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Benefits and Challenges of Being Self-Employed

Updated on January 31, 2011

Self employment is always the better option considering the scenario today. No job is secure whether it is a part-time job or it is a 9 to 5 job and no organization is stable and this is the principle of the corporate world. You may lose your job overnight without anything to fall back on or the organization where you work could be sold overnight so what do you do in such situations? But this definitely does not mean that every one needs or can be an entrepreneur. After a certain experience (could be physical years or the mental state of the person) going on your own makes a lot more sense for both commercial and other reasons. Self-employment expects a lot of exposure to various aspects of a business and people not adapting fast could fail and get into a crisis with their personal lives. But, don’t expect a 9 to 5 kind of a job non stressful or non-demanding. To survive in the job market, you need to think about work even after 5 like an entrepreneur. The main difference between being self employed or employed by anyone else is that an employee would probably focus more on his and his team’s work, while an entrepreneur thinks about everything in the organization - work in hand to work to be got. Below are a few benefits and challenges of being self-employed so that you can compare both and make your own decision:

Pros and cons of self employment - Check and Compare Both Sides of the Coin Before Making a Decision
Pros and cons of self employment - Check and Compare Both Sides of the Coin Before Making a Decision | Source

Benefits of Being Self Employed

  1. You are your own boss and you can create your own business network, no one is there to give or receive orders.
  2. After being successful, you can give more time to family.
  3. You do not depend on anyone.
  4. You can fix your own hours and you don’t have to work eight hours a day or have a fixed schedule. In the initial phase of being self-employed, the number of hours worked will be considerably higher, but nobody will be there to tell you that you should do this in that period of time.
  5. You can develop your own ideas for your work. You are free to develop your own initiatives and projects to accelerate your business growth.
  6. You do not need to distribute the profits. If the business is going well and profits are high, you don’t need to distribute the benefits between others.
  7. Work from home: As a freelance self-employed person, you have the convenience of working from home, which will save you money on transportation and other expenses.
  8. Once you start achieving success, you also achieve social prestige, professional recognition, personal satisfaction, and increased income, which is only yours.

Challenges of Being Self Employed

  1. If you are investing money in your self-employed business, all the investment will be yours.
  2. There is a lot of financial risk if the project fails.
  3. You will feel lonely at time not knowing which way to go unless you join any group of self employed people in your profession.
  4. You have to do all sorts of advertising, learning, training, creating new relationships, etc.
  5. You have to keep a track of your own time while working as a self-employed professional.
  6. You may need to work more hours than you should in the initial stages of your self-employed career, which can have a negative impact on your personal health and family life.
  7. You have to pay all the bills, i.e., electricity, phone, health care premium, etc. from your own pocket.
  8. You have to be responsible for your own disability insurance, business insurance, social security premiums, personal income tax, employment insurance, etc.

So above were a few challenges and benefits of being self-employed that you can compare to make your decision. No doubt self-employment is the best thing one can dream of, but a very few people would like to go for this route, as the risk, time, payments, personal financial planning, and investment required makes it less attractive than regular employment where your company pays off most of your bills but again income is limited. So we can say that, employment is necessary in the short run to accumulate experience and be known in the market. And for the long run, self-employment is always a good choice. Each option has its own pros and cons. You can’t compare the two and pass a judgment like employment is better or otherwise. It depends on a lot of things for example family background (financial strength), work timing (there is not 9-5 in self employment, nor is there any weekly off, need of job security etc., it’s just a matter of personal choice, whether you feel more at ease working as employed or self-employed. Least but not last, I think everyone should go through the experience of being self-employed (entrepreneurship) once in a lifetime. Who knows you have the talent and you can become successful. After all, the profits, social prestige, and recognition as a self-employed professional will only be yours after that.


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    • soni2006 profile image

      Rajinder Soni 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot Stephen.

    • profile image

      stephen 5 years ago

      good article for would be entrepreneuers

    • profile image

      NAALLAH GODREY BOLKI 5 years ago

      how can somebody be paid employment

    • profile image

      Jay 5 years ago

      Not worth it these days. Everyone is out for a bargain. You will end up using all your time,money and effort for few dollars only.

      Client loyalty doesn't exist. It all about cheapest.

    • BakingBread-101 profile image

      BakingBread-101 5 years ago from Nevada

      I don't agree that everyone should go through this experience. If you tend to be a follower rather than a leader, then you would probably be happier working for someone other than yourself.

      Being an entrepreneur is probably the hardest job you will ever do because you need to do it all or pay someone to do the things you are not able or would rather not do. Being an entrepreneur is an 8 day a week job until success has come in your doors. It is not for the meek of heart by any means.

      But working for yourself can be the best thing that you ever let happen to you. Just do it with a plan in hand and money to back it up.

      I say, "Well done."

    • Iampankaj profile image

      Iampankaj 5 years ago from Bangalore

      Hi Soni, A nice article. It is always good be Boss of your own. You are free if you are self employed. I agree with your thought, one must go through this experience. This step gives one unshakable self confidence. Just take every problem as challege to overcome & you are there. Thanks for this hub.

    • BakingBread-101 profile image

      BakingBread-101 5 years ago from Nevada

      Well done! I voted it useful.

    • 110211 profile image

      110211 6 years ago from United Kingdom

      This is a good article, useful for checking the pros and cons of being self employed, thanks

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 6 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I always think it is more than worth the risks. Obviously, it is better to start doing this with a plan and lots of funds in case of hard times.