Is Self-Employment A Good Thing?

In recent years more and more people are choosing to become self-employed. It looks like a trend that will continue as lifestyles change and work patterns shift to reflect the digital age. But what does it mean for the economy and what does it mean for those people who decide to work for themselves.

The Economy

The profile of the economy is changing, as people who traditionally worked as employees leave employment or simply choose to create their own job and become self-employed.

The nature of employment and the relationship between employer and employee has changed too, as companies offer less security and commitment and more short-term and zero hour contracts.

The trend is welcomed by politicians and policymakers, as the more diverse the economy the greater its resilience and, therefore, the more likely it is to weather the storms of boom and bust.

It is, however, worth considering how the thousands of people entering the economy for the first time as self-employed entrepreneurs and business owners cope with the challenges.

The Challenges

Some new entrants find it difficult to generate the income they need to survive and struggle to earn a sufficiently lucrative living to keep going; others find it difficult in the early stages before finding a profitable market for their products and services.

Many people who work for themselves struggle to save for the future and find it difficult to contribute in any significant way to a pension scheme or plan for later retirement.

Others work long hours, take few holidays and experience a feeling of isolation, particularly in the early years as they invest large amounts of time in making the business a success.

The Benefits

Many people who work for themselves, of course, enjoy high levels of income and grow their business to a size where it provides a rich living and lots of jobs.

Regardless of the experience people enjoy it seems that those who work for themselves report being happier and are more satisfied in their role than if they were working for someone else.

Even though self-employment and the challenges of running a business may not suit everyone, it provides tremendous satisfaction for those who enjoy it and is hugely rewarding for those who make it work.

The benefits include greater freedom, more independence, greater flexibility, a sense of meaning, the possibility of choosing where to work and live, the power to make your own decisions and the ability to decide your own fate.

The advantages and disadvantages of self-employment will continue to challenge and reward in equal measure, as more people take the plunge and experience the thrill of deciding their own future.

SO, self-employment has its challenges and may not be for everyone but for those who can meet and master its twists and turns there lies a rich and rewarding life.