Employee or Self-Employed? How to Choose

Employee or Self-Employed? How to Choose


Which is right for you – Employee or Self-Employed?

The decision of whether to be an employee or self-employed as a work at home parent is a big one. There is a lot to consider both ways. I’ve been on both sides of the coin, and there are pros and cons to each.

Neither is right or wrong; it boils down to which one is right for you in your specific situation. A few things to consider:

As an Employee:

  • You answer to a boss.
  • The company ultimately belongs to someone else, sink or swim.
  • The job gives you constant accountability.
  • You are on their time frame for projects and their work schedule.
  • Your job is not your own.
  • There are possible benefits (depending on your employer) – insurance, employer-paid taxes, retirement.
  • You have virtual co-workers/support team.
  • You have job stability and consistent work.
  • There may be other benefits included like training, new skills, memberships, etc.
  • The company may provide some equipment or supplies (printer, shredder, paper, etc.)
  • There is always the possibility of being laid off, company mergers, sudden changes in role, etc.

When You’re Self-Employed:

  • You are your own boss.
  • You make the decisions of how to run your business.
  • The company ultimately belongs to you, sink or swim.
  • You have to get out there to market yourself and gain business/clients.
  • You set your own hours and vacation days; you choose your clients and jobs.
  • Requires discipline and follow through.
  • Answer to your clients for the work; must meet project deadlines and requirements.
  • Need to set clear expectations (contracts, payments, etc.)
  • You do it all (or choose what to outsource)- marketing, invoicing, paying bills, updating your website, etc.
  • Find your own training/learning opportunities.
  • No benefits; pay all your own taxes.
  • You buy all the supplies and equipment.


Availability of the work also comes into play. You may have several connections that are driving good word-of mouth referrals your way and your business is building. Or you may be in a situation where you need the steady income of a full time job and you find a job opening that is a good fit. What is right for you in one season may not work so well in another.

Your accountant can help sort out the financial aspects of the decision. These will vary for each state and country, so be sure to talk with a professional about the different factors.

In the end, whether to be employee or self-employed comes down to choosing what’s best for you and your family.

Which route did you choose, employee or self-employed? Are there other factors you would add to the list? Let me know in the comments below.

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