Is Self Employment right for me?

Self Employment

Put simply, self employment is where you are not working for an established business, company or other individual. It means that you’re working for yourself, and therefore have a number of key responsibilities which you may not have in your usual place of work.

It’s good to have a number of reasons for being self employed, perhaps you like the freedom of being able to choose what you do in your role and how you can develop yourself. This course is an example, you’ve chosen to learn something to further develop your skills and knowledge for business.

It’s key to have the definitive reasons for self employment firmly known – you may find it helpful to write them down, or remind yourself at certain times.

Here’s a list of key advantages and disadvantages – some may be relevant to you, and you may associate with some

Potential advantages

  • You create your own success, and have the potential to earn more over time
    This is a key one – when you wake up in the morning, you may not have a set time frame for doing something, but if you have a fixed plan in place, you may be ready to grow your business, possibly through advertising, personal development or something else. If you sit back and do nothing, you may not earn as much.
  • More independence
    As above, you get to choose what you do!
  • You can set your own hours
    A lot of people start self employment as they can see the potential for a better work/life balance – you may feel that weekends are now your domain and free to use them how you like. Or you may decide that Mondays are a non-working day, and you’re going to have an extra long lie in!
  • You could have a higher quality of life – no more commuting, no office politics, and the ability to enjoy what you enjoy the most

If you can think of any key advantages or reasons for your self employment, it’s a good idea to write them down. Just like with the idea of ‘visualisation’, think where you’d like to be, and take a few moments to explore how you’d get there.

Potential disadvantages

We’re trying to be as balanced as possible – and there are sometimes disadvantages to self employment (or opportunities!)

  • Increased stress
    The responsibility and background to your business is you. The business could be a success or failure, the aspects of profit and loss, they all lie with you.
  • No sick pay, holiday pay
    Self employment doesn’t come with these benefits of employment. If you fancy a two week holiday to Spain, you’ll need to ensure your business can cope while you’re away. And that can add to the stress listed above!
  • Isolation
    It can feel as if you’re on your own sometimes, unlike being part of a team in an office, chatting to each other about their weekends or what was on TV last night. Indeed there are opportunities here to develop your social and professional networks, and if you do feel lonely at any point, head onto our Facebook group and someone will be about to help
  • You could end up working longer hours, or antisocial ones
    Have a meeting on a Sunday? That might not have happened in some forms of employment, and training away at Head Office may mean a few nights away from the family. Plan around these where you can, try and enjoy a different day together, or ensure they know why you’re doing it
  • You’ll be responsible for tax, national insurance, pensions…

And we’ll try and help you cover that through our online learning, support knowledge base, and more…

Have a think of what other advantages you can think of – what was your reason, goal or ambition for becoming self employed?