Self-employment and financial skills

There have been a couple of announcements this week which caught my eye and should be of interest to anyone who is going into self-employment, doubly so if you have school-age children.

Firstly, the Office for National Statistics revealed that there's been a sharp increase in people becoming self-employed. Full marks to the Daily Mail for living up to their reputation and finding a depressing angle to this: that people have been made redundant and can't find work any other way.

I'm sure some feel forced into self-employment but in my training I find most people up for it and positive about their future, if a little anxious sometimes.

The ONS announcement has led inexorably to the Sunday papers coming up with 'how to' guides for self-employment.

I spotted two articles worth a quick look – remarkably similar, so probably drawing on some of the same press releases:

Neither article really underlines how different employment and self-employment are. And the differences are not just about the way you earn money, they're about how you run your life. Having said that, they both contain useful tips, as do some of the comments underneath them.

Catch 'em young

The other announcement that caught my eye caused a little whoop and a skip in the air. Financial skills are likely to become part of the school curriculum next year. You can read about it here:

At last teenagers will be shown that maths is relevant to everyday life, and that everyone needs financial skills to survive. Tellingly, this will come under 'citizenship studies' rather than the maths curriculum, underlining that these skills are essential for a properly functioning society.

The reason I'm so chuffed to hear this is because I meet people all the time in our self-employment workshops who have no clue at all about how finance works. I don't judge them for it. I was exactly the same until I had to learn the hard way – when I set up my own business 8 years ago. I just wish I'd been told some of this stuff when I was 16.

So here's to the next generation of financially savvy citizens and small businesses.

Posted on 11 February 2013

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