Are you feeling like you really need some great experience on your resume, but don’t know how you can get that without, well—some great experience on your resume?
Or are you just wishing that you could do what you’re really passionate about without having to give up the security of a 9-to-5 job?
Good news! There’s a solution for you, and it doesn’t involve any Breaking Bad badness or incredible luck in the next Powerball.
I’m talking about freelancing. And, in particular, freelance side projects.
I know I may look like I’m going against the trend of showing your finger to your boss and going solo by starting your own thing.Because I do.
Since everyone around me is evangelizing the benefits of being your own boss and owning your schedule, far from the limits and confinements of a 9–5 job, I’m here to challenge you with a question:
Is it that *bad* to have a 9–5 job or is it that *good* to be a freelancer?
I think that too many people are hyped about the independence concept around freelancing and forget that independence comes with a price. Most people who write inspirational content on freelancing have somehow made it, but what about all those who tried it, only to have to go back because they failed miserably?
I’m not here to advise against taking risks for those who afford it, but instead, I want to validate all the others like me who don’t feel like taking this step. For you especially, this blog post will explain why employment is not yet overrated and how you can still be entrepreneurial even if you don’t feel like stepping outside your comfort zone.
Going solo by freelancing or creating a start-up is perfect, but if it’s not for you, you shouldn’t feel bad about it.
There’s a perceived pressure amongst people in my generation to accumulate wealth and reach financial freedom by diversifying, investing, having several income streams, creating start-ups, etc. — all by the time they’re 40. Everyone seems to dream of retiring and never working another day which makes my eyes roll.
Really? And then what?
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m not dreading work. On the contrary, work or my professional life is an important aspect of my identity, which I have invested in to see it constantly evolve over the past decades.
And, I like having an employer. I like knowing that I can do “my thing” while they figure out taxes, pension, health, a safe environment, and overall, provide me the resources to do my thing without worrying about all these other things. In fact, it would be a nightmare for me to have to take care of the logistics of making money while staying legal (filling forms and paying taxes).
But still, I feel bad sometimes about my decision to stay employed, and that’s always when someone else brags about how cool they are because the sky is the limit in terms of how much money they can make. I admit I have days when I tell myself that I could probably make a fortune from writing if I had the time. Soon after, I take a good look at myself in the mirror and wake up.
And, anyway, my life as an employee is not that bad. But, I mean, it could be better, with only one small adjustment I’ll reveal soon.
“80% of job satisfaction is your boss.”
Important piece of wisdom during a critical career moment . Having a great boss that a promotion could not have topped the benefit of working for such a human being.
As a leader, this person acted as a buffer between the team and higher-up management. He kept us away from the stress of the organizational changes as much as he could. So, while he changed various managers, I had the privilege of stability from a nurturing leader who infused me with self-confidence by empowering me to make important decisions for our group. He was the gardener who tended and watered his plants which rewarded him back with flowers and fruits.
The dynamic was so great that it made me happy to work and deliver results for such human beings.
But I guess that some of you that make the tough and life-altering decision to leave employment behind for freelancing or for establishing a start-up have a different kind of story behind it — perhaps a sad one where the boss was a jerk who didn’t give a damn about you, as people. But then again, I might be just plain wrong with my assumption, and people who had excellent work conditions and high-paying jobs left them for the uncertainty of “making it big” by themselves.
(Of course, I’m being slightly sarcastic here, so please don’t mind me).
You can find high-paying jobs and reach financial freedom as an employee.
If that’s what you’re after — financial freedom, then I’m here to attest that you don’t need to step outside your comfort zone for it if that’s not your nature. Instead, you can invest your effort in building the skills that get you a high-paying job. Then what you need to do is save the money you would otherwise spend for meaningless shit, and eventually, when you are comfortable losing some of it, start investing.Also, it helps a great deal to be out of debt.
To wrap up, I promised initially that I’ll reveal what small adjustment I’d make to make my employee life even better, and this is, as you probably intuitively know by now, the four-day workweek.
The four-day workweek is the latest workplace buzz for people like us, who are risk-averse yet still want to diversify their activity and not rely entirely on their side-hustle.
The four-day workweek advantage for those who don’t want to leave their employment life behind is that they get a full day to invest in their side-hustle while not neglecting their personal life.
So I am asking you, with a good boss around, a high-paying job, the possibility to invest your disposable money, and the four-day workweek, would you still trade your employment for freelancing?