career choice: start own business or employment?
I know, complex issue. I am a mom of two, do some garden design occasionally, give 2 workshops once a year and write the odd article now and then.
Before my kids I worked full time in a small landscape architecture office. After my first kid, I had trouble finding a new job as part time seems to be not very popular here in Switzerland.
I discussed matters with my husband but we hit some dead end somehow.
Right now I feel I need to make a choice.
Plan A: work 4 days a week, probably commuting (1 way about 1.5 hours), hopefully with a reasonable boss. Payment: reasonable, regularly.
Drawback: time spent on commuting+ if one of the kids get sick we are really in trouble, grandparents/relatives too far away, friends working as well.
And sometimes after a bad night (little one teething or some such), I felt that I just couldnt pull through such a job.
and my computer skills are slightly rusty which seemed to put off some future bosses when I applied for a job. But I am positive that I would catch up just working with the present version of the drawing programm.
Plan B: start a business of my own. I have an excellent knowledge of perennials and plants, garden maintenace, pest and diseases. I can do nice garden designs and feel comfortable when dealing with clients/people in general.
no real experience with the commercial side.
Dont have the present CAD-software. I dont think that I should/could compete with larger planning offices who do the "green stuff" around new housing areas or work with architects together.
I think my most important decision is about whether I want to work within my speciality about plants/garden design or just do the regular office work.
ok, money is another angle. With my own business I would make less than half the salary in the beginning.
But big advantage of own business would be, that I could work flexible hours when a kid is sick and I am not packed with new appointments in the starting phase.
about a website:
I thought it would be good to have one, showing some gardens/borders and my "philosphy" or something like that. So people who dont know me at all could get a first impression and see whether they like my style. Hubby says it is unnecessary, pointing out a number of architecture businesses who dont have one. But then those are well established and dont need to make this effort, (I think).
And I could develop small packets of garden consulting. I did a consulting just last week, with new home owners who hardly have money to have it all built at once, and are glad to get advice about order of steps, details on material, and so on. And my knowledge was wide enough to answer any of their questions on the spot, about mowing, hedges, choice of hedge plant, perennials in general...
Thanks for your thoughts, I am drawing up a complete pro/contra-list as another step to make up my mind.
Well then, bye, Lin