Leaving the rat race behind and choosing to go self-employed is one of the most terrifying things you could ever decide to do with your career, but also one of the most rewarding. If you can do it successfully, you’ll be in complete control of your destiny. You work whenever you want, wherever you want, and for whatever rate you want.
The only people you have to worry about pleasing are your own customers. Never again will you find yourself passed over for promotion, or subjected to bad management. It’s an incredibly liberating experience!
If everybody fully understood the benefits of self-employment, more people would do it. What holds the majority of people back is the fear of not making money. That’s understandable, but the solution to that is finding out what makes money and what doesn’t. Self-employment is a gamble, so put yourself in a gambler’s shoes.
If you wanted to make money from gambling, where would you put your money? Would you choose a Playtech slots where you have no control over what happens next, or would you play something like poker, where you can influence the outcome? Sure, the games at online slots websites are often a lot more exciting and potentially more rewarding, but the odds aren’t always in your favor. If you’re a skilled poker player, you’ll win more often than you lose.
You need a career choice that’s less like online slots and more like poker – something that’s aligned with the skills you already have. Check out these ideas, and see if any of them sound right for you:
Freelance Writer: Average Salary $20 per hour
When people talk about the gig economy, they’re generally referring to delivery drivers, Uber drivers, or something similar. In reality, much of the gig economy is made up of freelance writers. We live in the digital age, and in this digital age, there’s a never-ending demand for content. That could be website content, blog content, or marketing content. Someone needs to write all of those words, and if you have a natural flair for the English language, that person could be you.
As a hint, somebody got paid to write this article. If you think you could do a better job, you’re welcome to try! Websites like Upwork and Fiverr are a great place to get started with this rapidly-expanding field of work.
Freelance Photographer: Average Salary $15 per hour
All you need to get started in a freelance photography career is a good camera and an eye for a good photograph. Three years ago, the number of photos taken per year exceeded one trillion for the first time in human history. That number will continue to go higher every year from now on.
Wedding photography is obviously a very lucrative business, but you don’t have to confine yourself to such a restrictive field. Think about event photography or creating content for stock photo websites. Those images have to come from somewhere, and there’s always somebody willing to pay for them!
Familiarize yourself with Photoshop and other photo editing tools so your pictures stand out from the crowd, and you should quickly find yourself in high demand. You’ll need a website to showcase your best work.
Freelance Videographer: Average Salary $30 per hour
If you can edit photographs, you can edit videos. The software you’ll be working with will be more complex, and the hours will probably be longer, but that’s reflected in the prices you’ll charge. If you can develop your skills and become an all-rounder, you can offer photography and videography services at the same time.
Most websites – especially sales websites – now include video content to attract customers. That video content has to come from somewhere. Because you’re freelance, you’ll be able to work with people from all types of business. You might find yourself making educational videos, YouTube shorts, wedding videos, or marketing pitches.
The more you build your resume as a freelance videographer, the closer you’ll get to being called upon to make television commercials – and that’s where the big money in this profession is hiding.
Social Media Manager: Average Salary £14 per hour
Businesses tend to be owned by people who grew up before the age of social media. Some of those business owners have adapted to the 2020s, and some of them haven’t. If you’re a social media whizz who knows how to attract and maintain a large-scale following, there are companies out there who would desperately love to take advantage of your skills.
This is a job that you could do from home, and if you’re good at it, you can probably get everything you need to do completed within three or four hours each day! The more clients you have, the more money you’ll make.
Driving social media engagement with a view to attracting fresh eyeballs to products and services is the order of the day, so if you have a background in sales to go with your social media skills, you should find that you’re a natural.
Business Consultant: Average Salary £60K per year
Here’s a much bigger aspiration. Have you done everything there is to do within your professional field? Have you improved profitability within your company, and overseen successful projects from start to finish? If so, why are you settling for receiving a salary from that company that probably only represents a tiny fraction of the money you’ve made from them? Why not make yourself available to multiple different companies and do the same for them as you’ve done for your employer?
Business consultants usually have individual specialties, whether that’s making payroll savings without compromising efficiency or introducing new marketing strategies. If you’ve done it for one company, you can probably do it for anybody.
None of these industries are necessarily easy to get into, but self-employment isn’t easy. You need a particular set of skills and strict self-discipline and application. All of them, however, can be learned if you take the time to teach yourself and hone your skills.
Don’t let anybody hold you back, and don’t get stuck in a job that’s going nowhere for the rest of your career. If you believe you can do it, then try it.
Taking the plunge is better than getting to the end of your career and wishing you’d backed yourself when you were younger.
*Photos by Anastasia Shuraeva.