Please don’t accuse me of being wrapped up in cotton wool, but I have to admit that self-employment is a fairly new area to me, as I’m still studying at university.

Whilst many of the exhibitors at TheatreCraft are about working in the buzzing theatre itself, I was initially dreading what might seem like a dry topic. Let’s admit, filling in tax forms is not the most exciting of tasks. However, I found it rather fascinating to learn from Alistair Bambridge and Jordan Steer of Bambridge Accountants about how to manage your money and employment when the time does comes. These are important skills to master whatever your profession but is of particular importance in the highly specialised field of theatre and the hard graft the industry requires.

For me, it seems to be that self-employment is becoming an increasing trend. Is seems unsurprising considering the high rates of employment not only in theatre, but in the wider world of work. The short term alternative, studying on a Higher Education course can be pricy, as we have recently seen with the national student protests. Job offers and even voluntary internships are undoubtedly competitive. Therefore, self-employment certainly appears to be a possible solution. It allows control of your own work and business. We only need to watch some of the amazing successes of those on Dragon’s Den to see where self-employed entrepreneurial spirit can lead to! Yet, self-employment can be unpredictable. Being your own boss also means that it is your responsibility to prioritise tasks and keep control of expenses.

Is self-employment realistic? To an extent, yes, if you know definitely what you are doing, but it is a responsibility. For me, it is about a constant hard-sell to the industry in every way you can and sheer perseverance to obtain paid jobs.

Image by 401(K) 2012