Sick of working the 9-5? Being micromanaged and having your boss breathing down your neck is never much fun. Maybe you’re in a dead-end job, or a long commute leaves you with no time other than to sleep and work? If so, the idea of becoming self-employed probably appeals. After all, while work is an important aspect of our lives it shouldn’t be everything, and if your work/ life balance is off chances are your happiness will suffer. When you’re self employed you get to set your own working hours, you can work from home and you can control the projects you take on. While you have to be highly motivated when it comes to working for yourself, it gives you a lot more freedom than working a traditional role and suits many people to a tee. But taking the leap from a stable job to self-employed where you’re responsible for sourcing and completing work off your own back might leave you feeling a little uncertain. If this is on the cards for you, here are a few things to bear in mind.
Save Some Money
Before quitting your day job, it can be worth saving up first, so you have some money to act as a buffer. That way if things are slow to start you don’t have to worry about bills and have chance to get on your feet. While there are tons of great benefits to working self-employed, it definitely doesn’t have the same stability with earnings as a full-time job. Unless you’re signed up with a company which you know has regular projects on offer that you can take, your earnings can vary from month to month. If you have a partner who earns a regular wage, this can give you more stability as you know if your earnings are a little short one month you can cover your monthly bills. If you pay for everything yourself, it’s something you need to take into consideration. It’s not to say it can’t be done, but give yourself that buffer with money in the beginning so you can work out what kind of money you’ll be bringing in and how regularly. Writing out your expenditures can help you to keep in control of your finances during this new and testing time.
Decide What Work You Will Do
Thanks to the internet, many people are able to use their skills to make them money. Have a think about what you’re good at, if you’re creative you could set up a shop on Etsy or other marketplace type site and sell digital or physical goods you have made. If you’re a baker, you could bake from home and sell party and occasion cakes and goods to people in your local area. If you run a blog, have you considered ways to monetise it? There’s plenty of work for freelance writers and designers online, have a look through job listings for work from home. Sign up to a number of freelancing sites, this gives you plenty of options when it comes to working. The best ones will have lots of projects on offer which you can choose to take, while each will have a deadline it allows you to control the amount of work that you do. Ideally, you will have a number of different options and ways to earn money online, this gives you the best chance of earning enough each month.
Pay The Right Taxes
As an employee, your taxes are all taken care of for you and are deducted before you get your wages. However, as a self-employed person, this is something you need to sort out yourself. You need to register with the relevant authorities in your country to state that you’re self-employed, and then put away money from your earnings to cover your tax bill. A company offering tax services can help you to plan and prepare for these costs as well as sort out any issues that arise. If you leave it all until the last minute, you’ll have a big chunk of money that needs to be paid which may cause you financial problems.
Have a Working Space
Working from home is fantastic- there’s no travel costs or time, no uniform and no annoying co-workers- bliss! However, when you work from home, it’s easy for work to somehow end up becoming your whole life. When you’re watching tv in the evening, you might find yourself scrolling through job opportunities or replying to emails. When you’re supposed to be spending time with the family, you might find yourself sorting work related things. To prevent this from happening it’s useful to have a working area where you go to get things done. This could be an entire room or just a desk in the corner of a quiet space in your home. When you’re at the desk, you’re in work mode, and after you’ve finished, it’s over. While freelancing is great in that you can check up on things quickly and easily if you need to without having to physically travel to your workplace, it’s important to keep work and life separate. Maintaining a good balance will prevent burnout and mean that when you do work, you’re more focused and productive.
Working self-employed and working from home won’t be for everyone. Some thrive in a busy working environment surrounded by colleagues, or may feel that they need the push and motivation from having a boss.When you work for yourself you have to be responsible to get up, find work, meet deadlines and sort everything yourself- it takes a lot of self motivation and isn’t for the work shy. Others might not be ready to give up the steady income that a regular job provides. But for some people, self-employment really is the answer and can lead to them being far happier in their daily lives. Work out if it’s really for you and think carefully before making the leap. But if you do, it could well be the very best thing you’ve ever done.
Would you ever consider self-employment or working from home?