Thursday, November 12, 2009

Paid time off

I've worked my last afternoon at work, accepted my leaving card and gift voucher, spent a couple of hours sitting in a pub listening to my erstwhile colleagues talk about things that are now a big old heap of Not My Problem, and now I am on paid holiday time for just over two weeks while I wait for my contract end date and my P45.

Today, at about the time I would otherwise have been getting ready for work, I turned the heating on. When I would have been getting into my taxi, I went upstairs and put some nice essential oils onto an aromatherapy diffuser. Then I ran a bath (big thank you to Steve who scrubbed the tub just for this), added half a bottle of bubbles, put on a CD of meditation music, and settled down for an hour's soak that, technically, I was being paid for. Bliss.

Of course there's only so much time you can spend gazing at the bathroom ceiling, so as per the advice given on previous posts, I also contacted Business Link to find out what they could offer someone in my position. I think this was a good move. I now have a name for the type of work I'll be doing - Virtual Assistant - which is much easier than "doing admin and officey stuff from home for people who need things doing but don't have the resources for a full-time on-site admin assistant". I'm being sent an information pack about that sort of work; in the meantime my details have been passed to a much more local Business Development Agency who are affiliated with Business Link and should be able to provide more specific support. Above all, they will help me write up a Business Plan, and with a Business Plan, I can get support from Access to Work as a self-employed person, and that opens up all sorts of possibilities.

I'm scared as hell, but apart from that I'm feeling really very positive about the whole thing.

Meanwhile I just keep listing in my head all the things that I don't have to worry about any more. I'll hopefully stop having nightmares where stacks of CDs fall on top of me. I can grow my fingernails, and paint them, without them getting broken and chipped on tape dispensers and dodgy shelving. I'll hopefully be in a lot less pain. I'll be in charge of whether or not I have music on, and if so, what sort of music, and at what volume. It's going to be great.


cogidubnus said...

Brave decision as ever...good luck!

Flexible New Deal said...

Good luck with it :)

My local one (EEDA) are useless, I applied for a grant called Proof of Concept.

It is the biggest scam (apart from New Deal of course!) as my intentions like itemised was to spend approx almost 3/4 of the money on a test marketing/trading activity... i.e. proof that the business would work or not.

In fact, it was solely intended to be spent on Accountants, solicitors and professional consultancies etc. already trading and not actually helping any new startups like it was intended to.

Why would I use the whole grant on an accountant, consultancy and paying some market research company to see if there is a market?... this is after I have done extensive market research as in the business plan!

Hope your experience is much better :)

Mary said...

I'm hoping that won't affect me because I'm not after money, loans or grants for my business. In fact it still makes me squirm to think of myself as a business.

I only need a business plan because it is a prerequisite of applying for help from Access to Work - which is for help with the additional costs of working as a disabled person, but very specifically NOT business costs.

I just want to keep my NI contributions record intact to make sure I'll be eligible for benefit if my world turns upside down - for instance if Steve leaves me, or if I am in an accident and acquire additional impairments. I can't currently earn enough as a PAYE employee to do that.