Why Millennials Go the Way of Self Employment - America's Future Foundation

August 25, 2020

Career Advice

Why Millennials Go the Way of Self Employment

By: Ericka Andersen

Years ago, the path to a prosperous life meant heading to college and securing a good job that you might keep for the entirety of your career. Job security was key and moving up the corporate ladder inside a large company was the dream.

For some, that still exists, but younger generations dream differently these days. A recent survey on CareerBuilder showed that newly hired college grads stay at companies less than two years. And it’s not just job-hopping, but job creating. Studies show that millennials want to work for themselves — and many of them are doing just that. 

Some wonder why. After all, it’s harder to secure benefits like health insurance, vacation days or bonuses. You’ve got to deal with accounting, paying staffers and acquiring clients by yourself. But the benefits of a flexible schedule and running things the way they see fit outweigh some of the more difficult details of entrepreneurship.

There are a few simple things you must keep in mind if you decide to go it on your own. Here is a helpful list: 

-Make quarterly, estimated tax payments. Get yourself an accountant and be sure you are making those payments each quarter or you’ll wind up owing a pretty penny to the government at come tax time.

-Budget and plan. Clients don’t always pay on time — or at the same time. You can’t rely on a regular paycheck for bills and expenses. Plan ahead and adapt to the reality of a new way of income. 

-Get organized. Download a time-keeping app like Toggle to help you manage your hours and keep track of each client.

-Maintain separate email addresses for different clients. If you can get a client email address to keep your emails separate for each one, it will help with keeping messages and calendars straight. Many companies use the Google Suite system, which means you can easily toggle between accounts on your phone.

-Be aware of your available tax deductions. As a self-employed individual, your deductions will look different than someone working for a larger company. Be informed about these things.

-Get health insurance coverage. Health insurance isn’t always simple, but it is essential. Be sure you have some kind of plan, either through the government, a private company or a shared plan.

-Be on the lookout for new clients. Working for yourself means acquiring your own work. If a relationship with one client ends, you’ll need to strike up new job potential quickly. For this reason, always be networking and keeping ideas in your back pocket so you aren’t left missing a chunk of income for long.

Depending on what kind of business you are in, some of these tips will be more relevant than others. Regardless, working for yourself brings in a whole new realm of responsibilities to consider. Talk with others who have done it and stay ahead of the game in terms of clients, taxes and preparation. As more and more millennials opt for this kind of work, more resources will emerge to aid in helping them do it well. 

I’ll be speaking with a couple of bright, young entrepreneurs on Facebook Live and Instagram Live in the coming week, so stay tuned for those interviews!