Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Pros and Cons of Self-employment

If you dream of leaving the 9 to 5 lifestyle behind and have considered exploring self-employment, before you make the leap you should evaluate all angles. Like any form of employment, being self-employed has its perks and its drawbacks. Here are a few things for you to consider.

Pro: You are your own boss
You are in charge of every detail of your business, you make all the decisions, and you have all the control. Aside from your customers, you answer to no one but yourself. You get to choose who you work with and who you work for. You are not obligated to continue the relationship with a client that is unpleasant, who has unrealistic expectations, or is abusive and rude.

Con: You are your own boss
As someone who is self-employed, I often struggle with self-discipline. Having no one looking over your shoulder can lead to taking too much time off and getting behind in your work. Self-employment demands self-control, self-motivation, time management, and discipline. Keep in mind, there is no one else but you to listen to and solve problems for those unhappy and irate customers. As the only one who is making decisions, you will face some tough choices and will have to own up to your failures.

Pro: Flexible work hours
As an entrepreneur, you get to set your own schedule and work when you chose. Self-employment enables me to spend more time with my children, to go on their field trips, and take vacations whenever I would like. As long as I have a phone, a computer and an internet connection, I can do my work anywhere.

Con: Long work hours
Many successful entrepreneurs will tell you that an 8-hour workday is not an option. As the sole person responsible for the business’ success, you often have to work whatever hours are required. I mentioned earlier that my business allows me to spend time with my family. However, I failed to mention that means I work from 8 pm to midnight most nights. Many self-employed people have a hard time leaving their business behind. I have answered client emails while waiting in line at Disneyland and written resumes while my kids played on the beach nearby. The flexibility can be a pro and a con, depending on your viewpoint.

Pro: The money you earn is yours
When you are self-employed, your efforts and your rewards go straight back to you. There is no “glass ceiling” the sky is the limit as to your earning potential. No more slaving away and feeling as though you are not getting the recognition – and rewards – you deserve.

Con: Potential lack of a steady income
When the company does not make money, you don’t make money. There is no steady paycheck or dollar amount you can count on every two weeks when you are self-employed. If you do not perform, you don’t get paid.

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