Does Being Self-Employed Make You Unemployable?

Are you unemployable if you're self-employed


One of the big scary things I heard about when I was considering quitting my corporate day job to go self-employed was that I would become ‘unemployable’.

I thought this meant that no employer would consider me. That I’d be signing the death warrant on all possible Plan B’s and it would all be taken out of my control.


At the time, it worried me but not enough that I didn’t quit. I needed to leave that job, and I went a bit nuts in that first year of being self-employed. I was running the wrong business but oh my! The freedom! I embraced it, I rediscovered myself and I loved it.

Until the fact that I was in the wrong business crept up on me.
I wasn’t making any money. And because I was full of self doubt and didn’t actually want to do the work, I wasn’t marketing my business or looking for clients. Mix that with some personal problems and a good heavy bout of depression, and I was stuck.

I decided I needed to go back to the traditional employed job, but would I ever be able to find someone who would want me?

The fact is, I started job hunting during a time when finding a job was hard. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do and my heart wasn’t totally in it.

By the first interview, I’d remembered why I hated working in the corporate world. I had horrible interview after horrible interview where I was treated like dirt. And this wasn’t because I’d been self-employed. This is because that’s the world of being employed. It brought back all of the memories of horrible interviews I had before I went self-employed. In fact, it brought back all of the bad memories full stop.

And then I applied to be part of the temp unit at our local University. They brought me in, asked me to do a Word and Excel test I could have done with my eyes shut, had an easy chat and boom! I was on their books.

And then I got a job. That easily.
I should have known that was a red flag.

The job was horrible. The team was unhappy. It had a high turnover (which is why I got a job so quickly) and the manager made me want to physically hurt her. Sitting in that office every day made me want to peel my own skin off. It’s a sensation that I used to have in my old job. It’s my brain and body telling me to run. Run! Get out! Run! Now!

BUT I loved the work. I loved the admin side of it, the processing and organisation and processes. That was when I realised I had to stop forcing myself into being someone I’m not and embrace the fact that I love being organised, doing admin and basic marketing tasks.
That’s how Adminosaurus was born.

I quit the temp job, despite them wanting to keep me on, promoting me to supervisor and even suggesting I apply for the permanent role they were advertising.
No thanks (it took them a year to fill that role…or at least to stop advertising it).

Late 2017, nearly two years later, I was again employed. For all of one week. I needed a big change and I thought that would be moving house. It turns out I still couldn’t hack sitting in an office all day every day, even if the prize was a new mortgage. Lesson learned, I handed in my notice and went back to my business and my old house. Oh, and we got a puppy who’s completely changed our lives.

So does being self-employed make you unemployable?

But not because people won’t employ you. It’s because once you taste the freedom, joy and wonder of running your own business, you won’t be able to bear going back to the office and being told what to do.




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