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Imagine that it’s Sunday and your evening is gradually drawing to a close. Before long, it’ll be time to climb into bed, and your thoughts will turn to the week ahead and all that it’s going to entail. How do you feel? Excited? Motivated? Ready for another week at work? No? Then perhaps you need to reassess what you’re doing.

It sounds too good to be true, but for the 4.79 million people who are working for themselves, happiness about work really is a reality. Being their own boss, setting their own rates, and working the hours that fit their lifestyle is something that’s undoubtedly contributing towards the numbers of people going self-employed. In fact, an extra 250,000 people are making the move from employment to self-employment every year in the UK, and the figures show no sign of slowing down.

But if you’re considering it, how do you know when it’s right for you? Is there ever a perfect time to go self-employed? Well, no – there isn’t. As Andrew Johnson from the Money Advice Service says: “There are a number of things you might want to think about before considering self-employment such as registering with HMRC and that you will now be responsible for paying your own income tax and National Insurance contributions (NICs). However, it goes far beyond just financial considerations, for example the impact on your day to day life that being self-employed would have. Ultimately, it’s a decision that needs to made after some careful consideration”.

So, while we can’t decide for you, here are a number of signs that working for yourself could be the right decision…

  1. You and your family need more flexibility
Self-employment could be the right thing for you if you need more flexibility than employment can offer you. While 80% of employees believe that flexible working should be an option for all, two thirds of business simply aren’t facilitating it. So, why not go self-employed and set your own hours?

David Sayce, a freelance Digital Marketing Consultant, says that flexibility is one of the best things about being self-employed. “I’m able to shift my routine to try to get the work-life balance that suits me best,” he explains. “Shifting the 9-5 means that I can now enjoy time with my family, make the most of the weather, and generally get stuff done – like the shopping – at quieter times”.

  1. Interest rates are lower than ever
Since the Bank of England cut the base rate to a record low of 0.25%, savers have seen very little return on the money they’ve stashed away. But those who are considering going self-employed could seize this opportunity to borrow money for the burgeoning businesses at a bargain rate of interest.

And as for meeting repayments on your existing debts (such as a mortgage)? Well, it ought to be a little bit easier to manage, meaning that being self-employed right now could be a little less daunting than giving it a go once interest rates have hiked back up again.

  1. You want to earn more
Women in employment are still earning less than men in employment. Men working full-time earned almost an extra £100 a week more than women working full time, and with pregnancy discrimination at work almost doubling over the last decade, it’s not a great time to be a female employee. So, why not join the the number of self-employed women (who have increased in number nearly three times faster than men in the last five years) and see if it’s better working for yourself?Research shows that the average self employed worker has an annual income of £50,820 compared to the national average salary of £26,093. Of course, you can’t expect to earn this figure right away (if ever), but when you work for yourself, you can decide what to charge. You get to quantify what an hour of your time is worth, invoicing your customers accordingly, and working weekends and evenings while children are looked after by family members.
  1. The current economic uncertainty could result in redundancies soon anyway
With Brexit looming on the horizon, many experts are predicting a rise in redundancies, and some industries are seeing employees laid off already. Of course, it would be foolish to jump ship just in case the the boat goes down, so to speak, but it’s worth remembering that employment is not as secure as many of us imagine it to be.

“Believe it or not, I was made redundant three times before I was 26,” says Ellie Roddy, a writer. “Everyone thinks that employment is safe, secure and guaranteed, but for me, that really wasn’t the case. I experienced two redundancies in the space of three months, and on one occasion, I wasn’t even paid the money I was owed,” she recalls.

  1. You have a passion for something else and are seeking fulfilment
Making a dramatic career change, or taking a leap of faith into the great unknown can be daunting. But Hayley Smith (owner of a lifestyle PR company) says that it’s been the right decision for her. “It can be very difficult – in fact it can get very lonely at times. But my days always feel full and rewarding”.
  1. You’re ready to push yourself outside your comfort zone
Going self-employed is going to be full of risks, and you’ll have to push yourself well outside of your comfort zone in order to thrive. “You definitely have to be resourceful and motivated if you’re going to keep afloat” says Lee Ruane, a freelance web designer. “But when there’s no other option but to rely on yourself, you’ll find that you can handle much more than you give yourself credit for,” he explains.

This low level stress is what will drive you and give you so much satisfaction. That and the fact that you’re actually doing what you want to do, of course!

So, with the ability to decide on the direction of your work and a chance to be your own boss (as well as an increase in salary and a flexible schedule), is it time to take the plunge?

By Flora McCormick, content writer at Zazzle Media