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Is being self-employed a good idea?

Thinking of taking on the self-employed life? It’s not for everyone – read on to see if being self-employed is a good fit for you.

Is being self-employed a good idea?

If the 9-5 lifestyle is starting to wear thin on you, you might be getting curious about other ways of working, like being self-employed. If you’ve been in a 9-5 your whole working life, becoming self-employed can seem pretty foreign. And it’s not a decision you should make lightly. After all, becoming self-employed would mean taking on a whole new way of living – and it’s not for everyone! But happiness at work should be your first priority!

Let’s take a look at all the advantages and disadvantages of being self-employed, so you can see if it’s a good fit for you!

5 positives of being self-employed

Full autonomy

One of the biggest benefits of being self-employed is undoubtedly being your own boss. You call the shots. There’s no need to ask your manager for time off, and you’ve got nobody breathing down your neck cracking the whip. 

Higher earning potential

Generally speaking, self-employed people earn more money than traditional PAYE employees. A study found that self-employed people were earning roughly £5000 more than the average salary in the UK. Of course, this all depends on the success of your business, which doesn’t necessarily come easy. 

Variety of work

A great advantage to being self-employed is that you’re usually working with different clients. This gives you a nice variety of work. You won’t get stuck doing the same thing day in, day out. And if you do, it’s in your power to change that!

Choose your clients

Instead of working for a boss you don’t like, as a self-employed person you get to choose who you work with. If you don’t gel with a particular client, you can politely decline the work and move onto a client that’s a better fit.

No office politics

It’s not fun when you work in a place that has office politics. Whether it’s a hierarchy or just a dog eat dog culture, that’s no place to be. Being self-employed, you completely cut out the stress of any toxic office politics.

5 negatives of being self-employed

Uncertain income

Being self-employed comes with its uncertainties. Unlike being an employee, you’re not guaranteed a set income each month. If a client drops out, your income can significantly drop from one month to the next. You’ll need to develop a strong client base. You also really need to have your finances in check to prepare for worst case scenarios.

Time management

Some people struggle with being self-employed because they’re not used to managing their own time. In a regular job, you have more structure and a manager to keep you in check. But as a freelancer, you need to manage your own time and be disciplined!

No ‘benefits’

As a self-employed person, you miss out on the benefits that regular employees get. For example, paid sick leave, annual leave and pension contributions. But so long as you factor these things into your pricing by charging more, you should be able to cover the costs.

Everything is on your own shoulders

Being self-employed comes with its own pressures that you wouldn’t have in a 9-5. For example, if a client is late paying an invoice, it’s down to you to chase it. If you’ve had a full day of appointments but have a stack of admin work that needs doing, it’s down to you to complete it. You need to be prepared to step up to the challenge, and sometimes that means working late! 

Lack of team

Self-employed people are often lone wolves. If you’re a people-person who enjoys working as part of a team, you may struggle with the solo life. It’s not for everyone!

10 self-employed job ideas

Here’s a list of some of the best self-employed jobs to get your ideas flowing:

  • Cleaner
  • Beautician
  • Graphic designer
  • Plumber
  • Electrician
  • Hairdresser
  • Photographer
  • Personal trainer
  • Gardener
  • Masseuse

Is it right for you?

The self-employed life isn’t right for everyone. To thrive as a self-employed person, you need to be highly self-motivated. There’s a lot of solo work involved. But if you think you can handle those things, you’ll find yourself thriving in the freelance world. You’ll probably never look back!

At a crossroads in your career? Browse the SonicJobs app to see what career opportunities are available. We have the UK’s largest database of jobs, so we know you’ll find something you’ll love!



a year ago


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