types of self employment group of various workers

Self employment offers a wide range of opportunities for individuals seeking greater autonomy, flexibility, and control over their careers. Whether you’re looking to turn a hobby into a business, leverage your expertise as a consultant, or build a scalable startup, there’s a self employment path that can align with your goals and skills. In this article, we’ll explore the various types of self employment and help you determine which route may be the best fit for you.

1. Freelancing

What is Freelancing?

Freelancing involves offering your services to multiple clients on a project basis. As a freelancer, you work independently and can choose your clients, set your rates, and determine your working hours and location.

Common Freelance Opportunities

Advantages of Freelancing

Challenges of Freelancing


2. Consulting

What is Consulting?

Consulting involves providing expert advice and guidance to organizations in your expertise. As a consultant, you help clients solve problems, improve processes, and achieve their goals.

Common Consulting Niches

Advantages of Consulting

Challenges of Consulting

3. Entrepreneurship

self employed entrepreneur with hands out

What is Entrepreneurship?

Entrepreneurship involves creating and running your own business, often with the goal of growth and innovation. As an entrepreneur, you develop a product or service, build a team, and manage all aspects of the business.

Types of Entrepreneurial Ventures

Advantages of Entrepreneurship

Challenges of Entrepreneurship

4. Gig Work

What is Gig Work?

Gig work involves taking on short-term, on-demand jobs or tasks, often through online platforms. You can choose your assignments and work on your schedule as a gig worker.

Common Gig Work Opportunities

Advantages of Gig Work

Challenges of Gig Work

5. Solopreneurship

What is Solopreneurship?

Solopreneurship is a type of entrepreneurship in which you run a business completely on your own without hiring employees. As a solopreneur, you handle all aspects of the business, from production to marketing and customer service.

Common Solopreneur Ventures

Advantages of Solopreneurship

Challenges of Solopreneurship

6. Independent Contractor

What is an Independent Contractor?

An independent contractor is a self-employed individual who provides services to a company or client on a contractual basis. Independent contractors are not employees of the company they work for and are responsible for their taxes, insurance, and benefits.

Common Independent Contractor Roles

Advantages of Being an Independent Contractor

Challenges of Being an Independent Contractor

Choosing the Right Path for You

When considering the different types of self employment, it’s essential to assess your skills, interests, and goals. Ask yourself:

By answering these questions and researching the various self-employment paths, you can make an informed decision about which route best suits your unique circumstances and aspirations.


Self employment offers a spectrum of opportunities for individuals seeking greater control and flexibility in their careers. From freelancing and consulting to entrepreneurship, gig work, solopreneurship, and independent contracting, each path comes with its advantages and challenges. By understanding the different types of self-employment and assessing your own goals and skills, you can chart a course toward a fulfilling and successful career on your own terms.

Claimed SETC for your business yet?

Your chance to claim as self-employed. See if your business can get money today.

"*" indicates required fields


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between freelancing and consulting?

Freelancing typically involves offering a specific skill or service to multiple clients on a project basis. At the same time, consulting focuses on providing expert advice and guidance to help clients solve problems or improve processes in a particular area of expertise.

Can I combine different types of self employment?

Yes, many self-employed individuals engage in multiple types of work. For example, you might offer freelance services while working on a startup idea or taking on gig work to supplement your income.

What type of self employment is best for beginners?

Gig work and freelancing can be good options for beginners, as they often have lower barriers to entry and allow you to gain experience and build a portfolio. As you develop your skills and network, you may consider transitioning to other types of self employment, such as consulting or entrepreneurship.

How do I choose the right type of self employment for me?

Consider your skills, interests, and goals when choosing a self employment path. Assess factors such as your risk tolerance, desired level of flexibility, and long-term career aspirations. Research the advantages and challenges of each option and talk to others in your field to gain insights and advice.

What are the key challenges of being self-employed?

Some common challenges of self-employment include inconsistent income, lack of benefits (e.g., health insurance, retirement plans), constant client acquisition and marketing, and the responsibility of handling all aspects of your business, including taxes and legal compliance. It’s essential to be prepared for these challenges and have strategies to address them.