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Self-Employ to Get Employed

When I endured a layoff a few years back, one of the first things I did was incorporate. More precisely, I formed an LLC, something I'd been meaning to try for years and that helped me pursue some nice consulting contracts. I learned a lot about conducting business for myself, I gained some great experience and forged some fine new connections, and I ultimately ended up back in the full-time workforce a more valuable employee than I left it.

In "Show You Mean Business by Starting Your Own," Debra Donston-Miller talks to senior professionals who successfully navigated entrepreneurship to land a job. Like me, these executives pursued self-employment with an eye toward a full-time job employment. They recommended consulting and self-employment as a means to maintain skills, stay in front of clients, avoid gaps on your resume and pay the bills.

Marketing pro Diane Hansen told Donston-Miller she'd been advised after a layoff that "freelancing is the best thing you can do because business doesn't stop just because you are not working.

"Everything is continuously changing, especially in marketing and PR. By freelancing, I was able to keep my skills sharp, and that really helps."

Hansen said her business provided new networking opportunities and eventually a full-time position as a marketing and communications manager for Getaway Media. "I certainly wouldn't have a position now that sustains me if I hadn't freelanced," she said. "It's a nontraditional way to find a job, but it found me the right job -- the job that was right for me."

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