Not a day goes by when you don’t read about how people hate their jobs, or people hate their boss, and how there is no work-life balance,etc.
There is a stigma in society that being self-employed or being an Entrepreneur has more glory than Working for someone. I will not discount the value Entrepreneurs bring to the marketplace. They create companies, wealth and jobs for millions of individuals.
However, not everyone can/will become an Entrepreneur. And being self-employed is not as sexy as most people think. If you think you can sit on a beach sipping pina coladas and working from laptop – think twice. That is very rare. Most self-employed individuals put in more time than regular full-time employees (Realtors, Contractors, Lawyers, Business Owners). The stress levels are high and the risks are higher.
The alternative is to Work for someone, in other words- have a job. It does not sound sexy – but there are numerous benefits of having a job or working for an organization.
Here are a few….
1. A Paycheck ($$$Cha-Ching$$$)
OK, let’s face it – unless you are a monk living in a remote monastery ,you need money. Let’s not kid ourselves. Having a job provides us a paycheck. Provided you add value to your organization and do your job – you will get paid. I love getting paid, it’s only twice a month – but I look forward to those days with enthusiasm.
Your landlord, your bank, your favourite grocery store, your mayor, the taxman, Your President – all of them are happy that you get paid . They will get a piece of the pie for sure (groan…).
Although, this should not be your only reason – you want to work – money does make your life interesting.
You are able to pay your rent, buy a house, drive a car, eat, travel, go to sporting events. Money is important, and having a steady paycheck makes that possible.
2. A Sense of Identity
Ever been to a cocktail party or networking event? The first thing anyone asks you is your name. The next thing they ask you is “What do you do?”.
Notice that they do not ask about your hobby, your interests, your family life right off the bat. No matter what you do – it is important to you. If not, you wouldn’t care about living in a bigger city working for a company. If you didn’t care about what you do, you would probably living in a secluded cabin and enjoying nature (this is fun to do once in a while).
Your job gives you a sense of identity. It shapes your definition of who you are as an individual. It is not an indication of everything about you – but it is a starting point.
Now, if you hate your job or your boss- that does not mean you are stuck. If you don’t like where you are- Move (You are not a tree). Don’t tell me that you are stuck. No one is. There are multiple options out there in today’s marketplace.
People change companies and even cities to find a job that they want to enjoy.
3. Learn New Skills
If you work at an organization -then they provide you with all the resources & tools for you to do the job. In many cases, they will train you how to use those tools. You are learning new things at someone else’s dime.
Your aspirations might be to create a tech startup or a restaurant chain. Working for someone – gives you a perspective of what is involved in the day-to-day of running an organization. You get an inside scoop about what is involved- should you choose one day to strike out on your own.
You can always go to school – get another degree and hope you can learn everything you need to learn to function in the real world. But this is rarely the case. Textbook learning can only take you so far.
When you have a job, you are forced to learn new things. It helps you grow as an individual and of-course your marketability.
Over the years, I have learnt the following skills by working for someone.
- Microsoft Excel,Word, PowerPoint,etc.
- Sales Skills
- Marketing Skills
- Negotiation Skills
- Team-work skills
- Learnt multiple software
And many more…
4. Meet New People
This may not always be the case (Remote employees, telecommuters,etc.) – however in most cases, if you have a job – you go to an office for work.
Who are in the office? Of course, People!!
You meet people whom you otherwise would not have met. Most people (including myself) stay confined to their peer group or friends. Unless & until we are forced to get out and interact with new people, we don’t do it.
When you go to an office- you will have to interact with the people. You expand your horizons. You meet people with multiple personalities,backgrounds & skill-sets. You have a potential to foster new relationships & friendships.
Most of my closest friends – are people whom I have met at work. I would not have met them if I did not go to work at those companies.
5. Work – Life Balance
The myth that permeates society is that Self-employed individuals or Entrepreneurs have more freedom. Ever seen those stories of people who travel the world, and sit on the beach with their laptops and are able to rake in millions without having a job. Although there are few who actually do this – this is a rarity.
If you think being an entrepreneur means you have more free-time- you are in for some real shock my friend. I have owned a business and I noticed I had to work longer hours just to make ends meet (forget about enjoying the beach). And I stayed up all night thinking about making money to pay my bills. And that did not last long.
I have a lot of respect for Entrepreneurs – they have shaped the world. They have created companies and multiple jobs. But the cold-hard truth is not everyone is wired to be a self-employed. Sorry to burst your bubble – that is just the reality.
On the contrary, having a job provides you with a structured life – most people work a set number of hours a week. They get their weekends off. They can spend that time doing what they want to do on weekends.
6. Meaning & Purpose
This might sound very odd to hear. Working at a job will provide you meaning and a sense of purpose. No job in the world is useless – otherwise it would not exist.
Whether you are a cook at McDonald’s, a Teacher in an elementary school, a journalist at local news station, or a VP of a Software company – your job is important. Your job fulfills a purpose- it does affect someone else’s life (whether small or big).
Let’s take the McDonald’s example. You are a cook in the kitchen , and people don’t necessarily see you. Why do people come to McDonald’s? They are hungry (one of the basic human needs is food). Although there is no complexity in cooking food at McDonald’s (most of it is pre-cooked)- you still fill a purpose. Someone who is hungry and had the money came to your store and bought something. You fed their hunger.
At the end of the day, you get paid, right?
A part of your paycheck from being a McDonald’s employee goes to taxes. The government then uses that money to invest in your community (schools, roads,etc.).
The rest of the money you spend – and because you spend that money on clothes, food, rent, travel,etc.- others benefit – they have jobs, paychecks,etc.The economy keeps moving.
If you are an accountant, you help save your company money. The company then takes that money – hires more people, provides more jobs, creates more products, pays taxes – and the cycle continues.
Every job is important. It is all connected to a network of other jobs that keeps an economy or city or country afloat.
I realize that there are many more reasons for having a job. My goal was to showcase the different reasons why you should not discount the benefits of a job.
What are your reasons?