To answer the question, “Is it better to work for yourself or get a job with an employer?” there are two camps of thought. It’s possible that some people will prefer one over the other, but that’s not the case for everyone. Which option is better depends on the individual’s goals, needs, and preferences. Both options have their advantages and disadvantages, which will be outlined in detail below.
It’s important to weigh the two options side by side in terms of job security because it’s not as simple as it seems. Because of the unpredictable nature of freelancing and running a small business, income can be spotty at best. In contrast, the job security offered by a company is greater. If you’re an employee of a design firm or independent business, you’re likely to work regular hours and receive a steady paycheck. There are many jobs that provide benefits to the employees.
Self-employed people are largely on their own in terms of procuring benefits like health insurance and time off for illness or vacation. However, it’s worth noting that if a company fires all of its graphic designers, they’d be out of a job for months or years. A self-employed person, on the other hand, has other clients to fall back on if he or she loses a single client. It is important to keep in mind that no job is ever completely secure, and that self-employment provides fallback options that traditional employment does not.
As Shutterstock points out, landing a graphic design job at a company comes with different responsibilities than going it alone. One of the many responsibilities of owning and operating one’s own small business is being a self-employed graphic designer. Marketing, financial management, administrative support, and customer service are all included in this unless they are outsourced or staffed in-house.
They must set their own prices and find clients on their own. This may be too much for some people, but for others, it presents an exciting challenge. When employed by a company, a graphic designer is restricted to performing only those responsibilities listed in their job description as graphic design work. People who just want to work on design and not have to deal with the business aspects of working for themselves will find this arrangement ideal. When deciding whether or not to work for myself as a graphic designer or join a company, this is an important consideration.
People who are contemplating starting their own business are frequently most concerned about their ability to make a decent living. Working for an organization is a better option for those who require a regular, predictable source of income. A self-employed graphic designer may not get paid at all if a client fails to pay after the work is completed and a bill is submitted. Having a traditional W-2 form from your employer makes it much easier to file your taxes than if you were a small business owner.
Fortunately, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has excellent resources available to help self-employed taxpayers save for and pay their taxes on time. Each time an employee is paid, their employer takes care of withholding taxes from their paychecks. As a self-employed graphic designer, there is no limit to how much money they can earn. Since they set their own prices, they can charge whatever their clients are willing to pay. Choosing to work as a self-employed graphic designer could pay off in a big way. Quality of their work and effort, as well as chance, all play a role in their success.
The ability to set your own hours is one of the greatest advantages of working for yourself. Having the freedom to work when and where they want is a huge advantage for freelance graphic designers. Customers provide a general idea of the project and a time frame for completion, but the designer is free to work whenever and wherever they want within those constraints.
It is common for a designer to get a job with a company and be expected to work regular hours during the business day, with little room for wiggle room. However, companies are increasingly allowing employees, particularly graphic designers who are used to working on their own, to do so from the comfort of their own homes. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows both employment options lead to long nights, weekends and overtime as soon as deadlines approach.
Working for a Company First
For those who want to start their own business, one option is to work for a company for a while before making the leap. There are a few major advantages to taking this approach. Once they have saved up enough money from their regular paychecks, graphic designers can go out on their own and use it to cover living expenses and/or start a business. In addition, they will gain valuable experience and skills in the field of graphic design that will be invaluable when they start their own business.
An added benefit of working as a graphic designer is building a portfolio that can be used to land new clients and new jobs. However, be sure to get permission before doing so, or share it privately with your clients. Non-disclosure agreements and non-compete clauses can make it difficult for graphic designers to share work done at work with private clients.
Both of these career options have both advantages and disadvantages to consider. Each is likely to have a different effect on different people. It’s up to each individual to decide whether working for themselves as a graphic designer is preferable to working for a company.