There are around 4.8 million self-employed people in the UK. That sounds like a lot of people, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t sound so much when you say it like this, though: self-employed people make up about 15% of the workforce of the country.

Just 15%? That doesn’t sound like a lot at all.

But when I think about it, apart from other bloggers who I’ve met in this industry, I don’t know anyone else who’s self-employed. I don’t know anyone in my ‘real-life’ who works for their self. I don’t have any friends or family members who are self-employed.

This was prompted by a segment I heard on Radio 1 recently. It was talking about the number of self-employed people aged 16-24 rising. Whilst I’m not in this age range anymore (sob!), I was when I began my self-employment journey.
being self-employed in the uk

I hadn’t long turned 22 when I graduated from university and started working on my blog full-time. At the time, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing or how it would all pan out, but I knew I wanted to give it a shot. I was already making a bit of cash from my blog and knew I could increase that if I was working on it full-time.

Fast forward six years and I’m still self-employed, although it’s pretty different now.  Now, this blog forms a very small part of my income and I spent the rest of my time working on writing and managing social media platforms for my clients.

There are lots of people out there who’ve been able to make a very comfortable living from having a travel blog. That’s absolutely great for them and I love reading a lot of those blogs, but it just didn’t work for me. There was too much competition, some cliques and living in Scotland didn’t make it easy to attend all the networking events that are almost always held in London.

So, I decided to change up what I was doing. I decided to diversify my income and use my skills in writing and social media to help others.
being self-employed in the uk

Now, I have a bunch of clients who I absolutely love working for. I create and manage social media content and write for blogs, magazines and websites. I’m constantly working on new projects and campaigns and it feels like every day is a little bit different.

After six and a half years, self-employment feels pretty normal. After all, I’ve been self-employed for longer than I was ever an employee of anyone else (and even then it was a part-time job while I was at university).

I didn’t really think about how different it was until I heard that segment on the radio. I’ve never really considered how young I was when I became self-employed, or that it’s a bit of an achievement to still be doing it more than six years later.

I guess I should be proud that I’m still managing to support myself being self-employed all these years later. There aren’t that many people doing it and I’m proud to be one of them who’s making it work.

Of course, just like with anything, there are good days and bad days when it comes to self-employment. For me, the good far outweighs the bad.
being self-employed in the uk

I love working in my bright, sunny home office with my dog lounging in his chair beside me. Having to do new things all the time shakes it up and keeps it exciting. I love making my own hours and being flexible with my time.

Sure, there are days when I’d rather be anywhere but at my desk, but that’s normal in most jobs. Plus, I have the luxury of giving myself a morning, afternoon, day, or even just an hour off to clear my head and recharge. As long as I meet the deadlines set with my clients, it really doesn’t matter when I get the work done.

Are you self-employed? How does it look for you?