Self-employment can be a fulfilling choice

Employment specialist with the YMCA of the Okanagan provides advice for job seekers

Dear Wanda,

I have been jumping from job to job trying to find my niche for over 10 years. As an employee, I am a hard worker, I get along with people and get the job done, but I never feel fulfilled. Employers often tell me to tone down my ideas or they remind me that I am not the boss.

After the loss of my most recent job, I am realizing that being my own boss could be the answer to some of my issues. I do have some savings and a couple of business ideas that I have been contemplating for a few years, but I am in the dark about how to move forward. I must admit I am afraid to take a risk with a new business in this economy. Any insight would be helpful.

The Boss



Dear Boss,

October is Small Business Month, good timing. (Watch for community events and information on self-employment). The restlessness you describe in your employment history is a common indicator that self-employment is worth looking into, but not every unfulfilled employee is an entrepreneur in the making.

Do you truly have what it takes to wear the many hats of a small business owner, let alone purchase the materials, design the hats, sew them all together and sell them too.

Self-employment can be an exciting and fulfilling career choice for the motivated, hard-working and well-suited individual and entrepreneurship is on the rise.

According to the Guide to the B.C. Economy and Labour Market, almost one in five people in B.C. are self-employed as of 2008 ( Start building your network by getting out of the house and chatting with successful small business owners in your area. Find out how they got started, the hours they are putting in and when they started making a profit.

A healthy fear of self-employment is a good regulator that will promote caution and keep you on your toes. Lower the risk further by keeping up a traditional job search while you gather information. Now you can pat yourself on the back for creative career thinking, and remember Boss, asking for guidance ought to keep you from dancing in the dark.

Visit the following websites for information on self-employment: Community Futures Okanagan-Similkameen (, Small Business B.C. (, B.C. Chamber of Commerce ( and Women’s Enterprise Centre ( for up-to-date information and talk to an employment specialist who can assist you with suitability for self-employment as well as information on available training and funding opportunities.

If you have a question for Wanda Kareers email her at with Wanda Kareers in the subject line.




This Wanda Kareers column was written by Gali Reardigan, employment specialist with the YMCA of the Okanagan. If you are looking for job search help, contact one of the Y’s WorkBC Centres in the South Okanagan. Call us toll free at 1-855-770-5627 or visit our website at