Is Self-Employment Becoming the New Mantra for Success?

Why People Choose This Route?

By Shelly Verma, Contributing Writer

On a daily basis, how many people do you encounter that are self-employed? Chances are they could be freelance writers, home cleaners or even selling goods over the Internet. Then again, most of these jobs have been available for the past decade, right?  Then why is it that people can’t help but wonder if self-employment opportunities are on the rise?

Why Do People Turn to Self-Employment?

Well, the truth is many people are not turning to self-employment as a career, but more or less as a good way to make ends meet. It is estimated that people working odd jobs and doing work-at-home business have contributed to the recent rise in self-employment opportunities. They are generally unemployed due to the economy being in recession and are desperately trying to find employment to support their families. Also, they may be working in these types of jobs, while searching for another full-time job.

In fact, the unemployed are not the only people considering self-employment. Some companies actively seek contract employees to fill positions. A number of large media businesses lay-off regular employees in favour of freelancers as a way to save on the costs of benefits, unemployment and taxes.

So What Kind of Jobs are People Doing?

There are various forms of self-employment one can try out. The usual odd are cleaning homes, gardening or even babysitting. These make up the majority of self-employment opportunities.

Those that are more serious about self-employment may be working as freelance writers, website designers, net-marketers or even professional blog writers.

From my point of view, freelancers are better for the economy than regular employees. They only get paid when work is available, so the reduced labour costs allow businesses to better adapt to market changes. For the employers, freelancers constantly have to work harder to prove their worth. Although freelancers might have a slightly more unstable income, they have a better work life balance and greater job satisfaction than most regular employees.

So the clear answer is that self-employment is on the rise. However, in many cases this isn’t a person’s first choice. In most cases, it’s due to an economic recession and massive layoffs since people often don’t have options once unemployment. They usually choose odd jobs to make ends meet, while looking for a more permanent solution. Unfortunately, in today’s bad times, odd jobs may soon become the main or even sole source of income for those seeking a source of revenue.

Most people on the self-employment road are doing so out of desperation, necessity – and generally not because they have an amazing idea or have been inspired by their entrepreneurial spirit. The economic landscape is scattered with freelancers, online business, consultants and one-man contractors earning less than they did as full-time employees.

It is easy to think about leaving our job and becoming self-employed because we have a good idea, although we all have commitments and bills to pay every month. The question is: what preparation do I need to do to get me in proper shape to pursue that self-employment idea?

In the short-run, you need to realise that you will be highly dependent on your individual abilities and talents. It could be quite rough the first few months or even most of the first year. Hence, keep some money stashed away because you need to first be established before you will be able to make money for yourself.

Feature and banner images courtesy of 401(K) 2012

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