It’s the beginning of a new financial year and as an independent support worker, a good time to take stock. Working for yourself supporting multiple clients can mean that you’re too busy to stop and make sure you’re taking care of your business, and yourself. As we mark the end of the last financial year, here are seven ways you can do just that.
1. Think about what you need to do for tax time
As you’re working independently, you will have received from Mable a statement of your earnings from the last financial year. While you have until October 31 to complete your tax return, there’s no time like the present to start thinking about the things you need to do!
We recently posted a couple of articles on the Mable blog to help you get started. Check out this post about why wrapping up the end of financial year is important and six online resources that will help you when it comes to tax time.
2. Make sure all your compliance requirements are up to date!
As part of your onboarding process with Mable, you would have provided mandatory certifications and relevant qualifications. One of the many benefits of using the Mable platform is that it monitors expiry of your Police Check, Working with Children Check, Nurses Registration, and certain relevant certifications. That means we’ll remind you when it’s time to update your checks and paperwork or inform you if any new requirements are introduced by relevant government authorities.
Even so, now is a good time to review all of your certifications and note in your calendar when they’re due to expire. Being clear about deadlines means that if there’s any cost associated with renewal, you can anticipate and budget accordingly.
3. Think about your professional development goals
We recently posted an article about how to update your skills while working as an independent support worker. One of the great things about choosing when you work is that you can set your schedule around any study requirements. Consider whether you have developed a particular area of interest in your work over the past year? Even taking a short course or completing an online qualification in a specialty area like dementia care or support for kids with autism can dramatically increase your chances of finding rewarding work with the right clients.
Plus, the more skills you have, the more clients you’ll be able to work with – and the more choice you will have about which jobs you’ll take.
4. Make sure you’re up to date on industry changes impacting you
Being a member of the Mable community means that we keep you updated on industry changes impacting you. Changes like the Fair Work Commission’s recent annual wage review, which resulted in an increase to minimum wages. Independent workers offering services via the Mable platform are subject to a minimum rate – that means you cannot enter an indicative rate or agree to an actual rate below $24.00 per hour for active sessions (an increase from our previous minimum allowable rate of $23.50). The change to minimum rates on the platform takes into account current market conditions and is designed to ensure you are paid at an appropriate level when negotiating and entering into agreements with clients via Mable.
The NDIA has also increased the prices for the support you provide to clients who access the scheme. If you are supporting clients on the NDIS, you can review the NDIA’s National Price guide to see new rates under the scheme.
If you’re new to Mable, or have expanded your service offering and not sure what to charge, read our advice about setting your indicative rates on Mable.
5. Build your professional networks
If you’ve been providing services directly to clients via the platform for some time, you will understand the importance of Mable platform buddies. Having a network of like-minded support worker buddies on hand can provide you with the help you need when you’re unwell, are having trouble juggling last-minute client requests or would like to take a holiday.
But that’s not the only benefit. There are lots of reasons why attending an independent worker meetup, or networking with your peers is good for your business – from sharing information and advice to finding new client contacts. And you don’t have to wait for us to host one in your area. Make sure you’re a member of the closed Mable Independent Support worker Facebook group, where you can reach out to other professionals in your area and host your own!
6. Refresh your Mable profile
If you haven’t looked at in a while, but you’re still actively looking for new clients, now might be a good time to refresh your Mable profile. Have a read of our recent piece on why your personal brand is so important for ideas and inspiration! Remember – it’s also important that you regularly keep your availability up to date so we’re sending you the right job opportunities when they come up.
7. Incorporate self-care into your schedule
As you know, support work is a vocation that can be incredibly rewarding, but is not without its stressors. And if you’re building a business, it can be easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everything, and not leaving any time for your own self-care. While we believe that the flexibility and choice that working independently provides has the potential to reduce stress, it’s important that you’re proactive about setting goals that put your health first.
It can be as small as pledging to eat healthier during the week, a five minute morning meditation or half an hour a few times a week for some exercise. Take the opportunity of the new financial year to think about what would make you happy, and how you can make it happen.
Not sure whether you’re ready to sign up now as an independent support worker? Here are five signs you’re ready to work for yourself!