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How to Be Your Own Boss and to Succeed at Self-Employment



So you want to be self-employed?  Controlling your own schedule, driving your own mission or purpose, and building your own business. Self-employment sounds wonderful right?! But does that mean you’ll be living the American Dream, or running on the gig-economy hamster wheel?

You may be in luck. The results are in, and self-employment is ranked as one of the top 10 industries for employment in the coming years, with an expected increase of 9% by 2026; some sources suggest that the number of self-employed workers sits at 24 million in 2019. Self-employment is for everyone: as retirees and aging workers transition into self-employment to carry them through their exit from traditional models, younger workers increasingly prefer entrepreneurship or freelance work to 9-to-5s that often have impossible barriers to entry or simply stifle opportunities for self-management and personal development. 

Is it the right time for you to make the leap?

Key Insights

Self-employment continues to have stark practical pros and cons.

Working for yourself provides incomparable freedom, but it also demands incomparable hustle. Entrepreneurs and freelancers alike must constantly strive to drum up new business and adapt quickly to new situations and new client needs, all with no guidebook. Burnout and job insecurity pose serious risks, and lacking the benefits associated with traditional employment offers little relief. But if you thrive under pressure and have extreme dedication to building your business or client-base, there are major rewards to be reaped – and according to NY Post, 97% of polled self-employed workers would not want to return to traditional employment.

Permalancing is the new freelancing.

As freelancing becomes more commonplace, many contract workers are shifting towards long-term pseudo self-employment and setting up scalable businesses based on their marketable skills. Enter, permalancing. Permalancers function as consultants, often in non-consultative roles, and have complete control over their time and work, a level of autonomy unavailable in traditional employment. Of course, they face the same reality as side-gig freelancers: no benefits or long-term stability, but a trade-off of freedom, fulfillment in work, and an “infinite potential income stream”.

Entrepreneurship is demonstrably improving.

Beyond freelance and contract work, entrepreneurship is booming — and the two are increasingly coming together. Solopreneurship is a common way for professionals to move towards self-employment, creating businesses based on their skills and operating in the space between gig work and the trials of scaling a business. And prospects for those who choose to build a business from the ground up are improving as well: 85% of new business owners expect to see profit within the year, and diversity in age, gender, and ethnicity is blossoming across entrepreneurship.

Job Trends in Self-Employment

People working for themselves most often work in fields they are good at or have passion for, and a college degree is becoming less important to find clients – in the last two years, there is no difference in revenue earned between workers with or without a college degree despite that gap widening in traditional employment.

We’ve compiled some of the top self-employed jobs on Lensa to give you some ideas of where to begin:

The Most-Searched Self-Employment Job Titles
based on search volume

Many self-employed positions, whether digital and remote or operating in a brick-and-mortar establishments, are relatively independent of geographic demands, so most entrepreneurs and freelancers can work wherever they already live.

Want to try your hand at self-employment? Check out contract work on Lensa today to receive personalized listings daily.

Team Lensa
Team Lensa
Team Lensa is a group of HR specialists, career counselors, and tech enthusiasts dedicated to helping job seekers navigate the employment landscape through actionable tips and insights.

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