Did you know that almost 600,000 mums in the UK are self-employed? This is double the amount in the same position ten years ago and reflects the move away from traditional employment option for working mums.
So why is being self-employed such an attractive option for mums?
Recent Government initiatives such as tax free childcare and the 30 hours free childcare have meant that it is easier for mums to work. However, the job market hasn’t quite caught up and still offers very limited options for part time or flexible work. Many companies officially have a flexible working policy but in practice this can be very inflexible and cause other issues for employees.
Being self-employed can be the ultimate flexible option, with mums being able to choose when and where they work, and who they work for. It works brilliantly for parents who have limited childcare options and can save parents money in the long run. Flexible or unconventional working hours can also open up new opportunities such as working with clients in other time zones.
Whilst part time roles do exist in certain industries, these tend to be lower paid or unsuitable for mums who enjoyed a professional career before children. Self-employment offers excellent options for earning a decent income, especially when freelancing. In fact, 43% of all freelancers are now female at a total of 880,000 which is a 67% increase on a decade before. A large number of female freelancers work in professional, technical or associate professional occupations (262,000) Source as above
Being self-employed can work wonders for your knowledge and experience levels as well as your wallet. No more waiting for the corporate training programme to be rolled out, you have to learn fast and learn good to stay competitive. New technologies and innovations become much more accessible when you are out of the confines of an organisational structure.
It’s also brilliant for your motivation and fulfilment levels. When you are self-employed, you are in complete control of your own destiny and the fruits of your labour are all your own. There’s an immense satisfaction in doing a job that you love whilst being there for your family, and earning money at the same time!
Let’s face it, mum guilt is ever present but by going self-employed, you might be able to diminish it a bit. The flexibility that being self-employed gives you means that you can be there when your child is too ill for school, or at sports day or the school play. Plus if you’ve had a bad night, you don’t need to explain to the boss why you’ve started a bit late.
What better example could you set for your children than being self-employed? There’s some fantastic life lessons in there, from setting your own agenda to working hard towards a goal. Studies have shown that children of parents who work lead more successful adult lives, and that’s not limited to conventional employees.
Being self-employed is tough, and not without its challenges, but for many mums it can be a thoroughly rewarding career option.