It’s a positive choice to make, to strike out on your own, but did you know that self-employment doesn’t always mean just you are working by yourself? Unless you know all the is to know about the process of self-employment, it’s best to wait before you make the leap into the relative unknown.
Going it alone in your career doesn’t always mean “alone.” For example, contractors may work under the banner of self-employment, but in fact, have a company that employs them as a freelancer. This company, though they won’t pay sickness or holiday pay, would instead run a Construction Industry Scheme to protect their contractors and their taxes. It sounds more complicated than it is, but it’s a perfect example of why you should weigh up the pros and cons of self-employment before you get started.
- Choosing when you work is a massive bonus of self-employment. You may be contracted to work certain hours, but if you decide to take time off it isn’t seen as a huge deal because you are only paid for the time that you work anyway. Freelancing allows you better flexibility than working for someone else.
- Not only can you choose when you work, but you can also choose where. If you’re not enjoying working on a specific site, or you don’t want to be cooped up into an office, you don’t have to. As long as you can complete your tasks, you can work where you want.
- There’s the chance that with self-employment you can make more money than you would in a full-time job. You’re only paid for your work completed, and as you don’t get holiday or sickness benefits, your wages can often be more.
- One of the most significant downsides to working for yourself is the lack of guarantee of work – or money. You’re not promised a job, which means that you don’t always know where your next income is coming from. Working as and when people need you can make it harder to manage your finances, too.
- Freelancing requires you to be self-motivated, which means that it’s very easy to make less money if you’re feeling particularly lazy one day. It’s much harder to feel secure about your income and your job if you’re worried about the money you’re making.
- There are far fewer employment rights, and you have to organise your own pension plan when you’re self-employed. Some businesses that hire contractors will point you in the right direction of a pension plan that you can use, while others won’t concern themselves with helping you.
- Self-employment, if you’re working at home and alone, can be an isolating experience for those who need the social aspect of the workplace. The fundamental lack of human contact is often hard for people to manage.
Improving your career is essential, and deciding to leap into self-employment isn’t one that everyone makes. Do your research before you do it and you will find it much easier to decide what to do.