Some people don't want to be self-employed, which seems bizarre to me. I can think of two friends in particular who have both made a success of freelance work in response to unemployment, but at the same time were desperate to get a 'proper job'. They longed for camaraderie, teamwork, and regular hours, while I dread office politics, idiots making stupid decisions that I have to work with, and unbearable constraints on my life and free will.
I love being self-employed, even at times like this when I'm working 70-80 hours a week. I can't imagine ever having a 'proper job' again - in fact, I strongly suspect I'm unemployable. But I know I'm an asset to my clients, because I work responsively and creatively, meet deadlines, stay within budget, and produce good quality outputs. So I doubt I'll ever be out of work.
The funny thing is, the employed people I know also work responsively and creatively, meet deadlines, and so on. So what's the difference? It's tempting to say that those who choose a freelance life are more self-reliant, have more initiative etc etc - yet I know people who choose employment who are more self-reliant than I am, and at least as good at motivation and organisation and decision-making and all those other essential skills. (They are also, before you suggest it, control freaks like me too.)
Is it just a matter of preference, then, in the same way that some people prefer apple juice to orange juice, while for others it's the other way round? Or are there other factors? Sometimes people say to me 'I'd like to be self-employed, but I'm too worried about how I'd pay the mortgage/bring up the kids/manage the transition.' I know a number of people, like me, who started out in employment and then became self-employed almost by accident - and loved it. But then there are others who chose self-employment from the start, or at a later point in their career.
I'm interested in the changing landscape of work in our society. Here in the UK, self-employment is on the increase, as is part-time employment. More people are living patchwork lives, doing bits of this and bits of that, fitting work around caring for dependents, or around other things such as, ooh, to take a random example, writing. So I'd like to conduct a highly scientific survey in my comments box. Do you work? (And yes, as far as I'm concerned, unpaid domestic work counts as work.) Are you employed? Self-employed? Full-time? Part-time? To what extent is your working life a matter of choice or of necessity?