Freshbooks have just released the Second Annual Self-Employment Report and it is evident that, in the USA at least, the world is changing towards self-employed service and product providers. They estimate that 27 million people moved from traditional employment into self-employment.
And this report is likely reflecting a world-wide trend that is happening. Which makes me wonder – is our society set up (physically and emotionally) for a wealth of self-employed individuals?
I certainly found the transition to self-employment to be refreshing and liberating, but it also took a long time for me to realise that it was okay to take a couple of hours off in the morning, if I had worked very late the night before.
When you’re in your employer’s office, you are programmed to keep working; and correctly so! But when you are your own employer, and your office is a desk in the spare bedroom or the kitchen counter, you can feel guilt-ridden if you aren’t always working because the shadow of your workplace is hanging over you, even when you are legitimately not supposed to be working.
Also there is the social attitude that because you are “at home”, then you must be always skiving off. That’s not very helpful, even as a joke, when you are struggling to start your own business, taking on all the responsibilities of many roles that you never had before, and are probably working twice or three times the hours you were while employed!
A huge gender difference that the report brings up is the way men and women prepare for self-employment:
“Women focus on developing skills and seeking professional advice, whereas men reach out to prospective customers.”
Does this effect who will move further, faster?
I definitely made some mistakes at the start of my self-employment venture. Perhaps there is better support now that there are more people venturing into this new and exciting world, as this report shows a lot of people are really investing time and money into preparing themselves for the journey to give themselves a higher level of security.
Want to have a look at the report?
FreshBooks Second Annual Self-Employment Report