It’s easy to think that by being an employee you are taking on less risk than the land of the self-employed. At best, it’s a fallacy and at worst, you shouldn’t settle for comfort when it comes to your career. The ball is in your court if you will. I’ve outlined three reasons to keep in mind why I believe we should all maintain a self employed mindset and I’m curious to hear if you agree.
- “It’s not you, it’s me.” If you are an employee currently, your job doesn’t typically come with guarantees.
Your company can break up with you for many reasons, including:
- Downsizing/Outsourcing your job. It’s no secret that many tasks can be done cheaper with international labor sources. In fact in 2013, 36% of CFO’s surveyed were currently offshore outsourcing (http://www.statisticbrain.com/outsourcing-statistics-by-country/).
- Closing its doors. Many retailers have closed stores around the country after the recent recession, as well as not being able to compete with e-commerce business. Amazon, anyone?
- Moving. It can be cheaper to domicile businesses outside of the U.S., especially when it comes to comparing corporate tax rates. Other reasons include expanding their operations and customer reach.
- Being bought out by a competitor. We’ve also seen a lot of mergers in the last several years. The financial sector is a great example of this after the “Financial Crisis of 2008.”
My goal isn’t to scare you with the above, but to shed a light on the reality of the situation. As the economy and job market continue to improve, it’s easy to forget about how quickly many ended up unemployed and for how long it lasted.
- You are your own personal career manager, first and foremost. Being self-employed doesn’t have to mean that you own your own business or are an entrepreneur. The average Millennial changes careers or companies every 4.4 years (the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Gone are the days of finding a good “home” and retiring after 30-40 years of loyal employment. Depending on the industry, many people find that getting paid what they think they are worth takes moving on to a competitor, as their current company can’t afford (or justify) a wage increase in-line with the employees desires or expectations. Therefore, having a “contractor” mindset can serve you well in your overall “employment plan”.
- Being self-employed is more of a mindset than anything. Whether you work for a large corporation, someone else’s small business, or run your own, you should view yourself as being self-employed. You are contracting with a company or your clients and in most cases that relationship can end on either side at any time. Knowing your worth, the expectations of your “employer,” and the end goal are all important in contracting out your services and delivering a job well done. The work you do for your boss, your clients, and yourself are all a reflection on your character, whether you want to believe it or not. Treat each day as a fresh start to be productive, exceed expectations, and build your portfolio. Continue to be open to learning new things, which will build your skill set and appeal, as you market yourself to any potential employer.
Remember, ultimately you do work for yourself. Put your best foot forward and own the fact that you do control how you represent yourself and your own best interests.
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