Many of our clients are self employed but not all. You may think the grass is greener on the other side. Whether you are currently working for yourself or an employer each has pros and cons. It’s also important to mention they are not mutually exclusive and neither is better than the other. It’s possible to prefer one over the other at different stages of your career.
The security of having a regular salary coming in is one of the main benefits of opting for a job, where your role is more or less prescribed for you. The self-employed on the other hand have notoriously varied income. It can make personal financial planning tricky and it’s harder than ever before for the self- employed to get mortgages.
Self-employment, at least on paper, offers more creative freedom to channel your skills and interests the way you choose.
With a salary also come benefits and even a pension as well as more professional development opportunities. When you are sick, your employer will probably provide more than the statutory level of sick pay. Holidays are paid too.
Being self-employed means making your own pension arrangements. In terms of professional development it can be harder to stay on top of developments in your field though in some areas CPD is compulsory. When you can’t work, you’ll be on benefits unless you have savings or have made other arrangements. Holidays can be expensive because when you’re not working you’re not earning.
Employment may or may not bring more diverse work but you have less control over working hours. With self-employment you have more freedom to work where and when you want to, but pressure to bring in an income may leave you feeling more constrained than you had imagined.
An underrated aspect of employment is the social side. Self-employment can be very isolating if you let it. Of course, if you opt for being your own boss you can minimise or do away with your commute altogether. For employees, commutes are time consuming, expensive and tiring.
However the potential freedom and possibility of more time spent at home makes self-employment a popular option for some families. Childcare costs in the UK are among the most expensive in Europe but can be offset to some extent if you are lucky enough to enjoy a high salary.
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