There are plenty of times that you might wish that you didn’t have to be an office drone – turning up at the right time in the morning and not leaving until a respectable amount of time beyond your scheduled finish time – just to show how willing you are compared with all your colleagues.
Life as a freelance or self-employed person often looks rosy from the other side of the fence and it’s true that there are a lot of benefits to being self-employed. But, before you throw in the towel and give your boss your resignation, think through the self-employment option carefully. Is this something that really would suit you, or are you just feeling restless and might you be better off where you are, or moving to another company where you would still be an employee?
Being able to love your job is one of the most important aspects of life, but from the employed side of the fence, an entrepreneur looks as free as a bird. There’s no-one monitoring their hours, no manager to review and critique their performance and they only have themselves to answer to.
If they have kids, the benefits of being self-employed seem even greater. There’s no need to miss the school nativity or sports day – they can just take a couple of hours off and then carry on working. And if their child is sick, they can stay home with them and still get some work done.
Yet, of course, in practice these things are never that clear-cut. You may be able to keep your child at home, but if they’re sick, they’ll need you to look after them. You might be able to buy some time by setting them up in front of the TV, but your day will most likely end up being less productive. And when you work for yourself, there’s no-one else to help you out with deadlines. You have to catch up by yourself in your own time.
That’s one of the biggest problems with working for yourself or from home. The buck stops with you; there’s no-one who will be able to share the burden of a heavy workload. You have to decide what work you can take on and whether you’ll have the capacity to manage it all. Although you can set your own hours, you may find that sometimes you work through all weekend to catch up – where’s the work-life balance there? Working in an office may mean that you sometimes have a bit to do at home, but generally the boundaries between work time and home time are much clearer than they are for a self-employed person.
There’s also a lot of uncertainty with self-employment. You never know how much you’re going to earn the next month. You may feel overwhelmed with work, but not want to turn any down in case the next month is quiet.
There are certainly a lot of things to think about before you enter into self-employment. But if you consider it carefully and still want to do it, then you should go for it. The worst thing that can happen is that it turns out not to be for you, and if that’s the case, you could always go back to life as an employee. And if it works out well, you may have found your working nirvana!
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.