5 Reasons Working for Yourself is the Only Sensible Career Plan

Apr 15, 2015 - Joe Matar
Do you want a job where you don’t have to spend the whole day biting your tongue? Yearn for a grown-up career that allows you to choose who you sit with, without having to be wary of office annoyances? Want the freedom to spend an extra half-hour in bed if you’ve had a couple of drinks the night before? Everybody say hell yeah! Well, there’s good news. While this might all sound like some far-flung fantasy, this is the reality of working for yourself, and working for yourself is well within everyone’s reach. For today’s candidates, a decent salary and job security is not always enough. You want to make a difference. You want your work to mean something. You want to enjoy a favorable work/life balance. Although this can be achieved in the world of traditional employment, the growing army of freelancers is finding that being your own boss is the only sensible career plan. Here’s why.

Having a boss sucks

Let’s face it: not many of us grow up dreaming about how wonderful it will be to work for a jumped-up egotist who blames everyone else for their own mistakes. Of course, that’s not the reality of every boss out there. There are a lot of excellent ones, but there are also those bosses who leave a lot to be desired. The trouble is that you trot along to the interview, do your best to answer all those questions, smile politely, and before you know it, you’ve got the job — without ever really knowing what you’ve gotten yourself into. Even a job you’ve always wanted can be made unbearable by just one bad boss.

Working for a set salary is stupid

Being underpaid is one of the biggest gripes people have about their jobs. When you’re self-employed, there’s a direct link between the work you put in and the monetary reward you receive. Simply put, if you work harder, you earn more money. (Click here to tweet this quote on entrepreneurship.) As an employee you can work yourself into the ground for little or no recognition, only for the office yes-man or yes-woman to receive the reward. Infuriating? I think so.

You can work whatever hours you like

Seventy percent of full-time workers in the UK want more flexible working hours, but the idea that the self-employed can work whenever they like is a bit of a misnomer. Yes, being self-employed does allow you more freedom and flexibility in regards to your working hours, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. As mentioned above, the amount you earn is directly proportionate to the work you do. So yes, you could spend the morning in bed, or all afternoon in the pub, but you’ll soon be broke. Most people who are self-employed find their feet after a couple of months and settle into a routine that’s not dissimilar to the 9-to-5. But there are still plenty of perks, such as a spot of lunchtime TV, unlimited coffee and tea breaks, and the ability to choose where you work.

Your resume will rock

If you decide being your own boss is not all it’s cracked up to be, all is not lost. The experience you’ve gained will help you find better paid jobs in the future. The self-employed usually have a broader range of day-to-day responsibilities. Not only do they perform the core task that brings in the money; they’ll also have to invoice clients, maintain their accounts, market their business, answer phone calls and attend client meetings. The result is a full and varied resume that shows just how versatile and responsible you can be.

The sky’s the limit

There’s no limit to what can be achieved if you’re self-employed. The next email or phone call you receive could be the client you’ve always been waiting for. If everything goes well, you could find yourself looking for a couple of employees of your own. If you’re lucky enough to make it big, make sure you treat your workers with the respect they deserve. Appreciate how lucky you are to be self-employed and don’t perpetuate the cycle by becoming that nightmare boss yourself. Sam Butterworth is a writer, blogger and editor of the Tubz business blog. He’s interested in going it alone as a self-employed person, while still delegating and outsourcing as much work as possible.