Work resilience for the self-employed

Planning in advance to deal with potential illness or absence from work can help build resilience.

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Why this matters

For those who are self-employed, not being able to work for any reason can exacerbate stress, especially if yours is the only source of income for your household. Letting down your employees or clients can also add to your stress. If you were not able to do your regular work, having a plan for business continuity can make a big difference.

Explore and reflect

Answer each of the following questions:

  1. What would the effect be on your clients and your reputation if you were unable to do your regular work? What can you do about that?
  2. If you are self-employed or your organization does not provide a benefit plan, how would you continue to pay your bills if you could not work?
  3. What insurance or government benefits are available to you?
  4. How might you generate passive income (income that continues when you are not working)? Consider product sales, rental fees, etc.
  5. What property or possessions could you sell and/or what savings do you have available?
  6. What could wait or be dropped altogether if you are unable to work?
  7. What friends, colleagues or family members could help out or temporarily cover your role if you were unable to work?
  8. Consider who could help you meet commitments or obligations to clients and/or continue to provide for your employees. Individuals, services or other organizations could provide assistance. These could be competitors who offer similar services/ products or temp agencies who provide short term workers.

Your business will likely evolve over time. This means that your needs could change and those who could help you could change. For this reason, set a reminder to review this plan again in one year.

You may have noticed

Stressful thoughts about work can consume much of your time and energy. Recognize that if your work situation changes, you can still thrive. Knowing what to do when change may be unwelcome or unanticipated may help with decreasing this particular stressor.

Learn more about resilience.

Contributors include.articlesMary Ann Baynton


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