The concept of being sole trader is now considered the ‘new normal’, according to the New Statesman, with 40% of new jobs in the last four years were classed as self-employed. But before you embark on your dream career path, whether it be as a freelance writer or a one man band plumbing service, it’s important you consider the pros and cons. Here are some of the most important ones:
You can do what you love
You started work as a sole trader to pursue an interest or a career in something you are proficient in, therefore you should get more out of your working day than someone in an office job that they don’t enjoy. You can pick and choose who you work for and what you do, meaning those Monday mornings won’t be so unbearable.
A fairer salary
When it comes to money you’re setting the prices, and as long as they are fair you could be enjoying a more lucrative pay packet at the end of the month, with all the proceeds of your hard work going straight to you.
Working for yourself means having the flexibility to set your own working times, to work where you want and to pick and choose your projects if you’re lucky enough to have a range of clientele at your fingertips. There’s no rush hour commute to factor into your day, no dress code, no one hour lunch break to cram personal errands into and if you fancy taking a walk at 3pm to clear your head there’s no boss to tell you otherwise.
No office politics
No more putting in extra hours to appease a mean boss and you can avoid all that gossip that goes on while people are making a cup of coffee in the morning. Working as a sole trader means no office politics or having to contend with sitting near people you dislike for eight hours a day, five days a week.
There’s lots of paperwork
When it comes to being your own boss, you might just miss that guy in finance who sorted your salary and tax each month because there’s a lot of time consuming paperwork that comes with running your own business. You can either get savvy and read up on what needs to be done, or employ an expert such as an accountant, who will ensure everything is done correctly.
It can be lonely
If you aren’t the type who puts on headphones and ignores the rest of the world while you work, then life as a sole trader can be lonely. There’s no one to bounce ideas off or talk to about your weekend, which could result in you sitting on Twitter reaching out to anyone who will talk back – however, bear in mind this could quickly turn into a positive if you’re networking with other people in your field of expertise.
There’s unpredictability when it comes to work
As a self-employed worker, it’s up to you to bring in the work and this means pitching to potential clients and securing projects all by yourself. It’s a lot of responsibility and you should always have some sort of back up when it comes to money, should you have a slow month.
Life as a sole trader has its pros and cons but ultimately it’s about doing what you love, taking a chance and enjoying the freedom that comes with it. Good luck!