Odd-Jobbers: A New Career Genre Is Born

by Business Blogger Zoe

Typically, when we think of self-employed in the UK, we imagine a skilled tradesman or freelance professional working long hours in order to gain a wage. Yet since the recession and economic downturn hit the country and further afield, there has been an influx of self-employed odd jobbers, many working on a part-time basis, taking up their place in the jobs market. This new breed of self-employed worker covers a greater range of occupations. This includes those who have turned hobbies and interests into an ad hoc business and those who do not possess any special skills, picking up work wherever possible. In many parts of the world, odd jobbers are known as handy men.

Why the sudden increase?

Whilst the recession has managed to limit the jobs market for employment and increase redundancies, many are unable to find work with an employer and instead turn to the self-employment market. Many of those who take up self-employment as an odd jobber would rather work for an employer with a steady income if a job became available. Once newly self-employed, though, many are pleased with their choice.

With women making up the greater percentage of odd jobbers, many have become disillusioned with the current job market and business environment. The work/life balance plus flexible working hours are found to be in short supply in many companies, creating an obvious disadvantage for many working mums. Employment no longer offers job security, especially since the recession and many job perks and bonuses have been cut whilst hours have increased in response to heightened pressure to perform.

Not having to answer to a boss or deal with office politics is seen as an advantage. Odd jobbers can decide when, where and for whom they want to work, only needing to report back to their self-employed and limited company accountants when necessary.

Are odd jobbers benefiting or harming the economy?

Whilst the increase in people gaining self-employment status has risen since the recession, this increase has been as a direct result of the state of the economy, with many hoping to return to paid employment with a company. Many argue that people turning to the odd jobber self-employment status since the recession has improved the employment figures for the UK rather than harm the economy. More and more people have found themselves out of work or redundant and therefore figures would be a lot lower without people becoming self-employed as odd jobbers.

There are, however, newly self-employed odd jobbers who will be reluctant to re-enter the employed jobs market, with many more set to follow as a lifestyle change rather than a result of the recession. This trend of working your own hours and maintaining a better work/life balance may change the job market in the UK, taking many women and in particular working mums out of companies and into self-employed status. When the market eventually recovers it may leave companies with a gap in part-time workers with the necessary skills, thereby hampering economic growth in certain business areas.

This post was written by Business Blogger Zoe

This guest post has been written and contributed by business blogger Zoe, who is currently writing for Brookson to help promote their accountancy services for small and medium sized businesses.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

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