Is self employment your cup of tea?
I am completely unemployable. I have been self-employed for over 14 years. When I left employment, the only thing I missed was the IT helpline, my company car and the salary. I still remember the excitement of getting my first invoice paid! My Mum designed my first logo, my office was my bedroom and I didn't have any business cards for the first 2 years, just a freelance-focused CV.
Employment no longer provides the security or certainty it once did. The world of work is never going to return to what it was pre-credit crunch, and many mature workers will need/want to earn for longer before retiring. Many people have misperceptions about self-employment, so don't consider it as an option. In the UK, over 4 million people are now self-employed (Source ONS).
Self-employment isn't for everyone, and if structure, hierarchy, belonging, financial security and teamwork are important to you, it may be your idea of hell! For many, redundancy provides a push and financial cushion to try self-employment, or realise a long held dream to be their own boss.
What are the pros & cons of self-employment?
• what you put in you get out;
• design to suit you;
• freedom, choice & flexibility;
• no politics;
• tailor to your values, needs, wants and strength
• less certainty of income;
• need to market yourself which many hate;
• multi-tasking - being the cleaner, project manager, new business person all yourself;
• funding your own training, holidays, sickness and pension;
• long hours especially at the beginning
What types of self-employment are there?
There are lots of different types with varying degrees of security/need to market yourself, including;
• creating a business & building a brand by yourself;
• creating a business & building a brand with others
• buying a franchise;
• a home based internet business;
• part of a portfolio career;
• information marketing;
• being an associate for someone else's business.
Why is self-employment growing?
The reasons include:
• There aren't enough full time permanent jobs to go around for the number of people who want them.
• Technological advancements & improved productivity are replacing some jobs
• Employers can source quality labour cheaper abroad/outsource
• The stripping out of management layers gives less opportunities for advancement;
• Desire for flexibility that working parents & many people increasingly seek;
• As part of a portfolio career in combination with a part time job/temping;
• Young people want more freedom/work & life diversity and work is less important (75% of young people want to be self-employed, source AXA);
• The Internet and the connectivity/interactivity it provides makes self-employment accessible at a low entry cost to more people.
We have made sure we have updated our skills, experience and knowledge to be useful to help our client in the fast changing world of work. In the self-employment sector, we help our clients:
• Set up a business for the first time
• Reposition an existing business
• Become a freelance/contractor
• Define a personal brand and market themselves
Self-employment is hard work, but what you put in, you get out, rather than creating profit and reward for someone else, or an organisation.