Working In-House as a Counsellor Vs Self-Employed

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Deciding between working in-house or as a self-employed counsellor can be a significant career choice. There are potential positives and challenges with either option and this article will highlight some of those to help you make an informed decision about the path that’s right for you.

In-house pros

There are many positives to working as a counsellor as part of a wider group or organisation. Working in-house brings with it all the advantages of working for a larger firm, including a steady income, staff support and benefits packages.

You will be entitled to holiday and statutory sick pay, and you will have a well-structured working schedule which can be beneficial if you have family commitments and want to know when you will be working each day.

You can also expect to be provided with extensive professional support and training, ensuring that you are up to date with any potential changes to policies or changes in counselling methods should they arise.

In-house cons

Working in-house also poses some difficulties. Some counsellors may dislike the lack of autonomy that working for an organisation brings. There’s also the fear of job security, as working for a counselling firm means you could be at risk of losing your job should the company decide to make cutbacks or redundancies.

Working for a larger firm can also distract from the actual client work, given that you may be required to attend meetings and complete additional administrative duties.

Self-employed pros

Working as a self-employed counsellor can give you the freedom to work with clients in a way that suits you best. You can dictate the hours you work and have the flexibility to conduct your sessions in a way you feel is best suited to your client base.

You can also see higher earning potential when working self-employed and can take on clients as and when it works best for you, rather than feeling under pressure to deal with a certain number of clients per day, as you might find to be the case when working in-house.

Being the person in charge of yourself would mean you’re the one making decisions on everything from scheduling and branding to determining the appropriate level of counsellors’ insurance for your needs.

Self-employed cons

Although there are many benefits to working self-employed, there are also a few potentially negative factors you need to consider. Working self-employed brings with it the risk of financial instability, as you won’t have a guaranteed salary like you would when working in-house.

Furthermore, you will be in charge of dealing with all of the administrative duties required at your practice and working alone might cause you to feel isolated. If you prefer a team environment, going self-employed might be the wrong choice.

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