The road of self-employment – Is it right for me?
To many, self-employment may seem like the ideal way to earn a living. Whether setting up your own business or going freelance, this path allows you to be much more in control of your working career. As well as the opportunity and freedom to build, own and run a successful business, there is also the possibility to earn much more than in typical industry employment.
But when considering your future career, don’t be led to believe that it’s the easy option. The shock of the vast commitment and dedication that it takes to start up a new enterprise is the reason why so many businesses fail in their first few years after start-up. Demands and pressures will be high, and within the new digital age it’s often a 24/7 job. There are many risks with self-employment, and it will not provide the support and infrastructure that more traditional employment would.
So how do you know if self-employment is the right career path for you?
- What can you offer?
A new career or business will not succeed without a strong idea or concept – a product or service which is high in demand and which will sell in the market. These skills or products need to be perfected and you must have the passion to take your idea forwards in the industry.
- Does it fit your personality?
Analyse your traits and skills. Key characteristics needed to be successful include dedication, self-discipline, commitment and organisation. Do you have the willingness and hunger to seek out new opportunities? Are you able to judge risks and are you prepared to face the consequences of your actions?
Credibility and reputation is everything. Before bringing in revenue, much time must first be spent developing your brand and identity in the industry. Those in self-employment must therefore be good at networking to meet new contacts and clients.
- How do you best work?
Self-employment is a lonely world. People who work best in teams should be aware that starting up a new business is not a social career. In the early stages you will be required to take on all the tasks in the business and will need to take responsibility for all the decisions you make – the buck stops with you.
- How will it work?
New start-ups normally require financial investment. How are you going to put money into the business? Do you have the space and facilities to work at home?How will you earn money in the early days of establishment? Do you have a part-time job or another source of income to support yourself? You have to live – what revenue do you need to survive?!
Ultimately, the decision to go freelance or set up a new business should not be taken lightly. It’s a tough career path and inevitably many don’t succeed. But if you have the right idea, the right attitude and the right dedication, the potential opportunities are endless. If you relish a challenge, are passionate about the area you’re pursuing and are committed to developing your idea in the industry, then self-employment may be the right career path for you.