Are you dreading the thought of working 9-5 right after you graduate?
You’re not the only one: the face of the modern workforce is rapidly changing, with more people going for self-employed jobs than ever before.
Self-employment can take many different forms including:
Whether it’s as a trailblazing entrepreneur, small business owner or on-the-go freelancer, people are drawn to the autonomy and freedom provided by self-employment.
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The rise of self-employment
Due to the rise of technology and apprenticeship schemes as well as the astronomical cost of university, more and more people are opting to be self-employed. UK statistics show that the largest number of self-employed workers are aged between 45-54, pointing to a dissatisfaction with full-time employment in later years. The 2016 study also found that a total of 181,000 16-24 year olds identified as being self-employed, which is a massive increase of 74% since 2001.
Technology has been a key factor driving self-employment, as more jobs can be done remotely with the assistance of various digital tools. Meetings can be held over Skype, team discussions can be conducted through Slack, and projects can be managed via Trello, all while you enjoy a flat white at your favourite Wi-Fi connected cafe!
What’s the appeal?
It’s not hard to see why self-employment is now more popular than ever. Some of the benefits include:
Side hustles are usually most people’s first venture into self-employment, allowing them to sample some of the perks mentioned above. In fact, many people start building side hustles while working or studying full-time in order to transition completely into that work later on. Others choose to become self-employed right after completing their education or quitting their old job, diving headfirst into becoming an entrepreneur or running their own business.
There are of course, some downsides to self-employment. Work can be unpredictable, and the lifestyle can be isolating. Taxes and super must be handled on your own, and the lack of clearly defined work hours can mean you end up working late into the night. However, with the right preparation and lots of mettle, it can be done.
What traits do you need to succeed in self-employment?
The trials and tribulations associated with self-employment means it certainly isn’t for everyone. You could be cut out for the self-employed life if:
You are business-minded
Being self-employed requires a mindset shift. You are now more than an individual – you are your own business. For this, you need to have a business brain and be willing to tackle your finances, superannuation, taxes and more. You also need to be comfortable with selling yourself to clients and customers, and making some tough decisions.
You are self-motivated
There will be no managers or supervisors to check in on how you’re going and provide helpful guidance. You must be able to stay motivated, avoid procrastination and kick goals, all on your own accord.
You are organised
Self-employment comes with paperwork, time tracking, invoicing and so many other finicky details. An organisational flair will certainly come in handy, as will the ability to manage your time effectively.
You are confident
Because you are your own business, you will also need to do all your own PR and marketing. Attending conferences, workshops, classes, seminars and networking events takes guts!
You have a support system
Of course, being self-employed doesn’t mean you should be alone all the time! You’ll need a strong support system for when you want to vent about a client, need advice on a tricky problem, or just need a break from your office.
You can keep a work life balance
While self-employment needs a certain workaholic streak, you also need to know when to step away from your desk. If you’re able to keep a healthy balance of work, socialising, hobbies and more, you could be well-suited to self-employment.
What traits do you need to succeed in self-employment?
If you’re itching for some freedom and believe you’ve got what it takes, here’s some self-employed jobs to consider:
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