Best Self-Employed Careers

Category: How-tos

There are many reasons why people look to become self-employed. It gives you absolute control over your working hours and workload, allowing you to easily fit around the other aspects of your life. It can also allow you to pursue a passion, whether that’s making and selling crafts, tutoring, writing, programming…there are so many options. Working for yourself can be immensely satisfying, knowing that you have single-handedly been involved in every step of a creative process. And the good news is, you don’t need to be a genius dripping in qualifications, there are some self-employed careers you can start without needing much more than initiative and enthusiasm.

Dog Walker and Pet Sitter

Every pet owner feels guilty leaving them alone when they go to work, which is why the demand for walkers, sitters and doggy day-care is so high. If you love dogs and have experience with a range of different breeds, then why not get people to pay you to walk their dogs while they’re out? You get some exercise, play time with furry friends, and the flexibility to work to your own schedule. Pet sitting while people are on vacation is another service that is highly sought after. Either visiting their home or taking their pets into yours, nothing is more fulfilling that being welcomed into work by a waggy tail or a head rub. You will need to take out insurance which will limit the number of dogs you can walk at once, but it’s the only paperwork you’ll need to get up and running.

Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor

If your interests lie in the realms of fitness then there are plenty of opportunities for you to help others achieve their health goals. The trainers and instructors you see at local gyms are often self-employed, working there under arrangement. The same is often true of yoga and pilates instructors, who probably hold classes in a variety of venues. You could even work one-to-one in people’s homes, or over the internet – the possibilities are endless. People are more aware of the need to stay healthy than ever, so it’s a great time to venture into this area. You’ll need to complete an apprenticeship or a dedicated course to qualify as a PT and some gyms will require you to have first aid training as well.

Professional Poker Player

If you’re looking for a career that works a different set of hours – maybe because you have another job during the day, or you need to wait until the kids are in bed – and you’re good with numbers, then give thought to playing poker professionally. The development of online poker has made the game more accessible to everyone and sparked a sharp increase in the number of people playing for a living. And it’s no longer a male-dominated world, check out some of the best female poker players who are not only making a name for themselves, but also a pretty penny. The key is practise, practise, practise! Read some books, tighten up your strategy and take advantage of free-to-play games to hone your skills before launching into the paid market.

person holding black ace and king spades playing cards on poker table

Driver and Delivery Driver

Apps like Uber and Lyft introduced users to the convenience of a chauffeur-style service at taxi prices, and created a market that is never going away. If you’ve got a good quality vehicle and a clean driving record, and love nothing more than whiling away the hours behind the wheel, then becoming a driver could be the perfect career for you. You can set your own hours and choose your passengers, effortlessly fitting your working hours around your life. If you don’t fancy dealing with people, there are also plenty of options to work delivering packages. Companies like Amazon operate deliveries in a similar fashion; pick up a consignment at the delivery office and get paid on completion. 


If taking pictures is your passion then why not make a career out of it? Invest in high-quality equipment, spend some time creating a portfolio, and get ready to market yourself in which ever area interests you most. Family portraits, weddings and events, photojournalism, school groups…most photographers choose one specialism and hone their skills accordingly. You’ll also need to know how to work with digital software to make sure your photographs look their best and have some basic marketing skills to boost your profile, but after a while your work should speak for itself and the personal recommendations will come flooding in.

Being self-employed can be hard work, especially when starting out, but it is also incredibly rewarding watching your business become successful and being able to pursue your dream job. If it’s an idea you’ve been toying with, there is no better time to take the plunge and start a new career as self-employed.

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