Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing
Midlife MOT: wealth, work and wellbeing

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

5 Working for yourself

Self-employment can be an appealing work path and according to the Office of National Statistics 15% of people in the labour market are self-employed, approximately five million. However, self-employment presents both opportunities and risks and requires serious thought to what you can offer and how you go about it.

The image is a drawing of nine interlocking gear wheels. In the middle of two of the gear wheels is the image of a person.

Going through the activities and links in Section 2 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] would have given you some awareness of what is important to you in work and your skills and interests. Doing some research on what the pros and cons are of working for yourself is the next step to investigating this path. Consider the benefits and disadvantages of being self-employed and add your own thoughts to this list. Take a look at this section ‘Questions to ask before becoming self employed’ further down in this article.

Activity 4: Ideas for a business

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes for this.

How will you identify what you want to do? Listen to this podcast about using your specialist skills, generating ideas, looking at examples of innovative businesses, and more.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Audio 1: Podcast featuring a conversation between Liz Moody, Director of Executive Education and Polly Corfield, Careers and Employability Consultant, The Open University.
Copy this transcript to the clipboard
Print this transcript
Show transcript|Hide transcript
Audio 1: Podcast featuring a conversation between Liz Moody, Director of Executive Education and Polly Corfield, Careers and Employability Consultant, The Open University.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Now spend 10 minutes investigating the option that will work best for you once you’ve read this article on different self-employment options.

For extra advice and guidance, take a look at the Additional resources section.

The OpenLearn course that Liz Moody refers to in the podcast is here: Entrepreneurship – from ideas to reality.

Discussion