I’ve worked for myself for a great many years. During that time I’ve done a handful of longer projects for different groups. It’s always complicated to estimate timing and rates and the like, but I also value the control of my schedule that comes from running my own show.
I know many other people are interested in independent consulting, so Sarah and I devoted this episode of Best of Both Worlds to the topic. Our guest, Amy Rasdal, helps women in particular get independent consulting practices started through her company, Billable with Baby.
Now, long-time readers might wonder about this name and framing. When we were first talking with Rasdal, I almost nixed this one entirely because it is a personal pet peeve of mine that some people think if you work for yourself you don’t need childcare. And some of the Billable with Baby literature does talk about “staying home with your baby” while still earning good money. However, after discussing this with Rasdal, we learned that by “staying home” she just means “working remotely” — which is the phrase she recommends, and that she stresses that people do need childcare, and need to be even more professional when they no longer have a big company name on their business card.
We thought she had a lot of good tips on approaching your previous employer and other people you’ve worked with. She also offered practical numbers on what you should charge. I would note that you should feel free to ask for much more than the number she mentions, but if you’re just starting out, no one will blink at this very common rate.
So please give this episode a listen! In the question section, we address an intriguing scenario: A women Sarah and I both know has a rather envy-inducing plan for summer childcare. Her kids are going to visit one set of grandparents for two weeks (and we think another set for another big chunk of time too). If she has no kids for a few weeks, how should she use this time? I’d love to hear people’s suggestions for what they’d do if they were still going to work for their normal work hours but didn’t have offspring around for the rest of their time.