Introductory Road Map to Become Self-Employed in IT

How to securely make the leap of faith from employee to self-employed professional
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  • Lectures 23
  • Length 1.5 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 3/2015 English

Course Description

Have you ever thought about how amazing it would be not to have to wake up Monday morning and look forward to another 8-10 hours of working for someone else?

Do you ever see people in your organization virtually do the same thing as you, but work independently as a contractor?

I want to empower you to overcome the fears of staying in the comfortable clutches of being an employee, and confidently make the leap to the IT contracting world.

I know what it is like to go into work day in, day out, with a sense of security only as strong as the next re-org. I know what’s like to loathe doing menial tasks because what started as a fresh and inspiring job turned into little more than a gloried babysitting gig.

I am here as living proof that it doesn’t take anyone especially talented, brainy, or extra-special to go into business for themselves as an independent IT contractor or freelancer.

There is way that you can use your current expertise, and have a whole lot more control over your own time and career.

Each lesson is designed to give you practical, tried and true ways to build your confidence, do the right things to make that leap of faith into the self-employed world, control your own career! Leave the competition in the dust.

My Story

I was walking home from the office one day in the dead of winter. I had just read ‘Rich Dad Poor Dad.’ I had a sense of futility about myself. I was working for the best company in my field: Oracle Corporation. Still I was unfulfilled.

I had no control over my life. I remember joining Oracle on a Wednesday. By Friday, I was on a plane to Toronto, for induction training. Then by the following Monday, I was on my way to my first project in California. For the next year and half, every Sunday afternoon, I flew to US. Every Friday, I left the office at 3, to catch a flight back to Edmonton, getting home past midnight. By Sunday, repeat the cycle all over again. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. Hey, I knew this going in. When you sign up for Oracle, or any consulting company for that matter, you sign up for 100% travel. It was fun at the beginning. But eventually, you start to schedule your life months in advance. Talk about killing time. Then I got married. That first year of marriage, we saw each other 24 times (twice a month). Some honeymoon period. The flying became too time-consuming to come back every week, so I chose to come back every other weekend instead. Before I knew it, I had this alternate single life in California, and a married life in Edmonton. You can’t build a sound future that way. Time is the most precious resource, and it is absolutely non-renewable.

The Leap of Faith

Then I discovered a way to take control of my life again. I made the decision to leave consulting. For good. I was going to stay with my husband, teach fitness, and build a mom/baby wellness company. After all, who would want to hire a consultant who wanted to work on her own terms? I was scared. How was I going to pay the mortgage? How were we going to live? I was still the main breadwinner, as my husband was still in design school. I had no plan, and no idea how I was going to make ends meet after my savings ran out. On my very last day, I sat with the CTO and just threw it out there. “Hey look, I want to build this wellness company, and I can’t do it working full-time and travelling. So.. I’m leaving consulting. Do keep in touch though… if there is anything that I can help you with in the future, do please let me know.”

In a matter of weeks of severing all ties from the consulting industry, that client called me, and asked if I could give them some support. Inside I was overjoyed! Calmly, I said I can’t do it full time. I’m building my wellness company. I can’t travel anymore, and I certainly didn’t want to steal clients from Oracle. But after a little more back and forth, we agreed upon a part time arrangement.. remote from Canada. That was something I could never do as an employee for any company. The chinese have a saying “Leiu fan ying,” meaning you’re so eager that you spit out your rice mid-chew and nod excitedly. That was me. That was my first contract. For the next few years, I supported my client remotely from Canada, with occasional trips onsite, as required.

Not all Peachy

It hasn’t always been easy. In 2009, I again chose to leave the consulting industry, in favour of helping my husband build his finance practice. But it’s “interesting” to work with your spouse. Or, in our case, disastrous. Honestly, I really envy couples who can do it and still stay married. My husband and I just have two opposing working styles. The practice was failing. Our relationship was rocky. I dove into a depressive dark place in my life.

Then, as I was just about to fall asleep one night, my eyes suddenly snapped open. Something had to give. I couldn’t go on like this. I had to give myself a mindshift bootcamp. 

I thought of what Steve Jobs said when he talked about death. “Death Is Very Likely The Best Single Invention Of Life. It Is Life’s Change Agent. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. “

Armed with that advice, and together with steady action, I reached out to that support network, and I got myself out of that black hole. I meditated daily, and visualized in vivid detail what my life would be like, having gotten that next contract. This time, I knew exactly what I wanted: I wanted to take on a client that was on the cutting edge of technology, had ultra-modern offices, and a great culture. If I had to travel (which was likely the case, because I couldn’t think of any company in Edmonton I would like to be), I wanted to in a major metropolis. I pictured my contract. I pictured myself, in crisp Banana Republic trousers, and a blazer, black pumps, stepping out of an ultra-modern meeting room, smiling confidently. All the while, I reached out to my network, and did all the actions: connected with recruiters. Three weeks later, a lady from my network contacted me about an Oracle Financials contract in Calgary. That got me back in the saddle. I’ve never looked back.

And now…

This year marks my 12th year as an independent IT contractor / freelancer. I now call the shots. The day I became self-employed, and got that first contract, I was 100% accountable for my own career.

Guess what? Since I joined this illustrious circle of independent contractors and freelancers, I call the shots. Looking back at my journey, my successes, and my failures, I put together a system to do exactly this. I want to help you get the same results. Learn from my mistakes. Capitalize on my successes.

In addition to Udemy's 30 day guarantee, my aim is to equip you with a practical roadmap so that you can leave your job with confidence. You will gain valuable insight not only for your career but many of the techniques can be used in every other area of your life as well.


"Best of all, there's no fluff, just straight talk from someone who is fulfilling her career and lifestyle aspirations. Tired of 9 to 5, the rat race, slave wages and working for someone else's dream? Start with this course!"


Here is What is Not in Scope:

In one of the lectures, we go into detail on how to build your resume and make it that of an attractive and successful contractor.

I will not review your resume and critique it.. I don't know your industry or your experience - It would be unfair to you. However, if you find it value-added, you can feel free to model your resume after mine. In fact, i invite you to do so, because I know that my resume format has brought me success.

I won't teach you anything that in any way breaks contract law, or any other unspoken rules in the business world, or burn bridges in any of your current business relationships.

I also will not help you find contracting gigs. Again, I don't know your skill set and your background.. and most importantly, that's not the business I'm in.

Gain from only the enriching tidbits distilled from the 16+ years of industry experience.

Start your journey and Enrol now!

What are the requirements?

  • Have your current resume on hand. It doesn't have to be updated, but it would be helpful if you have one created already
  • A place to write notes

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the paradigm shift from playing by someone else's rules to making your own rules for others to play by
  • Create a vision for your ideal work situation
  • Negotiate and getting the salary that you deserve
  • Securing that first contract as a self-employed professional
  • Keep a steady flow of work coming in

Who is the target audience?

  • Employees who are seasoned in their profession
  • Those who are frustrated in their jobs
  • Those who know and proven that they're technically good, but not getting paid what they're worth
  • Those who have proven their expertise in their profession at least at an intermediate level, and want to work on themselves.
  • This course is NOT for those who have newly entered their profession.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: The Paradigm Shift: Who Calls the Shots now?
How to Get the Most Out of This Course
2 pages

In this lecture, you will get a sense of how I started in my field, and where I have become. Perhaps you may find that where I started could be quite similar to where you are now.... and look at where I am now!


Being self-employed, you need to think differently than being an employee. What are the things that you need to look for? Find out here.


The first scary thing about working for yourself is that it is unstable. In this lecture we address this in detail, and make an eye-opening discovery about it.


I won't lie to you... There is a moment when you think the world just might collapse. Find out where exactly this moment is, and three solid ways to navigate around it.


Here are the summarized points for what we talked about in the first section. Review this list, and please ensure that you peruse back through the lectures if there is something you don't understand. Alternatively, you can post a discussion, and we can chat about it together.

Section 2: The Mental Game and Bringing to Market

Now that we have established the mental framework around being self-employed... In this lecture we will talk about defining your ideal situation. By the end of this lecture, you will have a clear picture of what it is that you want to accomplish as the next step in your career!


Ok.. capitalizing on your ideal work situation, this is where the rubber meets the road. In this lecture, we'll talk about how to supercharge your resume and make it uber-attractive to potential recruiters and client companies. We will dissect my resume and go through section by section. By the end of this lesson, you will have your resume complete and ready to go!!


Now that you have a powerful resume, bring yourself to 'market' via Linkedin. Learn how to build an incredibly effective profile, and discover a secret technique to building a solid network.


There's more than meets the eye to Linkedin, friends. Find out how you can use this underused method to optimize your earning potential.

NEW!! Gigs on Linkedin

Every superstar needs an amazing support team. In this lesson we will talk about who exactly you need to get your team, and some potential landmines... and of course, how to navigate around them. This lesson elaborates on the first person you need: your agent. (so to speak... )


This lecture is part II on selecting your amazing support team. We just talked about your agent. Here we talk about your Finance department. Every real operation needs a solid Finance department. By the end of this lecture, you will have a clear understanding of how to find a reliable Finance department.


This lecture is part II on selecting your amazing support team. We just talked about your agent, and Finance. Here we talk about your Tech Support department. Every real operation needs a solid IT department.. don't try to fix it yourself!! By the end of this lecture, you will have a clear understanding of how to find a reliable one.


Ok... this is the lecture where you literally write your own ticket. Find out how to calculate your floor rate, what factors need to come into play, and what the Clownliness Factor is. I won't say much more about this... You'll find out!


Here are the summarized points for what we talked about in the first section. Review this list, and complete all the exercises that I have asked you to do. Please ensure that you peruse back through the lectures if there is something you don't understand. Alternatively, you can post a discussion, and we can chat about it together.

Section 3: Securing Your First Contract

We are making traction! What happens when you get in front of a client for the first time? In this lecture, we will chat about how to prepare, and how to answer certain questions. We will also go through a series of secret weapons for your interview arsenal.


Ok.. this is the lecture that literally makes you money!! In the next few minutes, you will find out how to invoice your client quickly and easily, when you expect to see anything, and what to look for in a good invoicing system on the cheap!


Here are the summarized points for what we talked about in this section. Review this list, and please ensure that you peruse back through the lectures if there is something you don't understand. Alternatively, you can post a discussion, and we can chat about it together. Again, please please please ensure that you complete all the calls to action!

Section 4: Secrets to Impressing your Clients
NEW!! Be the Duck (This is a good thing!!)
Section 5: Next Steps: How to Keep the Pipe Flowing

Alright. What about next steps? In this lecture we will chat about when to start looking for the next contract, and how to keep the pipe full of opportunity. I will share with you what I do, and what my system is.


Who wants to work forever? I don't. You most certainly don't. This lesson covers your ticket out: so that you can one day stop trading your time for money, and have that money working for you. By the end of this lesson, you will understand the top 5 things I look for in a solid financial advisor, and walk away with a plan to get your hard-earned dollars working for you!


Here are the summarized points for what we talked about in the this section. Review this list, and please ensure that you peruse back through the lectures if there is something you don't understand. Alternatively, you can post a discussion, and we can chat about it together.

Best wishes and please feel free to contact me if you have questions!

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Instructor Biography

Catherine Lam, CPA, CMA, Oracle EBS Consultant | Entrepreneur |Instructor | Investor

I am a seasoned Oracle EBS consultant, contractor and professional accountant, who has been in the IT industry over 15 years. In 2005, I made the leap from working for as a prized employee, to being my own boss as a contractor in the Info Technology industry, and entrepreneur and now controls where and when she works, while passively building wealth so that she can stay close to a her toddler .

I have conducted keynote speeches and training to thousands of participants all over North America, in various disciplines including Oracle, work-life balance, and building a solid professional network as a self-employed contractor.

Fitness is one of my long-time passions, and I have been a fitness instructor for the past 15 years. I teach various courses at MacEwan University and municipal fitness centers in Edmonton, and Calgary, Canada.

My favourite roles, though, is that I am mommy to a beautiful three year old little boy who amazes me every days he learns the ways of our world, and wife to an wonderful and the most loving and supportive man with whom i continually grow together.

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