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5 straightforward ways to go from employed to self-employed..getty
If you’re considering taking the leap from employment to self-employment, you’ll feel a mix of excitement and uncertainly. Starting a new business from scratch is a scary prospect for many, holding various unknowns. A better way is to make a plan based on your current situation. Start where you are and use what you have, for a smoother, less daunting way of making the transition.
Here are five straightforward ways of going from employed to self-employed.
Do your existing role as a freelancer
One option is to do the role you currently do, for the same company, but on a freelance rather than employed basis. Perhaps you base the contract on a specific number of days per month or, even better, a specific set of outcomes.
What matters to your existing employer is not the number of hours you do, it’s the output or results you produce and the quality of your work. If you know your job takes you less than 40 hours per week, see if you can turn your employment into a contract instead. Not only will this free up your time to find other clients, it means you can make better use of your time and achieve more with less.
Cutting out the mundane aspects of employment can be efficient and more enjoyable. Saying no to team-wide meetings, performance reviews and appraisals and needing to clock in and out at a certain time might be the flexibility you’re looking for. This baby step could lead to giant leaps and new opportunities opening elsewhere. If you approach the conversation in the right way, your employer will understand the benefits of not having you as a member of staff.
Join freelance marketplaces
Assuming you want to stick within your current field, you could join freelance marketplaces where you build a client base from inbound leads. People Per Hour, Fiverr, Upwork, 99Designs and many others allow you to list yourself and your skills and secure project-based or ongoing work.
Particularly effective for roles including designers and writers, this approach involves you backing yourself to win clients and putting the work in to create an impressive profile, complete with work examples and references. Once that’s done, it could be an abundant resource of future clients. Securing the first few will lead to reviews on the platform, attracting more people to make enquiries.
Whatever your skills, whatever your industry, there are companies and individuals looking for them. Put yourself out there to make sure they find you. Set up your profiles without handing in your notice, then make the transition to self-employment as your workload dictates.
Work as an associate of other self-employed people
Want to do the work but not the business development? Rather than focusing on finding clients for yourself, create relationships with people doing the same work who may have too much to handle. Busy service providers only have so many hours in each week, and they may be happy to pass you clients on a white label basis, or for a finder’s fee.
See collaborators, not competition. Someone doing exactly what you want to do could be your biggest source of income if you get in with them at the right time. Don’t be afraid to ask the question; you never know where it might lead.
Seasoned self-employed professionals are often looking for ways they can make more money and impact without simply working more. Be confident that your proposal is a win-win situation and be exceptional in every interaction with them. They will be looking at you through the eyes of their clients, so be sure to impress.
Become a contractor for other companies
As well as asking your current employer if you could contract for them, make a shortlist of similar companies you could also approach. Graphic designers, for example, could receive regular work from multiple agencies. Same with telesales professionals, business development, HR and legal experts.
Having a range of companies who know your style and pass you work will mean your weeks are varied and flexible. It gives you freedom over your time and freedom over which gigs you accept.
Start with small projects and build up. Enquire about overflow and see if you can lend a hand, then prove yourself and win bigger commissions. Trusted suppliers are worth their weight in gold, and being the favourite contractor of all your clients will mean the work keeps flowing.
Know your ideal client mix before you begin. One day a week for five separate clients or less regular work with more? Perhaps something in the middle? Collect recommendation and keep meeting new companies until you have the ideal amount of work for your revenue and lifestyle goals.
Create a membership or retainer offering
Could what you do take the form of a membership? Imagine a legal advisor starting a $99 club, where businesses can have ad hoc advice in return for a small monthly retainer. As well as taking their calls, you send out helpful summaries and pre-empt problems that may occur. How many clients could you serve and how much value could you have?
This business model could work well for multiple areas of work. Human resources, accountancy, graphic design, research and intelligence. Mind map your membership club and what members receive, then run it by some prospects and see what they think.
Set your revenue goals and work backwards from there, to ascertain the members required and the monthly fee. Aim to add 10x value so the cost to subscribers is a no brainer. Think about what you could throw in. Think about the benefits your clients will access, being part of your club. Ask your current employer and ask your existing clients. Having access to your wisdom on a regular basis might be exactly what they need.
Five ways to go from employment to self-employment without starting from scratch, so you can take the first step right now. If you’re still not sure, think about the worst-case scenario, and what you’d do should it come true. It’s very likely that, as long as you don’t burn any bridges, you could still go back, in which case there’s no reason not to try. Could one of these options be the one you’ve been looking for?
How you design your IT house can be as important as how architects design physical homes...getty
Where you decide to run your applications is as important as what you run. What does your workload placement strategy look like? Home architects are very careful about their design choices. Many of their decisions, such as the best locations for load-bearing walls, support beams and other infrastructure, have long-term consequences.
Where do they put windows and skylights will deliver optimal sunlight? How do they situate bedrooms and bathrooms? What is the right density of wood, concrete and other materials required to construct safe walls, roofs and floors? Those are just the broad strokes; architects plan thousands of minor details as well, often well before raw materials are purchased.
Like their home-building counterparts, IT systems architects carefully design technology systems. Which is why workload placement has emerged as a critical strategy for governing what applications and other resources run where.
IT has grown more complex, thanks to a proliferation of environments comprised of public and private clouds, on-premises infrastructure and edge devices. IT leaders who placed assets in these locations have constructed a multicloud house without planning for the long-term impact on their organization.
For example, while it may have initially made sense to build a key business application in a certain IT environment, perhaps performance began to lag as usage grew. Maybe the goalposts for security and compliance shifted, forcing you to rethink your choice.
Whatever architectural concerns arise, where you decide to put what in your IT house can be as important as how architects design physical homes. CIOs are thinking about this a great deal, as 92% of 233 IT decision makers Dell surveyed said that they have a formal strategy for deciding where to place workloads. Half of those executed this strategy in the past year.
The public cloud grew rapidly, as engineers learned how easily it enabled them to launch and test new applications. Soon IT teams notched quick wins, including flexibility as they lifted and shifted existing business applications to the cloud.
Then came the overcorrection. Emboldened by the prospect of saving money while fostering greater agility as they innovated, many CIOs declared a “cloud-first” strategy. Those who were initially more measured in their adoption of cloud technology saw their colleagues migrate their entire IT estate and followed suit.
As workloads got more complex it turned out that the public cloud-first stance was not always the best fit for the business. Hasty decisions had unanticipated ramifications, either in the form of escalating costs or failed migrations.
The reasons: Workloads are unique. Each application has its own set of business requirements and benefits. Just as the home architect must carefully weigh each design choice, CIOs must be intentional about where they put their software assets.
Variations on a multicloud
Let’s consider some examples where the right workload is tied to a business outcome. Cloud environments—public or private—make sense where you get huge bursts of data traffic. Cloud technologies enable you to quickly spin up compute resources and dial them down as requirements subside.
Retail ecommerce is a classic example. For brands selling clothing, footwear and other merchandise, holiday seasonality drives peaks and valleys to web and mobile sales. Large traffic spikes in October or November through Christmas subside, then stabilize.
Or think of a digital crossword puzzle published every weekend. With most people completing these on the weekend, traffic bursts Saturday and Sunday before slowing over the remaining 5 days.
For such use cases, a public cloud that provides massive scalability may yield the desired business outcome.
Conversely, so-called “steady state” use cases—in which applications’ compute needs fluctuate little if at all—often run better on-premises, either in traditional IT infrastructure or in a private cloud. Thousands of these applications run without much deviation across business lines.
Think traditional general ledger software in ERPs. Travel and expense utilities. Software that governs data backups. Applications, such as those that monitor anomalous network traffic, often run locally for security reasons.
Other applications with disparate patterns and needs are emerging. Applications requiring minimal latency—think Internet of Things software—are moving to the edge for faster processing and cost efficacy.
In Dell’s survey, 72% of IT decision makers said performance guided their decisions to place workload, followed by data protection and security at 63% and 58%, respectively. Venues include public clouds, data centers, colocation facilities and edge environments.
Workload types vary, but 39% of respondents said they had placed data protection workloads while 35% each said they had placed ERP and CRM systems.
Diverse workloads require fungible infrastructure
There are no absolutes in determining workload placement. Well, not in the way many IT leaders think. Every software asset will have different requirements, which will influence where you decide to place them.
Just as an architect decides how to situate walls, beams, rooms and other physical infrastructure, where an IT architect places assets matters. The wrong choices can have negative consequences.
These decisions aren’t easy nor should they be made lightly, as the ramifications of poor asset placement can impact your bottom line, make your business more vulnerable or prompt you to run afoul of compliance mandates.
All diverse workloads require a flexible infrastructure that enables enterprises to move their applications and other workloads to move seamlessly across clouds, on-premises and edge venues, based on their business requirements.
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Assessing and updating workhorse mainframes for the digital era isn’t a straight-through process. Here’s our guidance on how to move forward and reap rapid returns say T S Lakshmi Narasimhan and Niranjan Kulkarni, Cognizant Application Modernization Architects.
Part 1 of this series revealed how and why concerns around operating cost, skill sets and time required for new releases are prompting organizations to reevaluate the venerable mainframe platform against more digital-first compute environments. There are many reasons that businesses have decided to clutch long and hard to the mainframe and its many advantages.
These include a relatively low total cost of ownership for large enterprises with a significant number of users and transactional workloads; robustness, reliability and security built from many years of fine-tuning; and the complexity of business-critical applications.
Most of our midsize and large clients opt for this path, understanding that retention brings its own set of challenges amid today’s digital-first mandate. These include how to modernize monolithic, difficult-to-change legacy applications, usually with their data locked in silos, and increase speed of delivery. Companies must be willing to add open application programming interfaces (APIs) and integrated DevOps processes, and to selectively re-platform applications.
There are also skills shortages that will only worsen as proprietary applications continue to age. Irrespective of this, there is also a need to maintain legacy applications and continuously adapt them to digital shifts that put customer experience at the very center of the organization. Application teams must be willing to adopt cloud-native, hybrid application development models that will ease the skills shortage in the longer run.
Going forward, the mainframe platform will retain its value and long-term viability as these business modernize IT service delivery for the digital era. But achieving this requires enterprise-wide leadership and commitment to an adaptation process.
Tackling the problem
The updating process begins with an assessment of the company’s mainframe portfolio. This extensive phase comprises both quantitative (questionnaires, bug logs, etc.) and qualitative (stakeholder interviews, workshops, etc.) input. Mainframe applications are assessed for their potential alignment with digital; their flexibility and agility; and ways in which they are underperforming or failing to serve the business. Operating costs around mainframe infrastructure, maintenance and complexity are noted.
The assessment culminates in an analysis of the mainframe’s architecture and app integration; the company’s technology stack and infrastructure; the company’s code and data; nonfunctional requirements; pain areas and needs; and its digital/tools infrastructure.
With the analysis complete, needs and weaknesses are prioritized, culminating in a series of recommendations (from either a third party or the internal group spearheading the project), a roadmap to achieve goals, and cost estimates. There are two primary modes of updating:
1. In-platform modernization.
This enables mainframe applications, data and processes to participate in the digital ecosystem. It is accomplished through services such as
“APIzation” (that is, the concept wherein multiple applications, both internal and external, can interact with and obtain data from one another based on an agreed-on set of inputs/outputs)
User interface modernization
“DevOpsification” that automates the software delivery lifecycle process, bringing in process agility
Technology stack standardization using accelerators like language conversion tools
This entails re-platforming and re-architecting qualified workloads and applications, potentially into the cloud. Solutions include services such as re-hosting, rewriting, a hybrid of the two, and replacing. Of these options, the best fit is selected based on the assessment outcome. We have a set of our own accelerators, built over time through our work with clients, to accomplish seamless implementation of both in-platform and re-platform modernization.
Typically, large mainframe organizations will adopt a combination of these options, with the key factor being a given application’s strategic value to the business. The approach outlined above essentially involves transforming the traditional mainframe into a digital mainframe.
We advise clients to use this approach primarily to protect their investment in mainframe assets and reuse, both across the enterprise and with partners. Additional drivers could be simplifying the overall mainframe estate; eliminating disappearing technologies and skills (Assembly language, for example); and of course improving agility.
Off-platform modernization, by contrast — that is, migrating a workload from the mainframe to a distributed environment, whether on premise or in the cloud — is typically aimed at reducing operating expenses; aligning with a larger enterprise cloud strategy; eliminating risks related to the aging mainframe workforce; and moving to a cloud-based pay-by-use mode.
Modernizing to increase agility
In one engagement, we worked with the world’s largest package delivery company with a legacy IT portfolio (think mainframe, IBM’s Virtual Storage Access Method, Sun’s J2EE, SQL Server, and so on) that was used to support online users for tracking or changing delivery instructions, with strict service-level agreements (SLAs) in place to propagate instructions to other systems.
With the influx of mobile channels for customers to convey and manage delivery instructions, this legacy process became cost-prohibitive to scale — and was deemed too rigid for the digital-first age.
The client sought to adapt the systems that its customers use to view the status of shipments and provide alternate delivery instructions. The goal: develop an IT strategy to modernize the app portfolio to newer, digital platforms — all built atop an architecture that provided greater agility in anticipation of the future’s inevitable (but nearly impossible to anticipate in detail) changes.
In the assessment phase, we workshopped and analyzed client data to gain an understanding of the existing product and application portfolio. In collaboration with the customer, we envisioned a future architecture that retained the legacy system’s capability and strength in operationalizing the delivery instructions well within SLAs, but decoupled systems of engagement (that is, customer-facing interfaces) and defined them on modern digital and agile platforms. Deliverables included a strategy and roadmap.
We helped the client team demonstrate that it can save $50 million in cumulative spend over three years, for a transformation investment of $12.5 million. The project was approved by senior management and is underway.
Moving to the cloud
Often, organizations seek to shift to the cloud for a complex blend of strategic, operational and cost reasons. This was the case for a leading telecom provider in the US. This client sought to move its existing ordering application from the mainframe to a Java microservices-based architecture hosted on AWS. This was one component of a larger strategic initiative to generally improve the IT infrastructure and move legacy applications to modernized platforms.
Beginning with the assessment phase discussed above, we gathered data on business and technical requirements. We also extracted the client’s business rules. This allowed the client to split the application portfolio into individual functionalities, then migrate them using a phased approach.
With data migration also a key concern for the client, we designed and implemented an approach to migrate data from DB2 to Apache Cassandra (an open-source distributed database) while ensuring that any data updates in Cassandra were available in DB2 until the applications were fully migrated.
Throughout the engagement, for each functionality that was moved off the mainframe, we designed and created new interfaces to ensure a smooth handshake between the new world and the prior mainframe functions. After the project is complete, the client expects the following results:
A complexity reduction of approximately 30%
Alignment with the overall enterprise cloud strategy
Niranjan is a Mainframe Modernization Architect with over 18 years of relevant experience in delivering IBM Mainframe & Legacy modernization projects. He has significant experience in stakeholder management and has worked on a range of business processes and models across banking & financials, healthcare, manufacturing and insurance industries. He can be reached at Niranjan.email@example.com
(Bloomberg) – Rooms at the Fairmont Royal Pavilion, located on Barbados’ platinum beaches, can cost more than $ 1,000 a night. In the morning, you can enjoy the catamaran snorkeling cruise and return ashore in time for afternoon tea.
For some Houlihan Lokey Inc. employees, this offer is now on the table: a five-night stay at this Caribbean haven, with money from the investment bank, as a reward for a year of record earnings. The offer is also a subtle plea to the company’s younger employees: please don’t quit.
That last phrase echoes across Wall Street, where turnover and burnout rates among young workers are accelerating. Banks have tried to turn the tide with raises, bonuses, vacations, and even free sports equipment. For all that, being a young banker in America has never been more lucrative.
However, the problem is that it has also never been more lucrative for aspiring workers to work outside the golden world of finance, as the gap between banks and other employers such as technology companies has narrowed.
“In terms of making money, is this the best time to be a banker? Sure, ”says executive recruiter Dan Miller of True Search. “Now, in terms of lifestyle, is this a terrible time? Absolutely”.
A presentation prepared by 13 first-year analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. earlier this year prompted a reckoning on Wall Street after it highlighted the working conditions of junior bankers – some of them working 100 hours a day. the week while his physical activities and mental health suffered. Goldman responded by cutting weekend hours and promising to increase staff at its busiest businesses.
Earlier this year, a presentation prepared by 13 first-year analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. prompted a reckoning on Wall Street after it highlighted working conditions for junior bankers – some of them working hundreds of hours a day. the week as his physical activities and mental health suffered. Goldman responded by cutting weekend hours and promising to increase staff at its busiest businesses.
However, some industry veterans have made harsh statements against those who complain about the workload. Cantor Fitzgerald’s Howard Lutnick suggested that some of the young workers considering leaving finance may simply not be ready for it. “Those young bankers who decide they are working too hard, choose another way of life,” he told Bloomberg TV earlier this month.
Furthermore, the exhausting workload of bank analysts has continued and, in some cases, worsened. When COVID-19 took over the nation last year, the “work hard, play hard” mantra became “work hard, sit on your couch,” all while the economy accelerated and deals proliferated.
Frustrated and overworked, many of them turned to the anonymous ex-banker behind the popular “Litquidity” financial meme account for support. In an interview, he said he was inundated with messages on Twitter and Instagram from young industry colleagues feeling fed up and weighing whether the work was worth it.
Lit, as he calls himself, was at the time a senior associate in investment banking and knew very well what they were going through. He too felt exhausted and stressed, and at one point he went to see a doctor to have his heart palpitations checked.
“Do you know the feeling when your stomach just sinks in? I felt it in my heart, “he said by phone from New York’s Central Park. The doctor concluded that his symptom was probably related to stress. Last winter, Lit quit her job to focus on growing the Litquidity brand and writing a daily newsletter. He says he is also working to launch a venture capital fund.
It is not only in finance where workers are becoming more demanding, a similar scenario that occurs throughout the country. Companies from McDonald’s Corp. to country clubs in Nashville, Tennessee, have raised wages and offered hiring bonuses to attract new workers. From March to May, the rate of American workers who voluntarily quit their jobs rose to its highest level in at least two decades. In Washington, lawmakers are arguing about raising the minimum wage to $ 15 an hour.
Of course, the isolated world of finance and some other professional services operate on a significantly higher plane in terms of pay. Last month, dozens of the nation’s top law firms raised first-year salaries to $ 202,500, roughly a couple thousand. They also offer multiple annual bonuses and additional time off as they struggle to retain talent and their workers face burnout.
Miller, who co-leads True Search’s financial services practice, says today’s young bankers have far more options than their peers previously had. Banks and consulting firms have long been a source of recruiting for private equity and, more recently, venture capital, technology, and fintech. These days, with many of those industries hiring at a record rate, many young bankers no longer have to hold out for two years. They can leave earlier or skip the stay in finance altogether.
Some bank bosses have promised to ease the pressure. After the junior analysts’ presentation, Goldman CEO David Solomon promised to better enforce the rule that they should have Saturdays off. But the sentiments carved in stone in banking culture for decades do not change easily. Additionally, Lit noted that Goldman’s policy of not working on Saturdays has been in effect since 2013.
“There has to be a way to make it stick,” he said. “What’s the use of earning half a million if you work 20 hours a day?