Self-employment has its pros and cons but many individuals are choosing it over working in traditional jobs today. Those who are self-employed work for themselves and not for anyone else. In recent years, this category has grown significantly and encompasses many non-standard working arrangements, such as “gig-economy” workers and independent contractors.
Companies increasingly prefer working with such people over permanent employees because it helps them stay agile in a shifting economic environment.
Technological change is one of the major factors in allowing people to become self-employed. The productivity of those who know how to use technology has increased dramatically and it is much easier to set up a business and work for themselves without having to employ others.
Many self-employed positions are independent of geographical demands today. As long as individuals have an internet connection, they can work from their homes using a smartphone and a laptop. Communicating with clients by using some form of video-conferencing is common.
Self-employment is for everyone including retirees who don’t want to stop working once they leave their traditional jobs and young people who increasingly prefer freelance work and entrepreneurship to working from nine-to-five.
There are more self-employed people over the age of 35 than younger age groups which suggest that some kind of minimum experience is necessary for individuals before they have the courage to go it alone.
More mentoring and business skills development programs are focusing on women and giving them the tools they need to become successfully self-employed. Assisting younger people to start their own firms could also help to solve high youth unemployment rates. Many economies do not generate enough jobs to accommodate new workers entering the workforce.
Support from local communities
Small, locally-owned firms often play a large part in communities and there are several ways local communities can help to support self-employed individuals. Local policymakers need to look at removing any barriers to self-employment, such as onerous red tape, and help create more supportive environments.
Helping with business planning assistance, grant applications and funding applications are some ways they could support those who want to be self-employed.
A shift in the nature of work
The rise in sole self-employment has taken place across a wide range of occupations and its prevalence has increased in high-paid occupations such as IT professionals and managers. There are self-employed workers found in virtually all industries, ranging from construction to manufacturing and services.
Self-employed individuals do face higher risks and insecurities in certain areas than when they are employed by others. One of their issues is finding health cover. For self-employed Christians, there is an affordable alternative to traditional health insurance. If they don’t mind the coverage restrictions related to lifestyle, they could consider a health share program like UHSM Health Share.
The self-employed have a higher level of autonomy which gives them the option for more work/life balance and they report lower levels of anxiety than employees. Some of them may earn less than when working for an employer but they feel there are other compensations, such as being able to manage their own work hours.
Those who are self-employed do need to constantly find clients and there are serious risks of burnout. They don’t have many of the benefits associated with traditional employment.
However, for those who thrive under pressure and are dedicated to success, there are some major rewards they can reap from self-employment. Surveys reveal that few of those who are self-employed would ever consider returning to traditional employment.