|Ready for the next stage in my life|
This is a serious issue, no jokes please?
So I’ve been working in a 9 till half 5 job for just over three years. I do SEO on about 10 websites full time and over the years I’ve got many positions companies pay millions in Adwords for.
The company is now cutting down the size of the IT crowd and I’ve been here for the second longest time. We got Warning of Redundancy letters last Tuesday and will find out who’s going a week tomorrow (23rd).
After working here for three years I know more SEO than a lot of people around the world, all I’ve got to show for it is my experience and a modern apprenticeship & an SVQ in I.T.
The pay is not great I should be on more, but the company is rather cheap – but the work I feel is easy to me now and its only 5 minutes in the car. (I wonder if anyone’s still reading…)
So, the options at the moment are these;
1) Stay here for a while more with an always wondering of more possible redundancy’s and try and get more money from this company.
2) Go to college and do a website development course (a HNC).
|This course covers all of the technologies required for Web development. It will be of particular interest for anyone wishing to pursue a career as a Web or Multimedia author/designer/programmer. Students gain skills in client/server side programming, multimedia authoring, Internet technology, computer graphics and web development. |
But where would I go from here? I never really made a choice to go into SEO it really found me and I love it. Do I start a company? Work for an actual SEO company and ditch this non SEO based one? Go to college and do a development course for the sake of getting a good qualification?
I need help & some light advice mixed with some experience took with a grain of salt!
Cheers guys n gals,
Webmaster dudes n dudettes.
RJ – Glasgow.
Many people have made the transition to freelance web dev or SEO work by leaving their 9-5 but keeping on their old employer as their first client. You're in an especially strong position to do this if they are looking to downsize and you think you might be on the list - give them the best of both worlds.
They continue to benefit from your skills without your overhead as a permie, and you get your independance to bring in new clients.
When you start a new business, there is a painful spell in the beginning where you have lots of time and energy but very, very few clients, which means you have little income. This can be a shock for some who haven't planned for it.
A great solution is to have someone else pay you while you learn & get established. If you keep your day job and start building your business on the side you ease the pain of transition considerably. When your new enterprise has reached the point you're comfortable with the income potential, then you switch over.
> its only 5 minutes in the car
And if you haven't assigned a specific value to that particular gem, it is high time to do so.
If you are good at what you do just make your own sites in your off hours and save the money you make. You don't need a web degree to work for yourself. You just need sites that make money. You could quit your job when you are able to live off the income from your sites and have a savings cushion in case your sites take an unexpected down turn.
No one really needs a college degree in web design to make web sites. In fact, if the college professors really knew how to make great sites they would probably do that instead of teaching since there is a lot more potential income in being a web site owner.
Some people here make a living just knowing a package like Front page.
Amazingly, where I work we are also having a big meeting on the 23rd where management is going to tell us which 1/2 of the work force will get to stay.
If you were in the US I'd think we were at the same place.
The advice above is very good.
I would suggest, rather than do a course, since you know something of SEO, sit down and learn HTML, not hard) and CSS (easy, when the penny drops) then put your own sites together (experimenting with your new skills).
You will then be 'including the plumbing' as you construct the pages.
If you wish (need to), you could then get learning a scripting code (PHP, ASP or whatever), but basically all you need is the HTML (CSS is very useful) to go out on your own.
I think that 'knowing about' SEO is a great advantage for your visitors when you are building new sites.
Keep the job if the opportunity is there and start building your own site(s) to cash in on the affiliate boom or pick up some clients on the side.
Affiliate income is much nicer because after a while you may be able to do nothing for a week, a month or more and still pull in $100, $500, $5,000, $20,000....a month.
If things go well, the next time the company decides to cut jobs you see it as a nice vacation, you've got at least 1X your annual salary in the bank, then you have the time to really dive in and give it 100% and see what you can do for a year or more.
Seems like in lots of companies, "more money" is a raise of 2-10% a year, probably on the lower end for a "cheap" company. If you are a really good SEO or even just ok at SEO but smart about keywords and marketing online, within 2-3 years with some determination and luck you can give yourself a 100%+ raise which is much more than most companies will give you over the course of a few years.
Learning is always important and if you feel you will benefit and significantly improve your skills by taking classes, by all means take them. If you prefer to stick to the job track then degrees and certifications will often help to get jobs and jobs that pay more.
It is a really good feeling when you know you can make enough $$$ to survive, even thrive without having to depend on a job. If you do go solo after a while, just don't forget to account for the additional expense of health insurance, additional taxes the employer may pay and other benefits that cost $$$ that may come with having a job when calculating how much cash it will take to get by.
You will not like my answer!
Several years ago I wouldn't have even shared it with you.
You are the classic case of a person that allowed me to get rich! You are "as fellow Englishmen say" a complete and utter MUG!
I played the role of "Mug" for many years too, so I do appreciate your stand-point a tad.
All I can tell you now, is QUIT!
I'm pretty sure you can do great things, I'm pretty sure you don't like your boss. I only hope that you have a chunk of change in your bank account to fund the experience of you proving your own self-worth :)
Thanks guys for the replys, its really interesting to find out everyones views. I personally think im in a good position I dont have much out going expenses and I can live pretty much rent free for a good six months.
I guess I really am coming up for the next stage of my life...
Thanks guys Ive read this and I will read it a few more times.
RJ, if you've been with the company for some years, and there's any chance of you being made redundant, then (looking solely at the financial point of view) you should not resign.
If they make you redundant, they have to pay you redundancy pay. If you resign, they don't.
I'm sure the Citizens Advice Bureau and similar can advise on whether you'd be entitled to redundancy pay, and how much it should be.
ps: if you do decide to leave, maybe think about voluntary redundancy, as opposed to resignation. Suggest you take advice on this.
Not only can you find business clients on your own
but don't forget the second category of clients.
People like I that run a web dev biz in all aspects but are not really good at SEO or have no real interest in it and do not have a SEO person on board
The above describes quite well my little biz :)
In nutshell I may look for your services and you may ref mine (or others) a win win situation!
Same thing happened to me... except I held out for the "redundancy" but it never came - company went into liquidation and I didn't get jack despite nearly 10 years service...
Ahhh the joys of UK company law!
You know, im just thinking I probably need some kind of business partner that would get clients take care of payments, finance, clients and all that type of stuff and I would be left alone to work with my skills? Cut profit 50/50?
Or is this me back where i started making not making what I think im worth? I think im worth £60K a year. My head aint really right - hence why I stay up at night and can't stop thinking about everything... anything?
This is all just for the benefit of my mind trying decide options I guess, stick with me!
PS. I will find out on tuesday whats going on at my work so I will be able to report back and let you know what next steps I can take I guess.
This calls for a pub lunch. lol.
My understanding is that unless you have a redundancy settlement build into your contract of employment you'll only be entitled to the statutory amount after a qualifying period (generally two years). You are only entitled to redundancy pay if you are aged 20 or over.
You can work out your statutory redundancy entitlement here [aebc.gov.uk]. As you'll see it's nothing to get excited about...
Disclaimer: I am not an employment specialist/expert, so any advice provided here is purely of the garden fence variety. Not being an expert, I'm available for media interviews without a moments notice. :-)
Six months you can live without income or rent to worry about - and you still haven't quit work and started a business?
Wish I could have 6 months free, then I woudn't be sat here at work like a *mug*.
|You can work out your statutory redundancy entitlement here. |
Now, that was really good to know, I guess no redundancy money for me.
So, one of the main things im thinking about is leaving work regardless and building up my sites full time for a few months and then try my hand at college? Just so if all goes belly up ill have something solid (bit of paper?).
The essence of effective capitalism is to pay the employee just enough to establish a lifestyle that will enable the employee to continue working BUT NEVER pay the employee enough that he/she will be able to accumulate (save) sufficient capital to free themselves from the treadmill by launching their own competing venture.
Essentially, pay the employee just enough that they have to keep working for you. In other words, they are essentially broke until the next paycheck comes along.
There was a day when I had an epiphany of sorts. It was the day when I thought to myself "I can stay here and be broke OR I can go out on my own and be broke."
That somewhat altered my perception of the risk. :)
That said, plan wisely: Keep your overhead down, line up your friends who might send you some work, and establish a six month line of credit. (Family first, if they won't loan you the money then either they're broke too or you really are a bad credit risk).
6 months should be enough time to put you on a break even plan, of income versus total living expense.
If 6 months is not enough then you are either spending too much or don't really know how to make a go for yourself or just aren't working hard enough. At least that covers about 91% of the reasons.
Just do it. What's the worst that will happen? You'll have to take another 9-5 job? That's where you are anyways - so dive into the risk pool. :)
>>and establish a six month line of credit
My philosophy was (and is) "if my business plan isn't good enough to support me, I'll get a job that will."
So far so good (12 years of it). I don't make 7 figures, but I'm comfortably into 6 figures and work surprisingly little - most weeks way less than 40 hours. :)