self-employment, working from home, career options, starting a business, becoming self-employed

Self-employment is becoming a popular option these days with more people seeking flexibility and traditional jobs losing their security appeal. Are you wondering if self-employment could be the perfect next step for you? Read on.

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Why are you considering self-employment?

Before you make up your mind, take some time to explore your motivation. Are you imagining yourself working whenever you feel like, doing only things you love and getting paid generously for it? Let’s get real, it’s not likely to happen that way, at least not in the beginning. You will be doing the work (hopefully, something you love), but you’ll also have to find your own clients, organise your workload, take care of paperwork and manage your finances. In short, you’ll be taking responsibility of every single facet of your business.

On the other hand, if you’re considering self-employment because responsibility empowers you and you can’t wait to bring your own ideas to life, then you’re much more likely to stick with it in the long-run.

The pros

  • Flexibility. While you can’t just work whenever you want and expect a steady income, you should be able to establish a schedule that fits nicely into your lifestyle.
  • Fulfillment. It’s up to you to choose work that you’re passionate about and eliminate or outsource draining tasks as much as possible.
  • Choice. You get to choose what you do and who you work with. You can say “no” to that client you absolutely hate and no one will fire you.
  • No boring meetings.
  • No office politics.

The cons

  • Uncertainty. While traditional jobs are not as secure as they used to be, psychologically you still feel safer – you expect your paycheck to come on a certain day no matter what. When you’re self-employed, securing your paycheck (and making sure you have enough to cover your expenses) is entirely up to you.
  • No benefits. You won’t get your paid annual leave or your super delivered to your account automatically. If you want to top up your super, it will have to be out of your own hard-earned profit.
  • No structure. With a job also comes a structure that tells you how many hours you’re supposed to work and what you need to accomplish in that time. When you’re self-employed, you need to create your own structure. If you’re not focused, it’s easy to fall into one of these two extremes – either working all the time or working only when you feel inspired and not getting anything done.

Self-employment is not right for everyone and is not a magic wand that will make all your dreams come true, but it can be a means to an end. What’s important is to do meaningful work in a profitable, sustainable way and you can do it (or fail to do it) both in a job or as a self-employed.

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