Self Employed vs. Employed

January 31, 2014 10:00 am

Escaping the dreary daily routine of the nine to five may seem like the ideal lifestyle to many, but how does it really compare to working under someone else? There are certainly benefits and disadvantages to both of these work environments and situations; and I’m going to be exploring in this article exactly what these pros and cons are.

Having worked both as an employee and as self-employed, I can say that, though in today’s work climate no job can really be defined as ‘secure’, it can be said that self-employment does open a person up to a wide variety of financial issues. These issues are often something that those in employment may not come across.


Starting up a business or working freelance requires building up a portfolio and a network of trusted clientele. Unfortunately, this can take a while to build, which means that earning a regular income is something you may have to forgo for a little while. In fact, most businesses make a loss in the first year or so, so you may have to wait a while until you see the profits!

It is true that self-employment offers more flexibility than working for someone else – however, when first starting out, you may find that you never really stop working! Although you’re planning your own time, holidays may be less frequent and hours longer, especially if it is just you in the business! It is important to remember that when you are self-employed, it’s not just the work you have to think about, but also seeking out clients and filing paperwork and accounts. Those that are self-employed also do not reap the benefits of a pension, so organising and arranging out your finances is a big part of the job!

Self-employment is also only suitable for those who are passionate about their business; determined and driven to succeed. It’s all very tempting to just sneak a few lie-ins here and there, or even get distracted by the goings-on in your household! However, this kind of work situation is very useful for not only those that dread the nine to five, but also those that are unable to work these kinds of hours due to child commitments.

Employment does offer the comfort and security of knowing that you won’t have to go out looking for jobs each day, week or month. The regular income, in comparison to the generally sporadic payments of self-employment can be a lot less stressful! You are also able to obtain the benefits of life insurance, pensions, holidays and (usually paid) sick leave.


This kind of a working life can also be more sociable. However, on the other hand, self-employment means that you will never have to deal with workplace dramas again!

For all of those just starting out as self-employed; or considering the leap; it is comfort to remember that all companies start small. It is just a matter of patience and sometimes, luck! There’s no reason why you can’t create your own empire. It is hard work, sure, but why continue to build on someone else’s repertoire? Self-employment can be the start of something amazing, but it’s not designed for everyone.

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