Employment vs. Self-Employment

Self-employment doesn’t suit everyone, but there are some who wouldn’t do things any other way.  There are advantages and disadvantages to running your own business as opposed to being in paid employment – here are just a few of them:


Be Your Own Boss

How irritating is it having the office manager or the foreman breathing over your shoulder when you are going about your daily work?  It’s not as though you haven’t been doing the same thing the same time every day for the last one hundred years, is it?

When you run your own business it is yours, and whether it succeeds or fails is entirely down to your own entrepreneurial acumen – well, that and a bit of luck.

Choose Your Own Hours

Don’t fancy going to work today?  Well nobody is going to make you.  And you are not going to get hauled into the office when you go back for a dressing down.

Of course, just because you work on your own doesn’t mean you don’t sometimes have deadlines to meet – and you still have to explain it to your customers when you fail to meet them.  But they are your customers and ultimately it is up to you what you are prepared to do to keep them happy.

Part-Time or Full-Time?

You don’t always get to decide how many hours you want to work when you’re in the world of PAYE.  Sometimes there is scope for negotiation, but when push comes to shove it has to suit the company.  Working for yourself it is entirely yours to choose how many hours you are prepared to put in, although the more commitment you make of course the more successful you will be.

Your Profits are Your Own

No matter how much blood and sweat your employer manages to extract from you your wage at the end of the week will always be the same when you work for somebody else.  In self-employment the harder you strive, the richer are the rewards.


No Guaranteed Payday

Don’t want to work this week?  Well that’s your privilege but you’re not going to get paid.  In fact even if you do work there is no guarantee either – if your customer defaults you need to decide whether to go chasing after him or whether it’s easier just to take it on the chin.  Sometimes it isn’t worth the time and effort, but the kids still don’t get fed.

Holiday Pay, Sick Pay, Employment Protection

It may be going out of fashion, but some companies still honour their legal obligations to remunerate you when you take agreed annual leave, or when you are genuinely too ill to work.  As a self-employed business person you can insure yourself against enforced absence from work but you need to pay for it – it doesn’t come as part of the deal.  And whilst you’re unlikely to sack yourself there is no protection to be had if the enterprise folds, even if it is through no fault of your own.  And you have to pay for your own pension too!