Clock FaceSelf Employed Full Time or Part Time: What's Right For You?

By Karyn Greenstreet

copyright © 1997, by Karyn Greenstreet. All rights reserved.

When you're self-employed (or thinking about becoming self-employed), one of the more important decisions you'll need to make is whether you want to do this work full-time or part-time. That's a difficult question for many people, and here are some things to consider when making that decision.

Full-Time Benefits

  • You can have a career that you love that also brings you enough money for your needs
  • You can devote yourself to skill-building
  • You will be available to your clients more often

Part-Time Benefits

  • You can spend more time with your family and friends
  • You can have another job at the same time, either full-time or part-time
  • You can "test the waters" to see if you really want to go into this career
  • You can go to school to complete your training, and earn money on the side to pay for it

Whether you choose full-time or part-time, you need to consider your personality (do you want to do this work full-time?), your skill level (are you still in school or just learning the skills?), how much you need to make (do you have enough clients to do this full-time?), and whether full-time work offers you the best balance in your life style.

You may find that you want to keep your regular full-time job and do this work on a part-time basis until you're more sure of yourself and your ability to get enough clients. This is often a "best of both worlds" scenario, though it requires a lot of time and commitment. If you do this work part-time, there is likely to come a time when there is simply too much opportunity and you have to make a decision to go full-time. Until then, part-time may be the answer for you.

If you choose to continue working your regular job and doing your business on the side, you will need to decide whether your regular job coworkers should know about your other work or not. In some companies, having your own part-time business is not seen as "acceptable," and it may hurt your chances of being promoted or put on special projects. I have heard of cases where people were fired from their job when their boss found out they had their own business on the side. Only you can know your company's work culture; if you're unsure, it might be best to say nothing.

Karyn GreenstreetIncrease Revenue and Reach
Without Feeling Overwhelmed

Karyn Greenstreet is a small business coach and consultant. She shares tips, techniques and strategies with self-employed people to increase revenue and reach, create a clear business vision and plan, and implement it without feeling overwhelmed. Visit her website at

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