While being self-employed is undeniably amazing, there are still some surprises along the way. Here are ten things no one tells you about going self-employed…
Going from being an employee to being self-employed is one of the biggest decisions you will ever make, and often one of the best ones too. But alongside all the perks are the things no one tells you about going self-employed…
The regular 9-5 day is something of a distant dream. When you become self-employed it can be so easy to work all the time. After all, if you know you have a to do list a mile long, why should it matter when you do it? You need to make sure to set yourself particular hours and stick to them. Of course, you will have the odd day when you work into the night, but make sure it’s not all the time, as you’ll end up burning yourself out.
You will sometimes have pyjama days (and that’s ok)
We all know we feel more productive when wearing the right clothes, however some days you will end up just working from your pyjamas or tracksuit bottoms, and that’s ok too.
Don’t expect all your invoices to get paid on time
Invoices will become the bane of your life (or chasing them will!) While many companies are good and do pay on time, there are also those which don’t and require plenty of chasing and follow ups. Just be prepared for this and ensure you always have a little cushion of savings for people that do pay late, and potential late fees in place if the process does take too long.
It can get lonely
Not having a bustling office of people to talk to can sometimes leave you feel lonely (and even sometimes longing for those ranting emails asking who ate the last of their butter from the fridge.) If you find yourself having too long with only the walls for company, why not head to your local library or coffee shop, where just having the bustle of people around can make you feel better.
You will feel guilty for taking time off
There is no rest for the wicked (or the self employed.) There will be times when you feel guilty about taking time off – even for holidays or weekends – when you know the stack work you have to do. It can be hard to differentiate working and home boundaries when your office is in your home, but you need to make sure you set clear times to not work and try to remember you wouldn’t feel so guilty if you were employed for this, as they aren’t your contracted hours, and not let it bother you so much.
You will forget what a lunch break is
An hour lunch break will seem a thing of the past. You will head to your kitchen, make lunch, and most likely eat through it while working. Do make sure you take regular breaks, whether it to watch something relaxing on TV or take a walk round the block for some fresh air.
You will never want to work for someone else, ever again
Once you go self-employed and taste that freedom and flexibility, you will wonder just how you managed to work for someone else for so long, and just why you don’t want to ever do so again.
To do lists will become your life
Organisation is key when you work for yourself, and to-do lists will become the bane of your life. You will have lists for everything and they will soon become a life saver!
People who aren’t self-employed might not get it
To those who aren’t self-employed, it may seem to them you get the luxury of staying at home, setting your own hours, wearing what you want and going out when you want. They probably won’t understand all the extra hours you put in and the stress that comes with running your own business.
Some days you won’t even step outside
Some days you will get up from your bed, work at your desk, shuffle to the kitchen for meals, watch some television or read a book in the evening, then head to bed – without even stepping foot outside. While this is sometimes inevitable, try and get out when you can, even for a jog or a trip to the shops to get some air and clear your head. It will make you more productive in the long run!
What do you find are the most common things no one tells you about going self-employed? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!