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Employed vs self employed

7th Sep 2012
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I've not been on blogs for a while but thought I'd give an update since my last dilemma about whether to work or not. I decided to go on the self employment route but as I've not got a practicing certificate, my options were a bit limited.  Anyway, I have been doing some bookkeeping, tax returns and sub contracting work. Although, I think with sub contracting work, I feel like I might have been undercharging but I thought that as he was starting out too and needed help, I would go for it. Plus any money would be good and at the very least, it will look good on my CV, if I decide to go into employed work some time in the future.

As much as I love the flexibility of working from home and only occasionally having to go into the office, the worst part of working from home is the constant worrying and trying to fit in the work in between looking after my daughter. As a toddler, she needs constant attention, and I can't always just leave her to play by herself as she will definitely get into trouble!  Plus there are so many random social /family commitments which older members of the family don't really get - you're at home so you must be free. Although I think there is an element of procrastination involved in not finding the time to do work.

Anyway, I'm glad I've had this experience of doing self employed work. I'm working hard on trying to get my practicing certificate by getting all my experience up to date and trying to get ex employers to sign it!  Contacting some of the ex employers is the hardest part. 

Well I'm pregnant again with baby number 2, so I will have some more decisions to make after that whether to go into employed work or carry on being self employed. The good thing about being self employed is that I can spend more time with my daughter because I can control the amount of work I take on. But the constant worrying and the randomness and uncertainty of when I get work and get paid is hard.  At least with employed work, at the end of the day I don't have to think about it again. The downside of being employed is that the flexibility would be lost, especially if my daughter is ill or other things like that, I would feel bad taking advantage of taking time off and that's if they let me in the first place!

The other thing I had been contemplating was to go into writing.  Ideally in tax but thats another thing that I've been putting off trying!

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By MarionMorrison
07th Sep 2012 21:28

Family Planning

It is so difficult to be definite about these things.  My practice was set up partly so that I would have the opportunity to work with a few clients, look after our first daughter and allow my wife to go back to work full-time.  The plans one makes pre-babies are quite funny in hindsight.  You really don;t have a clue - and although our first daughter was angelic my recollection of the period was trying to change nappies whilst on the phone to the Revenue with the phone held to to my ear with a hunched shoulder.

There's even a photo of our baby girl sitting in a car seat seemingly reading a Tax Return Guide.  Some kids are brought up with stories being read to them.  I used to chat to my little one all the time - only she was well versed in distinguishing capital from revenue.and not Fireman Sam.  But when we had a second daughter we realised how good the first one had been and swapped roles around so that my wife looked after the girls and I tried to make the business make a family living.

So don't commit - stay as flexible as you possibly can and don't rule out any options until you have to.  You can't say how things are worked out until you know just what being a mother-of-two will entail.

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