It used to be that the overwhelming majority of individuals spent their entire careers working for larger organizations. However, with the number of corporations that went through the phase of downsizing in the last twenty years, many individuals were introduced to the world of self employment. The self employed now make up nearly ten percent of the workforce and is growing each year.
The opportunity to be self employed offers a great many challenges to those who take it. It is quite common for individuals who are accustomed to working for others to at first be caught off guard by the demands of being self employment. Nonetheless, those who are willing to work through these differences can make themselves a satisfying career.
When many think of self employment, they often think of the freedom to set one’s own hours or working from a home office their pajamas. While this is somewhat true, there are also times when self employment means long hours. Individuals who choose this method of employment need to be self motivated, goal oriented and comfortable with being the sole decision maker. They are responsible for making sure their own Social Security and Medicare taxes are paid and they must also file quarterly taxes. At the same time, they have great freedom to take things in any direction they see fit and many of their expenses are tax deductible.
Before jumping into the role of the self employed worker, one should study up on as many resources as possible. Books, websites, seminars and workshops are readily available for those seeking information. There are many aspects to learn about self employment, from how to deal with the isolation of the work at home office to legally collecting past due debts.
These resources also show how to lessen tax burdens and how to keep expenses to a minimum until real profits start coming in. Joining groups and organizations for the self employed is a great way to stay connected and get firsthand tips and advice.
While there are no rules, it is said that older individuals are more likely to choose self employment and stick with it. Their years of experience and knowledge give them a bit of an edge when it comes to the ups and downs that self employment can sometimes bring. At the same time, younger individuals are more likely to be able to put in the longer hours that being self employed sometimes requires. At any rate, the option of being one’s own boss is becoming more and more attractive with the shifting job market.