Not many occupations allow a person to roll out of bed and work in their nighty. Very few occupations afford an employee the opportunity to watch over their preschool-aged children during normal business hours. Very few occupations allow an employee to set their schedules, and virtually none allow the employee to set their own salary. Only in the realm of self-employment can professionals dream of this type of autonomy. While self-employment has its caveats, the advantages to being self-employed are numerous.
Accessible for professionals of all ages
One of the major benefits to self-employment is that professionals can work for themselves at any stage of the game. While traditionally, most people become self-employed after gaining valuable work experience, college grads, young and old, benefit greatly from going into business for themselves. Because of advances in human resource development, alternative employment opportunities are accessible for young professionals who would traditionally be relegated to nine-to-five jobs. This access has made it possible for college grads, depending on their vocation, to avoid the daily grind that consumes a good portion of life, almost a third of the day, for most. For the young professional or college grad, self-employment has other great benefits.
As a self-employed professional, the individual decides where they work. This autonomy allows the person to choose what city they work in, and this in turn allows the person to choose a place where they can find copious amounts of work, as well as a place that fits their personal lifestyle. In addition to being able to choose work location, self-employed individuals set their work schedules. For the all-night party animal, self-employment is professional heaven. For parents, self-employment is professional heaven. For the professional desiring to take command of their own time, self-employment is professional heaven.
To a certain degree, self-employed professionals can also control their own salary. While most good practices dictate that salaries are comparable with work experience, self-employed individuals can command a salary for themselves that is appropriate, and in most cases, well above salaried full-time employees. For the most part, self-employment becomes the beacon from which all professionals can take command of their career.
More than any of the above reasons, self-employment is a great deal for young professionals because they have autonomy in choosing clients and jobs. Self-employed individuals can focus on a particular specialisation if they choose a group of people to build their practice, which opens up the doors to branding their own product or service. Ultimately, this autonomy allows the professional choice in the direction of their career.
Money saved while self-employed
In addition to setting their own salary, self-employed professionals take home more of their salary at the end of the year through itemised tax deductions. While these deductions are related to actual business operations, in the end, they end up shaving hundreds of pounds off a tax bill come filing time. Some self-employed professionals save in terms of petrol money, especially if living in a large city where commuting is a part of the routine. Working parents also save on day care while working in the confines of the home, as they pretty much determine the location of their work. Also, do not forget the small fortune spent during lunch at work or the morning coffee run at the local coffee house before work, as a person can snack for free at home.
Tips for self-employment
- Find a method of record-keeping. Whether using an accounting software program or employing an umbrella PAYE company to handle administrative paperwork, professionals should have some method of tracking the flow of money in and out of their business.
- Keep separate bank accounts. If not using an umbrella company, self-employed professionals should always separate their business expenses from their personal expenses by opening business and personal accounts. A person has a better chance of surviving an audit if expenses are clearly listed on an account statement.
- Use social media to your advantage. More than just “liking” people on Facebook, use this and other social networking outlets to highlight work experiences.
- Find a mentor. Network with self-employed professionals in the field because these people can be a source for information or client connections.
Self-employment for the recent graduate is an accessible option in today’s professional climate. With numerous professional sites online, a person only needs to connect with the right organisations to set up their business and begin work. More significantly, self-employment gives graduates entering the workforce personal autonomy so that much of living is not consumed by work.