Friday, 14 July 2017

First Flight at the Jobcentre

I was reading a story about a 116 year old man who flew for the first time in his life to visit his family in New York.

I remember my first flight - I must have been about 8 or 9 years old and flew on my own from Manchester to Hamburg to meet my father and join him for the coastal voyage around Europe on his ship for a couple of weeks before returning home with him. 

My mother said goodbye to me at passport control, where an air hostess took charge of me. I don't believe they have the staff to do that these days.  I believe it was a BEA DC3, although I could be mistaken on that.

How old were you when you first flew?

Being redundant and now setting myself up for working for myself, I signed on at the local Jobcentre yesterday until such time as I'm generating some income, which hopefully won't be more than 3 months away.

Being the age I am (62), they wanted to know all about my pensions - what I'm getting now and what will mature in the next 3 years. Having had a large number of jobs over the years, I have some 8 or 9 different pensions, which required half an hour of photocopying on the part of the Jobcentre clerk. I was pleasantly surprised to discover one of my pensions becomes payable next year, but even combined they're hardly worth anything - wish I'd put the money into bricks and mortar.

In order to qualify for the Self Enterprise Allowance I have to attend a 3 hour workshop next Friday in Bristol, which I'm not looking forward to, as I know exactly what I'm doing and have been doing it for half my life, but for myself now. A bit of advice on the tax implications of being a sole trader (what expenditure can be offset against tax) would be welcome though, as I'm a complete neophyte where that's concerned. £62 a week isn't to be sniffed at though while I'm getting the business up and running.

My trip to Holland last Tuesday will hopefully eventually convert into my first customer, as all the signs were good and the feedback excellent. Not a massive contract by any means, but a start. The main problem I face is the long decision period, in my line of business, between offer, acceptance and revenue, although the returns can be phenomenal if you put the hours into finding customers.

I'm working for an old friend, but on commission only in a new market area that I know well, so it's a risk, but one worth taking, especially at age 62. The main concern is paying off the final instalments on the mortgage, which has another year to run. Once that's cleared, we're immediately £1,600 a month better off.

When I look around me, it's surprising how many of my friends and neighbours are sole traders. Time to have a chat with them.

1 comment:

  1. My first flight wascehen I was 22 from East Midlands to Glasgow in 1975. I wish you well in your sole venture. I have been made redundant 4 times, I am an engineer, but I have only been out of work for a week in total so I have been lucky.