5 Reasons for Self Employment


In recent years, there has been a huge growth in self employment among people who are involved in professional, scientific and technical activities. These activities, according to the ONS (Office of National Statistics,) include management consultants, accountants, website developers and project managers.

London boasts the highest concentration of self employed people in the UK – 17.3% – this figure, still below the European average.

However, is the world of self-employment all that it is made out to be? People are drawn to the idea of personal freedom, being their own boss, unlimited income, no restrictions on holiday entitlement and even tax benefits.

According to latest statistics, the self employment “bed of roses” is not quite as good as it sounds. The self-employed sector of the employment market has experienced a 22% fall in real pay since 2008-2009. Self-employed people tend to work longer hours – on average 2 hours more than someone who is employed. More than 13% of self-employed people admit to working more than 60 hours per week. This figure is compared to only 4% of employees.

The growth in the self-employment sector, however, is driven according to the ONS to “people choosing not to leave self-employment once they entered it”. Roughly a third of today’s self-employed people have chosen to become self-employed within the last 5 years. However, what is happening, according to the ONS, is less and less people are choosing to leave self-employment. Surely, that would contradict the statistics of lower-pay and longer-hours. What is therefore driving the desire to be self-employed?


1. Job satisfaction – doing what you want to do when you want to do it

Only 1 in 5 people in employment states that “hand on heart’ they are “100% satisfied” with their job. Another 1 in 5 employees argues they are satisfied with aspects of their job. However, that still leaves the vast majority of employees wishing that there was more to be gained from their work.

2. Being your own boss

More and more people are coming to the realisation that they are being bullied at work. As companies face tougher and tougher competition to achieve their targets, more pressure is therefore being put on employees, across all sectors, to perform to a higher standard.

3. Greater earning potential

Although the ONS report a fall in real income amongst the self-employed in recent years much of this has been driven by the construction and agricultural sectors. There is potential to earn more as a self-employed professional. Websites such as PPH and Elance are opening doors to professionals to sell their services and secure exciting new contracts worldwide.

4. Opportunity to build personal assets

People in employment tend to talk and think a lot about pension policies – after all a pension policy is their reward to years of dedicated service. However, with pensions also being pinched some people are now developing alternative ways to build personal assets that generate a passive income.

5. Focusing on what you do best

If a sports person chooses to turn professional, people don’t tend to think of him or her entering self-employment – but as such he/she is. The sports person has chosen to do what he or she is really good at and love doing. People tend to encourage the sports person by saying you only have one life so go for it. Being self-employed would allow you to be your own boss and focus on exactly what you do best.

Career Consultants helps people to choose the best career options for them. These days more people feel that self-employment is an accepted and rewarding career option.