Through the many talks we have been having with graduates I decided to think a little about the pros and cons of employment in a company in comparison to having your own business. In this post I will try to briefly look at both sides and make some kind of decision into what I want to do.
The main plus side of being employed in a big company is the security, you know that you will be getting a pay cheque at the end of the month. Being employed means you go to work and can leave your work at work, you probably won't have much work you need to do at home.
Being employed does mean you have to be flexible, you have to be able to for fill the brief given to you by your employer. This means being able to change your style to what is needed, to be able to push your work and not always work in one style. The brief also means that you don't have control over the work you do, you are not able to pick your work, you are told what you need to do. In contrast this also means you do not need to worry about what you are going to do next, you will be given your next brief, you do not need to find the next topic to inspire you, you are given it. Your work also becomes the companies work, your name may not be directly associated with your work.
Firstly you do not have the security of a consistent wage, you rely on selling work to get enough money. Many of the graduates we spoke to had a job along side their work to give them a regular income. You also take all of the finanical risk, all the money you use to create your design will be lost if you cannot sell the work.
However you have much more freedom, you can decide what work you do, whether to take freelance jobs, what project you want to do next. You are in control of your work and can make sure that your name is associated with your work. This does mean that all the hard work of promotion and selling your work falls to you, you have to have the self motivation to get your work sold, to get your name out there.
The most important part of self employment is self motivation, being able to push yourself and your work. Also being able to advertise yourself, put your work out there to sell your product.
Both ways of working have their ups and downs, what I think you need to decide is are you able to push yourself? and how much does control over your work mean to you?
Currently I still do not know if I would have the drive to take the leap of self employment.