Which is better: working for yourself or working the 9 to 5? Many self employed people wouldn’t be dragged back into a salaried job unless they had no other choice. And by contrast, many employed people like knowing they have a fixed schedule and specific hours to work, and a boss who makes all the decisions.
So, which position would you rather be in? There really isn’t a right or wrong answer here — it’s really all about your personal preference and point of view. In fact, many people fall victim to the “grass is greener” syndrome and end up wishing they were doing whatever it is they are NOT doing at the moment. So an employee may hope to become an entrepreneur with his own venture someday, while the struggling businessman who is besieged by financial problems may pray for a full time job. Sometimes, it can be hard to make up our minds!
So how about comparing these two approaches to earning a living to see which you find more suitable for your situation?
Factors To Consider When Comparing Full Time Work To Self Employment
Here’s a list of factors to consider when comparing different work lifestyles:
#1 The Number of Hours You Spend At Work
When you have a job, you have a specific number of hours you are required to work. There are always exceptions, of course, but for the most part, you have a fixed schedule. A typical work schedule runs from 9 AM to 5 PM. Those are the hours you work, and come 5pm, you drop everything and go home. You couldn’t do that if you were self employed: not all the time anyway.
On the other hand, if you’re your own boss, you may tend to work harder than when you’ve got a job. But the good news is that you’re able to choose your own hours, so if you want to work later in the day and into the evening, you can do so. You can’t have such a flexible schedule if you work for a traditional, less progressive employer. In my case, I pick up my kids from school in the middle of the day. It works out because I run my own home business.
Also, regarding overtime: if you are employed, you may get overtime payments for working longer hours (or extra hours). As a self employed worker, you’ll be paying yourself an income (out of your business earnings), so your “bonuses” are tied to your revenues, not to your hours worked.
#2 The Amount of Money You Make
This depends on the job, but there seems to be a misconception among many people that self employed people get paid less in many cases. But you can’t really generalize. It all depends on what kind of work you are doing. In many cases, people are surprised to find out that they can earn quite a bit by pursuing something they are passionate about and then building a business around it. Here are some examples of people who have found success as professional bloggers.
#3 Your Job Role and Responsibilities
When you work for someone else, the responsibilities you have depend on the role or position you fill. Those responsibilities are pretty set and well defined though, and depending on your job title, you may or may not have too much on your plate. If you’re not interested in climbing the corporate ladder, then you can decide to take on a low stress job. When you work for yourself however, it all changes. You are responsible for everything and everyone you employ. You cannot “pass the buck” onto anyone else because it stops with you. Some people see this as an exciting challenge, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
One thing is certain though –- if you work for yourself, you won’t feel nagged or controlled by your boss any more. But being the one pulling the strings will mean that you’ll have to find the self motivation to manage your business and to see it through.
#4 Job Fulfillment
A lot of people say that working for yourself tends to be a much more fulfilling and emotionally rewarding activity, but if you happen to be in the right career, you could very well enjoy pretty high job satisfaction as well. In my case, I loved working in dynamic corporate environments that also offered me stock options along with a generous salary and job benefits; I can say that this rivals the enjoyment and fulfillment I feel as a business owner. 🙂 Here’s more about my erstwhile Silicon Valley corporate life.
What Kind Of Work Would You Choose?
Some people were never meant to work for someone else. By contrast, other people are simply not cut out for self employment and would crash and burn the minute they tried it. Sometimes, it takes some experimentation and even some serendipity to figure out the best kind of path for yourself.
Here’s a question: If you’ve had the chance to work in both worlds, which path have you decided to stick with, and why?
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