Self-employed person is his or her own boss and generates revenue based on the services that they can offer. They are working as freelancers who help the projects to be executed based on the expertise that they have to offer to the company. The services could range from financial help, technology related, content writing, recruitment, or any other service that you have an expertise in. It is not same as owning a business, as a business owner will not participate in day to day operations of their company whereas a self-employed person will be actively working on all the aspects as they are the sole operators.
Let us now look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of self-employment.
Merits or Advantages of Self-Employment:
As an employee you will always be governed by someone superior to you and would always be commanded around. Self-employment is for people who hate to be bossed around and are talented enough to generate salary by selling their expertise independently. Let us look at some of the benefits of self-employment
1. You are your own boss: Do you hate that some lame person who is not as talented as you are, is governing you? Do you hate the feeling of being told what to do and how to do all the time? Well it is time for you to start your journey from a salaried job to becoming self-employed where you are your own boss. You would be more pleased with what you do and hence lead a content life personally. It is important to be happy and content with what you do that helps you lead a life with luxury.
2. More opportunities to earn money: Going self-employed, you can earn more than what you did when you were a salaried person as the company deductions are not included in your earnings and you get what you receive. You can start with the basic charges and slowly raise your rates based on the positive reviews that you receive for your work. The opportunities will knock on your door if you can give your clients what they want. It is important to build good reviews as it puts an extra weight on the rates that you are quoting.
3. There is less investment: You can save a lot of your daily expenses based on the work that you choose. You save on gas as you work from the comfort of your home and thus avoiding the lengthy commutes to your workplace like you used to. Getting up early for meetings and hence going on expensive lunch outs can also be avoided and you can get to have a healthy and delicious home cooked food. Leaving your kid behind with a day care and wondering how your kid’s day has been could be taking an emotional toll on you. One of the benefits of being self-employed is that you can divide time for your family and profession without taking anything else for granted. You can also save on the expensive day care expenses that adds on to your daily needs.
4. Variety of projects that you can execute: When you are working in a corporate firm, your roles and responsibilities are defined and you are asked to work within a framework. The structure does not allow you to explore other options that are creative and innovative as you need to stick to the designed solution as agreed upon by the seniors and clients. Being a freelancer you can select new challenging projects pushing yourself to innovate and evolve at every step and hence, giving you the job satisfaction.
5. Drama Free environment: We always love to work in a team as we get the responsibility divided and hence also the work pressure. But does working remotely and being isolated from everyone sounds really bad? You would be free from the loudspeakers of your team who are continuously over the phone talking out loud. You would not have to hear to the music during your work hours as your colleague plays on them on his or her phone. You work friends will still be your friends no matter where you go or what you do.
6. No worries about the sick leave: If you are ill then you don’t have to worry about whether you would be getting your sick leave or not. You can inform you clients regarding the health and take a day off from your work or resume few hours later. You no longer have to beg or give long explanations on why you were on leave and prove your point on the fact that you were really ill. You have the liberty to choose your own health insurance based on your needs and not what your company has decided for you.
7. It is your work area: It is your area and your call on how you want to decorate it. You can put up photographs of people or places you like. You can have fengshui items on your desk. You can use dual monitors if you want or go for a single one, it is completely on you. You can keep a standing desk, sitting desk just go for it. It is your work area and you can decorate it how you want to, not worrying about the company norms and what your colleagues will think.
8. You want new equipment go get it! In a workplace to get new equipment for your project you need to go through a proper channel where you need to apply the requirement in the system and support that requirement with needed documents justifying your request. Being a freelancer you don’t have to get into this channel of bureaucracy, all you have to do is get up, go to the market and buy the needed equipment for your projects. No worries about the approval process and no more waiting time.
9. No Dress code: If you are not a shirt, pant and tie kind of a guy then this is one of the advantages for you to work as a freelancer. Same goes with the female workforce also. You don’t like wearing formals and then you would be happy to work in your pyjamas at the comfort of your home or work in funky outfits that define you when you work from any place other than your home. The only time you would have to be dressed up as corporate employee would be when you are attending a meeting with your clients.
10. It is your time and hence your schedule: You know yourself best and would love to have the flexibility of working based on your time rather than the time set by someone else. If you are not a morning person, then you set your schedule based on when you get back and work with an extra zeal and focus. You can ensure that you are able to connect with everyone on your project rather than missing a meeting because you got up late! It is your schedule hence, making you more responsible regarding your planned day!
11. You are a valued person now: When you are working in a corporate setup there are many people that you are competing against in terms of recognition and at times your work and efforts do get ignored because some other guy took the share of your cake. Being a Freelancer that will never happen as you would be working on the projects and the clients would appreciate your work giving you the full credit and share of recognition. Your efforts will not go unnoticed and this will give you an extra boost to work harder for the upcoming projects.
12. You choose your customers: You can choose for the customer you want to work for and avoid some senior guy sitting on your head forcing you to work on a project that you don’t want to. If you are not happy with the attitude of a client then you will be responsible as you chose to work with him on a project. The responsibility to choose the right clients is on you as a freelancer and not on anyone else. Hence, you need to be careful when you are bidding for your project and signing the contract.
Demerits or Disadvantages of Self-Employment:
Every setup comes with advantages that we discussed above and also with disadvantages. As an individual we need to take a call and move on the path of self-employment accepting all the pros and cons of the setup. Let us now look at some of the disadvantages of the self-employment.
1. Paying more taxes: Even if you’re a sole person working as a freelancer you would realize that freedom from corporate world does come with a price. You would end up paying a little more taxes than you used to as a corporate employee. You would be responsible for filling your taxes on time.
2. No more paid leaves: There will be no more paid leaves for you. As a freelancer if you are working on daily requirements and have taken few days off then there is a possibility of you missing out on those requirements and hence on the monthly payment. You need to keep in mind that as a freelancer there is nothing called as paid leave.
3. Multitasking all the time: Since you are working as a freelancer, you will have all the responsibilities of getting the project, executing it and closing it. You would be responsible from head to toe till you start employing other freelancers or employees to your business.
4. Unsteady Pay: There is no guarantee that every month you would be getting a minimum of say 1000 bucks. Some days or months you will earn exceptionally well while you can also end up with no payment at all as you had no projects in hand. You need to be ready to face the unsteady pay structure of being a freelancer and plan your finance accordingly. You need to be prepared for the month where there would be minimal payment or no payment at all.
5. Socially you are isolated: Being on your own comes at a price of being socially isolated. If you are working alone then there would be no social gatherings like that of corporate jobs. There will be no social contacts or friends that you could make through your workplace. It might get a little lonely after a while and you might begin to miss the charm of working with a huge team and the celebrations that come with it when you reach the milestones in your project. Working alone might achieve your milestone but celebrating with yourself is not that inviting and exciting!
6. Distractions at home: Before getting comfortable working from you, you might want to think about the various distractions that come with it. If you have children then their running around and the urge to play with you might distract you off from your work. Your helpers making the noise of cleaning and other activities they do. Your door bell ringing like an alarm after every hour with some other person trying to get into your way of work can also lead to distractions. You might end up solving your personal issues more than your work issues.
Self-employment comes with a boon of you being your own boss. You can get to take calls and clients based on what suits you and you can schedule your work from any place you want, be it your home or a coffee shop. Till the point you are able to execute your projects, the clients are not bothered where you are! But every system comes with cons also and you need to be aware of them to make you mentally strong whether you want to adapt to this setup of work. If you love and can manage, then you should go for it and be your own boss!