Time to go it alone

I was up and at the Job Centre by nine o’clock this morning as I had an appointment with a personal adviser from TCHC (The Consultancy Home Counties). TCHC is a private company working for the Government to assist people facing Redundancy or Unemployed. For those, who like me, are Unemployed they offer funding and training to help you gain employment or become self-employed.

Since my ESA (Employment and Support Allowance) was stopped I have thought very hard about my future and employment situation. I have been Ill Health Retired from two of the largest Civil Service organisations in the UK, Royal Mail after 13 and a half years and HM Prison Service after 3 years. With this in mind, the amount of time off (from surgery) I have had and an unpredictable future any prospective employer wouldn’t want to touch me with a barge pole, and from an employer’s point of view who can blame them. My previous experience has also shown that the ‘positive about disabled people’, two ticks disability symbol, is not worth the paper it’s printed on. I’m highly unlikely to be able get a job so for me there was no other option than to take the bull by the horns and take control of the situation.

I’ve decided I’m going to start my own business and this is what I discussed with my personal adviser today. The next step is to do their two day ‘Introduction to Enterprise’ course and then move on to the more in-depth ‘Practical Skills for Business’ start up course, which is spread over eight days. Because of the current situation with the stump I have been advised by the Job Centre to reapply for ESA again. Even if I’m successful with this claim I can still go through the courses, do my business plan, get everything organised and be ready to start. This will work in may favour and in fact I would probably be able to start working sooner than if I was trying to get a job, or working for an employer, as I can work from home. I will have to learn a new skill and I’m trying to get funding to for the short course I need. I’m confident I can pick it up really quickly and although the whole set up process is going to take some time I’m really enthusiastic about it. I’m looking forward to the challenge of it all, I’ll be doing something I really enjoy and I can’t wait to get started.


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