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Working for yourself

Working for yourself

Key points

  • There are benefits and disadvantages to working for yourself, and a lot of responsibility.  
  • You can be self-employed as your primary source of income, or choose to run a small business on the side of your regular job. 

  • For a comprehensive guide to setting up your own business, visit the Australian Department of Business’s Preparing Yourself for Business page.



The idea of being self-employed is appealing to many people. After all, this form of employment often allows you to set your own hours and rules, work from home, and follow your passions. However, operating your own business is a big responsibility – one that requires a lot of planning and resourcefulness.

While some people are self-employed as their primary source of income, others choose to run their own business as a side job. For instance, they might use Etsy to sell homemade jewelry, or offer independent piano lessons while also working part-time or full time for a company or organisation.

For inspiration, read about Clay Lewis, a young Queenslander who set up his own bin-cleaning business with the support of his mum. Clay’s business quickly grew, and he now employs three others to help. Notice how Clay did market research before he started his business. This is an essential step when exploring the idea of working for yourself. Other steps include writing a business plan and assessing your finances. 

More information


myWAY Employability is an initiative of Autism CRC, the independent national source of evidence for best practice in relation to autism.

myWAY Employability was developed with funding from the Australian Government.

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