Should you Get a Job or Stay Independent?

wide Impact

To be employed or self employed.

By Doaa Gamal

“To be employed or self employed?” A question that might have come to your mind before. But, have you thought of its answer?  

If you haven’t tried both options, usually you feel that the option you haven’t tried is better than the one you tried, or at least, you feel like “what if I have taken the other path? would it have been more enjoyable?”

As for me, I have tried both options. At the beginning of my work life, I was employed. Throughout this duration, I always felt like: “no no, I need to start my own business; definitely, it will be better than what I am doing now”. Then, I have actually left my job and co-founded a startup and worked as a freelancer for a while. I enjoyed the phase, but at the same time I had some worries. Surprisingly, I have been back to be employed again, but guess what I don’t mind to be self-employed again. You must be wondering now: “Oh! What is this dilemma?!”. So again, back to our question: “what is better? To be employer or self-employed?” From my opinion, as a person who tried both options, the answer is “it depends”.  

To be employed or self employed are just work states; each has its advantages and disadvantages. So, it always depends on what you are looking for and at which life stage you are at. Also, it is worth to mention that it is not always an “either-or” equation. In other words, you don’t have to pick an absolute side, but rather you shall pick a state. You shall ask yourself what shape of life I wish to live, what conditions can help me reach this state, and then decide, at which of these sides I would find the highest number of conditions I am looking for. You can even choose a mix of both sides.  

Below are five conditions that can help you choose which is better for you, but before reading the conditions, you shall realize that at both options you can achieve all conditions, however, some conditions are easier to achieve at one side relative to the other.  

1. Income stability 

When you are employed, you gurantee a certain level of Income stability compared to when you are self employed. You know that you will receive your salary every month without worrying whether you will be able to get the business that generates such income. Although you may reach such stability when you are self-employed, but it will always be accompanied by way more hard work compared to being employed. 

2. Wealth

When you are self employed you are more likely to accumulate wealth more than if you are employed. Although income stability is higher in being employed, but this stability comes with a fixed rate of wealth accumulation. You will have no chance to grow your money through only receivng your salary. You actually know how much you will earn per year, and it is a fixed number. However, it is worth to mention that even in self-employment 

Unlike when you are self-employed, you always have chances to make more money. However, life is not easy, to successfully earn more money, you have to exert more efforts with higher costs. Such costs could be physical costs, such as having higher stress levels or spending more time working, and could be monetary costs, such as having the need for more investments. So the point here is will you be able to handle the costs?

3. Working hours and schedules

When you are employed, you owe your employer a certain amount of time, not more and not less. According to this time frame, you have assigned tasks. If you managed them well, you will easily have balanced working hours and schedules. However, when you are self-employed, you owe your business. So you are always hunted by the idea of “If I gave more to my business, I will definitely receive more!” The challenge here is to be able to find the balance.

4. Stress levels

It is clear here who is subjected to more stress. If you are self employed, you will definitely be subjected to higher levels of stress compared to if you are an employee. The responsibilities, the financials, the growth opportunities, the people who work with you, and so many other things. When it is your own business, it is always hard to put all these thoughts away from your mind. Sometimes you can have sleepless nights because you are thinking of your next moves! 

5. Working conditions constraints

When you are self-employed, usually you are your own boss. You set your time-frame, you set your working hours, you set your vacations, rarely when you feel that you are constrained and waiting for your boss approval. However, when you are employed, boss approvals are always needed in everything. 

Finally, there are many other points of differences that can still be addressed; but remember, it is not about some difference points to pick a side; but about the work state you want to create. The good news is that nowadays, specially after COVID 19, many forms of employment and self-employment have become more familiar than before, such as remote working, part-time jobs, project-based jobs, and many other forms. All can give you the chance to create a customized work state that matches your life requirements. 

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