Self-employment: Is it the right choice for you?

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


Lisa LaRue is a registered Career Coach at CareerWorx with more than 18 years’ experience helping people plan, manage and find happiness in their careers.

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