Disclaimer: I love my job, and I’m grateful for all the friendships, and opportunities that have come my way because of it. What follows is meant as an acknowledgement of my situation as a self-employed person, and some suggestions on how to improve it.
Yesterday I was asked on Twitter: What can the Government Of Canada do to help self-employed or entrepreneurs? Part of my answer was to recognize that self-employment or entrepreneurship is often the only way to get a job for young people. I’ve been freelancing for nearly five years now not because it was an active choice on my part, but out of necessity.
A huge part of being unable to find a job has been the industry I’m in. It’s been a tough few years for media, and it’ll continue shifting as we figure out what role the web plays in spreading information, and storytelling. That aside, there are people who are stuck doing temp work because it’s all they can find. Others are underemployed, and still more people who for whatever reason just cannot find a job no matter what they try. I’m not talking about an increase in funding to youth employment or entrepreneurship programs. Just an admission that these are both becoming a way of life for a lot of people because that’s what you have to do.
My other suggestion is more concrete. Make it easier for self-employed to buy private health insurance. I looked into getting dental insurance last year. It worked out to be cheaper for me to just pay it all out-of-pocket than it would be to pay the premium for the dental, and the other services I might not use that much. I’d like to see it broken up where you could just cherry pick what services you need.
Those are just two of the things I’d do if I were the Government of Canada. Any more ideas?