an unstable new start and be happy than stay in a more stable place and be unhappy.

My signature says 'rather light a candle than complain about the dark' so effectively someone has given me a candle......and a bloody bright one at that! biggrin.gif


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Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
Rather light a candle than complain about the dark!
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Cath Sparrow
post Jun 23 2008, 10:08 AM
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*sneaks up behind and starts pushing towards the candle*


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Mata
post Jun 23 2008, 12:44 PM
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I'd say go for it too; however, my advice from being self-employed is to save as much as you can for times when there's not so much work about. You get paid more per-hour than contract workers, but that doesn't mean you get more money overall. Be careful with it, make a budget and stick to it. Always try and have at least two month's worth of rent/food/bills covered so you don't have to worry if things don't go the way you want.

Other top tips for self-employment:

Keep regular hours - it's easy to get distracted, so make sure you do actually do the work when you intend to do it

Get a seperate business account - give yourself regular wage payments and nothing more. Perferably pay yourself as little as possible to help save up a buffer zone in the account.

Pay everything related to your business from your business account - avoid at all costs paying for things from a personal account and then having to pay it back to yourself from the business account. At the end of the year, when you're doing your tax return, it makes life 9 gabillion times easier if you can read all your incomings and outgoings from your bank statements.

Let the tax office know immediately as you start the business - there is a fine if you don't tell them before 90-ish days (I can't remember the exact figure).

Make sure the tax people let the National Insurance people know too.

Work out how you're going to continue paying for a pension.

Maybe get some mortgage payment insurance, just in case and if you can afford it.

That's everything I can think of off the top of my head.


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gothictheysay
post Jun 23 2008, 05:11 PM
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I know you can do it Sam! Go for it =)


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Raven-Mad
post Jun 23 2008, 08:03 PM
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If you are going self employed you have to inform HMRC of this by the end of the 3rd month of which you do. HMRC this is the HMRC's Self Employment page where you can pick up all the information you need. Even though i don't know you best of luck with everything you do.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 24 2008, 01:55 PM
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Cheers guys! smile.gif

I handed in my notice this morning! smile.gif Eeek! laugh.gif I'm quite scared now but I'm excited too. I've confirmed with this consultancy that they'll give me 21 hours work a week. They said there would be no problem with that but it might be that I do 5 days one week and 1 the next but they will pay me X a day so it's all good. I also have my savings if things go tits up as well as my admin skills and temp offices ;-) I don't have a mortgage and am paying my boyfriend X sum every month and he knows that if things get tight I might not pay him one month but it isn't really going to work like that. I am employed by the company but it's self employment. It's hard to explain really. Also, as I'm self employed I can be doing work for other people too.

Does anyone know what happens about volunteering while I'm self employed? Can I still claim back my travel?

Thanks Mata. I pretty much was thinking about opening my own bank account actually so I might go ahead and do that. Either Lloyds or Abbey. Any suggestions? They both offer a good rate of interest. I'm currently with Halifax and think if I use another bank I won't get the debit cards mixed up when I'm in a rush to pay for stuff :-)

I'm going to speak to HMRC after I've read their 'Thinking about working for yourself' leaflet and follow the instructions. I might also go see Citizens Advice Bureau or the Job Centre. Which one is better?!? I know it's 90 days thanks smile.gif

Thanks for the support and advice. I'm sure I'll need lots of it in the days/weeks to come laugh.gif


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Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
Rather light a candle than complain about the dark!
Enjoy what you have and hope for what you lack
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Cath Sparrow
post Jun 25 2008, 10:47 AM
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I would say your better with Citizens Advice Bureau for business info the Job Centre's these day are so paired down and reduced to the minimum if they even had the time I doubt they'd have the info to hand anyhow. Or the other option is somewhere like Business Link (think that's a local one but I'm sure they'll have a version in your area) or the Enterprise Council (again not sure if it's a local version)[quote]Citizens Advice Bureau


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Mata
post Jun 25 2008, 12:16 PM
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I'd second that. A job centre will just ask you why you're there if you've already got a job. The CAB might be able to help, or you could just be like me and make it up as you go along. It seemed to work okay.

Keep all your business reciepts, bank statements, and suchlike in a draw together. Don't throw anything away.

Make sure you get those NI payments set up as soon as possible. In the unlikely chance that there will be a pension scheme left in Britain by the time we are allowed to retire (or a country called Britain, or a retirement age before 98) then you don't want to be screwed for missing payments now.

As far as bank accounts go, they're all equally rubbish really. I've had a decent standard of service from Natwest and I can't comment on the others. The thing to look at would be what the business charges will be - you'll have a monthly charge for having a business account (isn't that nice? They hold on to your money and charge you for it. The buggers.). Many banks will give a charge-free period at the beginning of opening new accounts, up to around 18 months. Given that bank charges are around 5 per month, it's a good idea to shop around a bit, and don't be afraid to haggle! Yes, that really does work!


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Smiler
post Jun 25 2008, 01:10 PM
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Well done, bold step, I wish you all the best.

As the guys have said, the CAB's a good bet but perhaps better for initial research is ACAS (http://www.acas.org.uk). They offer free advice for employment relations whether you're an employer or employee. In terms of looking after yourself (rights under law, protection, positions etc) it's very good.

I work for the trade association for the recruitment industry (REC) I sit next to our legal advice team and when non-members call for legal/ HR advice ACAS is always the first direction ther're pointed in. You can find information on all sorts tp do with employment law from contracts (really take care there) to pay & absence to mediation if in dispute. They've got a handy A-Z and plenty of links to other government organisations.

Also Direct.gov is kinda useful (www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/index.htm)


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 25 2008, 03:30 PM
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Mata, do I need to get a business account or can I just get an ordinary current account and keep my 'self employed' income and expenditure in that one?

cath and Smiler, thanks for the advice. I'll have a look at that smile.gif


--------------------
Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
Rather light a candle than complain about the dark!
Enjoy what you have and hope for what you lack
Thoughts become things, choose the good ones[/center]
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Mata
post Jun 26 2008, 12:23 PM
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You don't absolutely need a business account, but it will save you a vast amount of effort at the end of the tax year, as well as making it a lot less likely that your accounts will be inspected. If you choose to use some software to help you fill in your tax form (which is vastly cheaper than having an accountant) then it also makes it a lot easier to work out what goes where.

Like I say, it's not needed, but for about 60 a year in service charges it makes life a lot easier. I think it's worth it.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 26 2008, 12:40 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 26 2008, 01:23 PM) *
You don't absolutely need a business account, but it will save you a vast amount of effort at the end of the tax year, as well as making it a lot less likely that your accounts will be inspected. If you choose to use some software to help you fill in your tax form (which is vastly cheaper than having an accountant) then it also makes it a lot easier to work out what goes where.

Like I say, it's not needed, but for about 60 a year in service charges it makes life a lot easier. I think it's worth it.


Why can't I fill in my own tax form online? Why do I need software?

I haven't decided about the bank account. Why will it make it easier to have a business account? I'm only self employed and they're welcome to inspect my accounts all they like smile.gif Will most business accounts apply if I'm only self employed and not a business like a ltd company, etc.?


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Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
Rather light a candle than complain about the dark!
Enjoy what you have and hope for what you lack
Thoughts become things, choose the good ones[/center]
[center]Carpe diem
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Mata
post Jun 29 2008, 09:35 PM
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The software does loads of the calculations for you, otherwise you have to work those things out yourself. They're perfectly doable, but if you hate forms as much as I do then you'll be glad that there's something else to do it for you!

Why will it make it easier to have a business account? My main one (other than making end of year stuff a huge amount easier) is that I always know how much money my business has earned and has saved. So if I earn money which goes into that account then I spend some on stationary or travel, then I always know how much is in there that belongs to my business, rather than money that is 'mine'. Yes, technically I own it all, but I like to always keep a buffer in there for unexpected expenditure.

It's entirely up to you, but personally I find it very useful to be able to instantly see how my business is doing.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 30 2008, 12:01 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 29 2008, 10:35 PM) *
The software does loads of the calculations for you, otherwise you have to work those things out yourself. They're perfectly doable, but if you hate forms as much as I do then you'll be glad that there's something else to do it for you!

Why will it make it easier to have a business account? My main one (other than making end of year stuff a huge amount easier) is that I always know how much money my business has earned and has saved. So if I earn money which goes into that account then I spend some on stationary or travel, then I always know how much is in there that belongs to my business, rather than money that is 'mine'. Yes, technically I own it all, but I like to always keep a buffer in there for unexpected expenditure.

It's entirely up to you, but personally I find it very useful to be able to instantly see how my business is doing.


Sorry. Should have been clearer. Why do I need a 'business' account as opposed to an ordinary 'current' account? I will have a separate account as I agree it does make it easier to see things at a glance and stop confusion and overspending wink.gif I'm not really operating a business as such, just me, but it's good to have an idea of where I am financially.

I LOVE filling in forms and doing financial things so perhaps the software isn't such an issue. I've had an excel spreadsheet for my income/expenditure since 1999 so I think I'm pretty much savvy with that smile.gif


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Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
Rather light a candle than complain about the dark!
Enjoy what you have and hope for what you lack
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[center]Carpe diem
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Mata
post Jun 30 2008, 12:09 PM
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Hm, that's a good question. I do it because that way I can get customers to write cheques to the business name, if needed, and payments come from a legitimate business on their transaction reports, but that aspect of things wouldn't be important to you.

You sound scarily organised regarding money.


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Pixelgoth
post Jun 30 2008, 04:52 PM
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QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 30 2008, 01:09 PM) *
Hm, that's a good question. I do it because that way I can get customers to write cheques to the business name, if needed, and payments come from a legitimate business on their transaction reports, but that aspect of things wouldn't be important to you.


Yeah, I don't think it applies. I might ask HMRC about it though. I want to be legit smile.gif

QUOTE (Mata @ Jun 30 2008, 01:09 PM) *
You sound scarily organised regarding money.


That's what being an administrator for 13 years does for you! wink.gif


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Hope confidentally, do valiantly, wait patiently!
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