Working for Yourself Versus Working for Others: The Pros and Cons of Being Self-Employed

Working for yourself can be a dream come true for many people. Most people dream of being self-employed and do research on how to become a successful entrepreneur often. While there are many reasons to become your own boss and be an entrepreneur, there are going to be pros and cons no matter which way you look at it. From setting up your home office to a dedicated workspace when you do, there’s a lot to consider when you decide to work for yourself instead of a nine to five job.

Dreams of creating your own schedule, not answering to difficult supervisors, and being able to do something you have a great passion for are all reasons to work for yourself and look into entrepreneurship. However, working for yourself isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes determination, putting in long hours, and having a fierce will to succeed no matter how tough the going gets. So, while you’re doing your research, make sure that you look at the pros and the cons, not just the benefits.

Pro: choose your own schedule.

Working for yourself gives you the flexibility to schedule work around your home life. You’re not forced to work from nine to five or work 40 hours a week. You set your schedule and work when it’s convenient for you. While you might have clients who set deadlines, you’re responsible for when they get that work delivered to them. This is the perfect way to keep from missing the dance recitals and family dinners you used to miss in the past.

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Con: no ironclad end to the workday.

While setting your own schedule is great, it also means that there’s no ironclad end to the workday. Since you no longer knock off at five, it’s easy to find yourself working into the wee hours of the morning, if you aren’t careful. Also, when the weekend rolls around in a nine to five job, you’re off until Monday. That’s not the way it is when you have entrepreneurship and work for yourself. It’s easy to find yourself working through the weekend, which means you can easily become burnt out and stressed beyond belief. While you can run a successful business, it’s hard work and you need to realize that before you commit.

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Pro: you get to decorate your home office.

One of the biggest benefits of working from home and being self-employed has to be the ability to choose decorations for your home office. Having a dedicated workspace that you choose the decorations for is a great way to give you the motivation and drive to get up and get it done in the mornings. Make sure that you incorporate plenty of natural light, shelves, and drawers into your workspace so that your office is neat and tidy when you begin work every morning.

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Con: you have no health benefits.

One of the major drawbacks of starting your own business out of your home is that you have no health benefits supplied to you by your employer because you are the employer. Health insurance for those who are self-employed can be expensive and hard to find. When you work for yourself, there are no paid holidays, sick leave, or paid vacation time. You need to try and make arrangements for benefits before you make that final leap into working from home.

Pro: you can work anywhere.

One major benefit of being self-employed is that you can work wherever you are, as long as there’s a need and you have a computer and the internet. For example, if you’re moving to Texas, and have reached out to John Foresi, Venterra CEO for your housing needs, you can work in the hotel leading up to moving into your new home, while your realtor does all the work for you!

Con: you only get paid for work that is delivered.

Being self-employed is different than commuting to a job every day because a job is usually paid hourly. Self-employment operates on a contract basis, which means you don’t get paid until the work is delivered. As a freelancer, whether it’s delivering articles, products, or another type of service, you’re going to have to deliver before you receive any money. That can be rough when the electric bill is due and you’re behind on a project.

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Pro: it can save you money.

There are quite a few ways that you can save money as a freelancer who is self-employed. The first place you save is the commute back and forth to work. Everyone knows that gas is super expensive these days, and only going to get higher. You’ll get to save money by not having to drive to work and back. The other way you save as a freelancer is by not having to buy work clothes and pay for lunches. You can work in your pajamas all day if you choose to, though it’s not really recommended or professional. You can also eat at home, though snacks can get pretty expensive if you constantly eat while you work. You can also drink your own coffee, instead of paying a ton for it at the local coffee shop each day.

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Con: you’re competing with others.

When you decide to go into business for yourself, there’s always the chance that someone else is going to have the same idea that you do. This means that you’re going to be steadily competing with people who are doing the same thing that you’re doing. This is where good marketing comes in. You’re going to have to market your home business constantly and come up with something that makes you stand out from all the rest who are starting businesses in your field.

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Pro: you never have to justify time off.

If you need time off at a regular job, you have to justify that time with your boss. When you’re your own boss, you can take off whenever you need or want to. The only person you have to answer to is yourself. It’s also great that you don’t need a doctor’s excuse if you have to take a sick day, whether it’s a physical sick day or a mental one.

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Con: it can get lonely.

One thing that many people who work from home complain about is loneliness. When you work in an office, you have co-workers and adults to talk to every day. When you’re self-employed there are days where you might not talk to another living soul outside of your house! You can combat this disadvantage of working from home by keeping in contact with ex co-workers and making friends in your new circle as well.

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These are just a few advantages and disadvantages of working for yourself that you’ll want to consider before making a final decision. Remember, being self-employed isn’t for everyone. So ask yourself, is it for you?