Corporate Job versus Self Employment – What is Right for You?

Even though her reign was much maligned, Margaret Thatcher remains one of the most recognizable and resilient leaders of the 20th century. She is certainly one of the UK’s most famous leaders, and her premiership was defined by the notion that each citizen should take individual responsibility for their actions and the circumstances of their life. Once quoted as saying that anyone who finds themselves on a bus beyond the age of 26 can be counted as a failure, she sought to create a resilient nation that was driven by the principles of independence, capitalism and entrepreneurship.

Choosing between a 9-5 Job and Self-Employment

She would certainly have improved of the recent change in the labour market, which has seen a record number of workers eschew 9-5 roles in favour of contracting and self-employment. While this has been driven by the pace of technological advancement and a generally weak labour market recovery, it also appeals to the growing levels of awareness that exist among individuals with regards to their value in the workplace. According to the Network One blog, the evolution of e-commerce and online capability has also made it easier than ever for citizens to establish a viable and profitable business.

Self-employment also brings considerable responsibility, however, as contractors must be prepared to work unsociable hours and all around the clock if they are to satisfy existing clients and win new business. This is especially true if you have an international client market, as your customers will operate in different time zones and contact you at different times of the day. Such demands can place a great strain on your work-life balance, as the lines between your professional and personal lives continue to become blurred. This contrasts sharply with the majority of 9-5 employment roles, as working hours are usually well regulated and provide opportunity for more free time.

Your Choice: 9-5 Employment vs. Contracting

So while the potential rewards and returns from independent contracting are far greater, freelancers must work considerably harder than standard employees if they are to achieve success in their chosen business. If you are not prepared to do this and prefer a more balanced, comfortable existence, then you are probably most suited to a 9-5 employment role. In contrast, if you are prepared to sacrifice on your work-life balance as you establish a lucrative contracting career, you may be able to enjoy a more successful and profitable life over time.

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