For years, there have been contending views regarding the challenges and impacts of running a business as opposed to having a job. Truth be told, the deciding factor of engaging in self-employment as opposed to being employed is simply the mindset. That differs from individual to individual and depends on circumstances.
Case in point, my childhood was exposed to a corporate job that my father held. It provided us with a consistent, satiated lifestyle, punctuated with glitz and glamour at the expense of his long office hours and limited time for family.
Subsequently, this prompted me to become like my father, and so I formulated and designed the roadmap to achieve the goals of my desired career. I too, ended up working for two major multi-national companies in the country for a reasonable and steady paycheck at the end of every month.
Stepping into self-employment requires a manicured lifestyle that includes setting goals, self- motivation, direction, and being pro-active
Albeit having a secure flow of income, I still had the urge of owning something of my own. Now, after a year of giving into that urge, I have surfaced through the process of realizing the realities and have penned down a few distinctions between being employed and being self-employed -- in a random order:
Change of mindset
Stepping into self-employment requires a manicured lifestyle that includes setting goals, self- motivation, direction, and being pro-active. It can be argued that these are needed in your job too. But in a job, even if you slack off, you have your boss to shake you up or a quarterly appraisal to remind you where you stand.
Whereas, the only heads-up you get in your business is the excel sheet with numbers popping up. Thus, a business-person needs to set his own standards, his own goals, and a plan to reach its potential.
Depending on the type of business and expected revenue, finance needs to be invested and secured. A business-person needs to be very financially organized. A check balance has to be maintained between the input versus output. Otherwise the financial exit barrier becomes high.
In jobs, however, earning revenue is a collective method. Personally, no one has to invest anything financially, but is responsible to meet objectives to bring about a desired return for the company, or look down the promotion ladder.
Jobs grant us a consistent inflow of income, whereas there is a lot of unpredictability when it comes to owning a business and earning money. Nevertheless, if managed well, a business can become an asset in the long run with sustainable healthy income. A job is confined within the framework of a retirement plan, but an established business can last forever.
There is no truth to the notion that either of these two has less or more accountability than the other. In a job, you are accountable to the position you hold, whereas in a business, you are accountable to yourself.
There may not be fixed working hours for self-employed individuals, unlike paid employees, who are obligated to fill up a certain number of hours. However, a business may take up a significant amount of time of the day, and this can happen at odd hours without notice. As a result, a business person may always be running one’s business at any given point of the day.
In a business, whatever hardship you endure, you still invest your energy into your own creation. In self-employment, this feeling is inherent. However, this perception was thoroughly defied by my father (who is still running a successful career). He believes that whether it’s a job or a business, you need to own the work you do to achieve the desired outcome.
Not all jobs are successful, neither are all businesses. The traditional lesson about hard work and dedication is applicable in all spheres of life and is bettered if sprinkled with divine opportunity.
While I may not have to go to work and report at 9am now, but there is no escape from a customer call on a Friday morning or an assurance that my blood money investment will bring about a desired outcome at the end of the month.
Ergo, depending on your needs and life circumstances, and a proper mindset in believing in what you do, make your choice.
Mahzabeen Faruque is the owner of AAVARON and has worked as a brand manager in multinational companies.
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