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

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

Going it alone

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 20 years’ experience helping people plan, manage and find happiness in their careers.

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