People are quitting their jobs in record numbers. Maybe you’ve heard about this trend, or you noticed it when you were trying to buy a new couch or get somebody to answer the phone at your favorite business. Maybe you recently tendered your own resignation and are thinking of striking out on your own or building a business that feeds your soul and allows you to live the lifestyle you want. Maybe you’ve got some big ideas, plans and dreams.
Do you have a plan for everyday expenses like food and housing, as well as long-term needs like medical insurance?
Yes, but I haven’t acted on it yet.
No, I love my job.
Thought about? I did it!
That’s the next step, and we’re here to help.
Then you're on the path to follow your dreams.
The good news is that now’s a great time to branch out on your own. Abiola Akanni is the wellness entrepreneur and yoga educator behind the IYA platform. She’s been self-employed since 2015 when she realized that her values had changed and her corporate job no longer allowed her to live the lifestyle she wanted and needed. Working as a marketing copywriter and sitting at a desk all day wasn’t good for her body.
“I have scoliosis and sitting all day really exacerbated that,” Akanni says. “My eyes began to swell uncontrollably and I didn’t find out until years later that this was because of a pinched nerve in my back. One time my whole face swelled and I had to go to the ER, but nobody knew what was wrong. I was going back and forth to and from doctors and spending so much money on copays.”
Akanni also suffered a long bout of depression around the same time and found that yoga alleviated all of her symptoms. That’s when she decided she had to quit her job, and strike out on her own.
But when she left her job, what happened to her benefits? Sure, she lost her salary, but she also lost access to the retirement program, the gym membership discount, and her health care insurance. What did she do and what does anyone do when all these perks go away? Here are a few tips.
Akanni wishes she’d been able to set aside more money before she quit her job. She had a hard time supporting herself in those early years, burning through her small savings pretty quickly and getting eviction notices. Furthermore, she was worried she’d get sick and be unable to pay for medical care.
There are state and county organizations that offer grants, training and resources for people who are transitioning to self-employment. She recommends making sure you do some research and take advantage of everything your area has to offer.
Akanni found the Washington Healthplanfinder two or three years into her self-employment. It was a game changer, she says, because it helped her find and pay for health care insurance. Whatever your aspirations are, Washington Healthplanfinder can help you find coverage that can empower you to take that step forward like Akanni.
“It was huge,” she says. “I hadn’t been to the dentist in so long. I hadn’t had my regular checkups. Having health insurance again took a weight off my shoulders. People who are making this transition need to ask for help, to ask for what they need, and take advantage of the resources that Washington state offers.” There is more support than ever to shop, compare and purchase coverage on Washington Healthplanfinder so you can be covered every step of your journey to achieve your dreams.
During the annual open enrollment period which began Nov. 1, anyone in Washington can access Washington Healthplanfinder’s online tools and statewide network of assisters. This support network can help you shop, compare and choose health plans, access federal assistance and enroll in the plan for your way forward. Visit WAHealthplanfinder.org. and sign up by Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2022.
When you’re self-employed, you have to pay your own expenses and taxes that vary by state. Business.wa.gov offers resources and more information.
Is making the jump worth it?
“If you’re mission driven; go for it,” Akanni says. “Now is the time. It’s never been easier than it is now with the internet’s infrastructure to make your vision a reality.”
And that gym membership? Well maybe now, as your own boss and the head of your own human resources department, you should set aside some time in your newly flexible schedule to make wellness a priority. Visit IYA Yoga Journeys to find a nonperformative yoga practice that you can do at home and that’ll be just right for you.
From Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 for coverage beginning Jan. 1, the Exchange’s support network is here to help you shop, compare and choose health plans, access federal assistance and enroll in the plan for your way forward. Visit WAHealthplanfinder.org.
What kind of health benefits would you look forward to if you became your own boss?
More time to exercise
Finding a new hobby that relaxes me
Less sitting at an office desk
Spending more time with friends & family
Health Care Insurance
What other people are saying
25% of employees say their job is the number one stressor in their lives.
(The American Institute of Stress)
In a 2020 Twitter survey, 54% of users said that their mental health is more important to them than it was the previous year.
Are you ready to change career paths?