20 May Self-employment: Is it the right choice for you?
People consider self-employment for a variety of reasons. For some it may be the lure of freedom, the potential to earn more money or a way to do more of what they love. Others might consider self-employment in the face of redundancy or due a lack of employment opportunities.
If you are considering self-employment as an alternative to traditional employment, there are a number of questions to ask yourself:
• Am I suited to self-employment?
• Do I have a viable business idea?
• Do I have the necessary skills?
• Do I have the finances to get the business going?
• Do I understand what’s involved?
• Do I have a business plan?
Although you don’t need to have all of the following skills and attributes to be successful in self-employment, your chances of success are likely to be greater if you:
• Have a vision
• Are passionate about your business idea
• Enjoy challenges
• Are comfortable taking risks
• Are self-motivated
• Are confident and decisive
• Have good organisation and coordination skills
• Possess good communication skills
• Have good networking skills
• Can influence others
• Enjoy multi-tasking
• Are resourceful
• Are customer focused and committed to delivering a quality product or service
• Willing to take charge of your own professional and self-development
Advantages of self-employment
• Being your own boss and having control
• Working with people you choose to work with
• Flexibility with the ability to set your own working hours
• Pursuing your passion and using your skills
• Potential to earn more than a waged employee
• Personally and professionally rewarding
Disadvantages of self-employment
• Income instability
• Responsible for the success or failure of the business
• Responsible for own taxes, national insurance contributions, pension plan, health insurance etc.
• Can be isolating if you work alone
• No holiday or sick pay
• Can take time and energy to build your brand and reputation
• Can involve working more hours than a regular job
It can be helpful to work with an experienced business or career coach to determine if self-employment is right for you. They will prompt you to think about the viability of your business idea, whether you are suited to self-employment and consider the practicalities involved. Once you’ve weighed up the pros and cons and made the decision that’s right for you, you can plan a way forward to achieve your goals.
Visit the CareerWorx website for some helpful self-employment links and resources
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Lisa LaRue, MCareerDev, BSocSc(Couns), DipCareerGuid, RCDP, MAC is a Career Coach and Career Development Consultant at CareerWorx with more than 18 years’ experience helping people plan and manage their careers. If you would like help deciding if self employment is for you please get in touch to arrange a complimentary 15 minute session where I can learn more about your needs and tell you about how our self-employment coaching services.