The jury's still out as to which form of employment is better. There appears to be a raging debate about whether finding a job or starting up one's business is the better of the other.
Of course, we're not talking about an underpaying job here. The debate is about a reasonable-paying job and a self-employed one.
We perceive paid jobs as safe and secure even though employees are limited to home and work. On the other hand, we perceive those who have chosen to start their own business as for be happy and free, risk takers that have the benefits of controlling their own time and income.
Are these actually so?
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The perks of finding a job
First off, finding a job is not really as bad or monotonous as some people think. Apparently, building one's own business is not for everybody. Imagine a world where everyone chooses to 'pursue their dreams' and start a business.
With a job, you can balance work life and personal life conveniently. Here are a few other perks of fishing a good job:
Obviously, guaranteed income is why many people would settle for a job. This fixed amount of money deposited on a weekly or monthly basis spells financial security for you. This no doubt allows you to ascertain exactly how much you can spend and plan for it beforehand.
Benefits of an employee
Finding a job (a good one) will include several worker’s employment benefits and a range of allowances like insurance, health insurance, provident funds and company shares.
Specified working hours
Who doesn’t love the thrill of the 9-5 working hours? (Well....). A job will give you fixed working hours that will be outlined in a contract.
Overtime or extra hours available will be at your own discretion and will not be compulsory. You will even get remunerated when you work overtime.
Easy lies the head that doesn’t wear the crown! In employment, you would only be assigned a particular role and are only responsible for the particular task.
Unless you are given a top job as a general director (or something), what other people are doing across the company is not your concern as long as you perform your individual role.
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Disadvantages of a job
Finding a job is awesome news! Or maybe it is not that much of awesome news. While you may enjoy the perks of being in a paid job, there are a few other sides to comfort.
You would have to follow your employer’s dictates and have to become dependent on the monthly or weekly income you get. Oftentimes, pressure begins to set in as the family grows and larger expenses rear their heads.
Oftentimes, regardless of your hard work, your income is still capped at the agreed salary or hourly rate. This is very unlike a business you built for yourself. If you're the business-savvy person, you may even make in a day what your friends in paid employment get in a month.
Limited development scope
You get too comfortable and confined in a specific industry or role. This minimises your chances of development and exploration. Other than the very few choices you may get for career progression, your advancement is often within a very specific industry.
You are dispensable
Apparently, it’s not your company! One day you’re the employee of the month, the next you’re fired! Your job, however, secured you may think it is, is not that safe. Things change. Your employer can lay you off anytime; or your company – that you think is doing so well – can just pack up a business without notice.
Read our guide on how to write a successful CV.
The thing about building your own business
If you ask any successful business person what it is that drives them, they’ll tell you it is passion. When you build your own business, you’re often in it because you’re passionate about doing what you love. Well, it appears you have what it takes already.
Starting a business, no doubt can be challenging and stressful. Putting in the work and doing the right thing can, however, make it extremely rewarding.
Should you then fire your boss and build your own business? Here are a few pluses of building your own business:
You are your own boss
Starting your own business leaves you as free as an uncaged bird to fulfil your goals and aspirations as an individual.
Starting your own business will leave you free to make your own decisions in both your personal and professional life. You get to dictate whenever, wherever or however you want to work.
Hard work pays off – but not really in a job.
Starting a business can actually make this so. Unlike in a job where your remuneration is fixed, your hard work pays you (and not your boss).
The financial growth capacity for running your own business is much greater than if you were constrained to a salary or an hourly rate.
With running your own business, you often have a large share of the business profits and have the potential to earn as much as you want.
You have what job workers don’t get – job guarantee. The advantage of hiring yourself is yours. How logical can it be to fire yourself in your own business?
Ready to start your own business? Read Future Fit Training guidelines on how to start a personal training business.
A few cons to building your own business
When Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked how he balances work and personal life, he replied with a hysterical laugh and said:
“I don’t. If I achieve a balance, then I’m not working hard enough.”
Be very assured that your personal and work life becomes one and the same when you run your own business (maybe that is not such a bad thing after all).
Here are a few other things you may consider:
Before starting any business, what you first have to do is set up a capital that can finance all your plans.
Some big businesses may require that you take a loan. Getting capital may also come off as risky, because the start of your business may not always begin with profit. It is a risky task to manage the financial burdens without any backup plans.
Flexible, but long working hours
Your own business gives you the freedom to take a holiday whenever you feel like. The downside to this is that you may need to work for extra hours - with no extra pay. Thus, you will have to work extra time to make it a success.
The long working hours may not, however, count if your schedule is flexible and you work at your own pace.
Starting your own business may not be for you if you're the one who doesn't like taking risks. Setting up your own business comes with a couple of challenges. This is no doubt one of the reasons why many defend finding a well-paying job instead.
The case on whether you should find a job or build your own business may never be resolved. What is plain is that each option involves certain kinds of risks and benefits. It largely hinges on your own interests to choose what you want to follow.
While people in paying jobs speak of security of jobs and fixed work schedule, you often hear self-employed people speak so passionately about being free, following their dream, and living 'their' life.
Jump to chapters:
- How to find career change opportunities
- Where to look for career change ideas
- Trending careers in sport and nutrition
- Choosing a career and specialization
- Evaluating your new career move
- Validating your new career move
- University, online course, or diploma
- Finding a job or building your own business
- Pros and cons of changing career in peak season
- Final thoughts
- Quotes from our career advisers
- About the author - Luca Tagliaferro