Self-Employment vs Employment: What’s Right For You?

Self-Employment vs Employment: What’s Right For You?

With one in ten Brits wanting to start their own business in 2017, it begs the question: is it right for you?

The managing director for Monster UK & Ireland, Andy Summer, says:

“I also don’t think it’s a coincidence that a large number of workers are seeking a greater work-life balance or looking to start their own business.

Having your own business gives greater flexibility over working hours and autonomy to decide how to structure your work-life balance.

But above all, being happy in your job is most important.

Spending so many hours every week doing something you don’t enjoy, or working in an environment that doesn’t suit you can really inhibit your career.”

For many professionals, figuring out whether to go it alone or continue in the comfort of employment is a tricky decision.

In theory, it’s a glass half full, half empty kind of debate.

Within reason, if you believe in yourself and your ability, there’s no reason why you can’t succeed in the world of self-employment.

But similarly, there’s no shame in being employed and working your way up a business.

With both, there are negatives and positives to consider – this blog is about exposing them so you can make an educated decision for yourself.

Self Employment


One of the biggest plus points to being self-employed is the freedom it can often offer.

In essence, you have the ability to work your own hours, go to the barbers/hairdressers when you want, catch a film at a less busy time etc.

You no longer have to answer to a boss on a daily basis, because you are the gatekeeper of your time.

There’s also a big argument to suggest that you can earn a lot more money being self-employed too – but only if you’re successful at what you do.

When you’re employed, you are limited to the salary that you’re offered.

Whereas with self-employment, you have the potential to drum up a lot more income.

However, this is all ifs and buts.

Which leads me onto the cons…


In reality, when you start your journey of self-employment, you have to consider taking on almost every job until you build a good client base.

Naturally, this all depends on what industry you’re working in.

For instance, if you’re a builder, you won’t be given ongoing monthly work by one customer who just wants a conservatory.

In this case, it’s more of a bigger, one-off job.

In contrast, if you’re a marketing consultant, you can tie companies into signing contracts which guarantees you a monthly income.

As a result, you can start to turn down clients if they aren’t right for you, as you can forecast what sort of money you’re expecting over the next few months.

Another element you need to consider with self-employment is job security as well.

If you are in the business of doing a lot of one-off jobs, it might cause you a lot of stress and make you doubt your job security.

It can also provide further complications when it comes to getting a mortgage loan too.

Taking holidays is tricky too, as it’s often hard to switch off and justify losing out on a week’s worth of work.

And then there’s the problem of doing your own tax returns.

Can you do this yourself? Or will you need to hire an accountant?

Pro recruiter top tip

Wondering whether you should become a freelancer or not?

Like the self-employed vs employed debate, there are a lot of similar variables to consider.

However, where self-employment and freelancing can differ is the fact that you aren’t always attached to any business at all.

So for some self-employed professionals, the only difference between them and permanent staff is the fact that they sort their own taxes out and work as much as they’re needed.

Whereas with freelancing, it can often be a case of picking up ad hoc work if and when it’s available.

For more guidance on whether freelancing is right for you, take a look at our previous blog.



The more obvious pro to being employed on a permanent basis is the security and ability to budget.

There’s no doubt of how much you are going to bring in every month, you can go to sleep knowing on a certain day you’ll receive your paycheck.

Self-employment can prove to be very lonely if you’re a one-man/woman band too.

So if you aren’t forming a business with other people involved, this can lead to social anxiety and sometimes depression.

Employment enables you to make friends and have a support network there for you to fall back on if you ever need it.

There’s even the added benefit of being able to switch off as soon as you clock out.

You also benefit from company perks as well, such as pension, paid holiday, life insurance and paid sick leave.

When you’re self-employed, this isn’t as easy to obtain.


However, there are cons to employment as well.

For example, getting time off or having a family can be tricky based around standard working hours.

Flexibility is a powerful tool, especially to a parent needing to take their kids to school or an individual who needs the time to care for a loved one.

As I mentioned earlier, employment can also be restricted with income and opportunities too.

So it’s important to either find a company that offers everything you desire or maybe consider doing it for yourself.

If you need a hand figuring out whether it’s time for a career change or not, check out our guide here.


The decision between self-employment and employment ultimately boils down to you.

Consider the mental, lifestyle and emotional impact they’ll both have on you and your family before you make any rash decisions.

If you’re swaying towards self-employment, try considering doing it on a part-time basis alongside your full-time permanent job to see how you get on.

Just remember to ask for the permission of your current employer on this one before going ahead with it, as it may go against the T&Cs of your contract of employment with them.

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3 years ago

Quite enjoyed reading the comparative study between self-employment and employment. The aspects of recruitment in Thailand are quite varied and based on the relevant opportunities, one can try for any of the options.