Ten Negatives About Being Self Employed


To be self employed means that an individual person is his or her own boss and generates an income based on services they can provide. It means to be working as a freelancer offering numerous services depending on their skill set ranging from creativity, finance, skilled labour, designer and the list goes on. Interestingly, between 2001 and 2018 the number of self-employed workers aged 16–24 has increased by a whopping 74% — the rise of the freelancer is really happening!

For some people this way of life is an absolute dream, and at first seems like the best idea. However, you need to be prepared for the difficulties you will face of being your own boss. Self employment entails a lot more than just being able to choose your hours, have freedom, be your own boss and follow your passions. The risks and disadvantages that come with this lifestyle make it a real ultimatum when deciding whether or not to go down this path.

If you didn’t know by now, I am self employed. As much as it may come across that I have an ideal set up, it’s not all fun and games and is definitely not as glamourous as it is made out to be. Like with everything in life, there is always highs and lows, positives and negatives — it’s never ever smooth sailing and feels pretty much like an emotional rollercoaster.

In this post I want to share ten disadvantages of being self employed. Let’s go!

1.RESPONSIBILITY — you are now in charge of your pension, bookkeeping, national insurance and completing your self-assessment tax return (which if you don’t know how to do properly can be very trying). The additional pressure that your success or failure is down to you and only you be quite stressful at times

2.SELF DISCIPLINE — in order to be self-employed, you need a lot of self-discipline. Having the flexibility to be your own boss is dreamy, but the temptation to do something more fun is always there. On top of this, if you work from home, finding the motivation to get out of bed and be productive can also be a challenge (look out for a post on this soon)

3.LITTLE/NO RECOGNITION — you are now a small fish in a very big pond and you need to work your way up again in this new realm of work. Lots of networking, coffee meetings and working multiple jobs means building up both yourself and your new reputation

4.WORKING FOR FREE — matching the above point, sometimes for your reputation your job now involves a lot more than just doing paid work. Sometimes to build yourself up, you’ll have to take the hit working for free to learn and build up your brand and portfolio

5.WORK/LIFE BALANCE — sometimes it is difficult to draw the line between these two, especially at the beginning. Expect early mornings, late nights and weekends. Utilising all the time you have to get your ‘baby’ off of the ground means there may be a fine line juggling this balancing act

6.LACK OF FINANCIAL SECURITY — I think this is probably one of the more difficult disadvantages to deal with. There is no steady income, no monthly paycheque, no guaranteed income per month and no employer benefits. This was and still is the hardest one to get my head round and means that it is all down to you to succeed

7.SOCIAL ISOLATION — missing out on workplace environment interaction means that self-employment can be a lonely place. Some days I feel this more than others, particularly when none of your friends are in the same situation so can’t work from anywhere with you

8. PATIENCE — hitting the ground running can be a long, tiring and frustrating process. Having the patience of a saint is necessary because the journey ebbs and flows. Some days are good, some days are bad. You’ll need to have the patience and persistence to go with it

9.DISTRACTIONS — being self employed means one thing; time not working is time not earning. Distractions can prove pivotal to this motto. Enjoying time off work is great, but the less you work, the less money you’ll be earning

10.FIGHTING NEGATIVE LABELS — with this way of life, you may also have to fight negative labels from those who think you should “get a real job” and don’t understand what you actually do. They often imagine self-employed people spending a lot of time pursuing leisure activities, working only when necessary. This is a daily mental challenge as well as questioning yourself over the same thing!

Like I mentioned earlier, nothing in life is ever smooth sailing, especially the path of being self employed. If this decision is for you, make the most of having the freedom to do your own thing. Even if it fails at least you won’t regret that you weren’t brave enough to give it a go. Maybe the best advantage is that those who are self-employed get to make a living doing something they enjoy. That advantage alone could make the the ten disadvantages above bearable.