05 Nov 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.