Self Employment Rises to 14% Hitting 4.2 Million
Becoming self employed here in the UK is on an upward trajectory right now igniting an interesting debate about whether that’s out of economic necessity (no bloomin jobs) or a result in a rise of entrepreneurial spirit amongst workers at large. (back to the Thatcher years).
Let’s first get this in perspective, going self employed is not the direction that the majority are taking, after all, 86% of all those in work are still effectively employed.
We’re still a society of bosses and workers, of offices and entitlements whilst most of the factories have gone, converted into trendy urban dwellings. There is still this overhang of the Industrial past in the top down “control and command ” tactics of employee life. A resource that needs to produce or you’ll be let go along with the many others who’ve given loyal sweat, blood and tears all along believing it would all be OK because you had your pension to look forward to.
What’s fascinating is that 80% of the increase in the self employment category in the last four years is from people over 50 and older , the mid-lifers, and the working hours of this category has got longer.
The stats tell us its more male dominated and frankly I ‘m not surprised when you look around . The employment market, whilst fully conversant with equal opportunities and discrimination laws has a long way to go to drive out blatant ”ageism” and begin to accept that we’re all living longer and can and will need to work longer.
Since 2010 40% of all jobs created have been from self employed roles and I believe this trend will continue with or without a growing economy.
Ebay believe from some analysis conducted back in 2008 that they have something in the region of 178,000 users in the UK running a business online and the online skills site Peopleperhour suggests that the trend to going self employed has a lot to do with quality of life factors, work satisfaction, independence and the opportunity for uncapped earnings which appear to be “pull” factors to becoming your own boss.
Why Bother To Go Self Employed ?
Becoming self employed whether push or pull factors are at play at least guarantees that you’re driving your own destiny in an uncertain world where the comfort zone of being employed is no longer a safety zone. It’s natural as humans that we all want to seek out security and have a dependable future but at what price to our sanity, our talent and our soul?
One of the biggest rises in those becoming self employed has come from the professional occupations category. Professionals don’t want to be unemployed goes the argument so they are going self employed instead. I’m not sure I buy this analysis. Many business professionals that I work with are slowly waking up to the fact that times are changing and what was once the dream of the golden career, now realised, doesn’t actually live up to that reality. These people want freedom to express their gifts and greater meaning and purpose to drive their work.
Think about it, if you’ve spent twenty plus years building your experience as a career professional you’re going to have a good deal of knowledge, contacts and ideas. The boundaries that once restricted lawyers, accountants, coaches and consultants no longer constrain them giving rise to a flourishing breed of home-working Internet savvy business owners who can undercut and over-service the average firm.
Quality is coming back to the table in a world where progress comes through innovation and its’ people with the right ideas that can connect all this who will be the ultimate winners.
Today’s economy isn’t broken, it’s different that’s all. The good jobs are disappearing fast, ask anyone out there how their sector has changed in the last decade and know one is immune to it. Today we have a surplus of choice, of quality and a surplus of entertainments to choose from and networks to join. Yet, we’re still lonely and bored and disconnected.
Seth Godin expresses it beautifully when he says that
today’s economy is a connection economy which revolves around the lynch-pin, the artist we can’t live without, the individual who chooses to do work that matters, because without her, why connect?
So if you’re thinking of going self employed , whether that is driven out of necessity or desire for different things, don’t focus on your fears, focus on who you might just become in the process.
Enjoy this we hope so. Here at Make Work Play we’re passionate about ideas, creativity, individualists and visionaries who want to change the world, make a difference and follow their own path. If you’re one of these people thriving in the world of self employment right now and want to share your story on a guest-post here then please get in touch. In the meantime, we’d be grateful if you’d share this.