Having started my career as an independent software consultant for two and a half years and now having transitioned to a full-time software development job at HP for 8 months, I have had the opportunity to experience both sides of the spectrum. From this experience, I can say that there are quite a few differences between running your own business and working as an employee for another company.
Below, I list what running your own business means:
- You can choose the field you want to work in based on your interests and skills.
- You can choose who you do business with.
- You can structure your own working hours.
- You are in full control of the integrity and standards of your business.
- You are more prone to lawsuits from clients.
- Much of this relates to who you do business with.
- There are ways to protect your personal assets, such as forming an LLC.
- Your tax situation is more complex (self-employment tax, business deductions, etc.).
- You are responsible for marketing your business and finding clients with whom to work with.
- You are responsible for your own medical insurance and other benefits.