Self employment: is it for you?

If you are looking for a job and haven't had much success so far, you might be wondering about the opportunities represented by self employment. Here we take a look at some of the pros and cons, which will hopefully help you decide whether self employment is the right option for you.

The advantages of self employment

  • You are your own boss. You can set your own working hours, take a holiday whenever you like and manage your own workload.
  • You can start a business in any area you like, meaning that you can do something that you are truly passionate about.
  • You set the rules. Don't like how things were done in your last company? Do them your own way now.
  • Your earning potential could be extremely good. You are now an entrepreneur and you might make more money than would have been possible working for someone else.
  • You aren't spending your time lining someone else's pockets - everything you work at will be for yourself.

The disadvantages of self employment

  • It's risky. The majority of start up businesses do fail, and many people lose their savings (not to mention their hard work and effort) in this way.
  • It's hard work. If you want to succeed, you'll have to work hard. It's not uncommon for self employed people to work for over twelve hours per day.
  • You probably won't make that much money to begin with, so you might need to look at alternative sources of income until your business becomes profitable.
  • You'll need to be very organised. Not only will you need to deal with the ins and outs of running a business, but you will also have to organise things like income tax, national insurance and VAT, as well as liability insurance.
  • You should also bear in mind that if you work for yourself, no one else is going to pay you for days off, sick leave, holidays or towards a pension fund.


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