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Jobs: Trading Risk & Freedom for Money & Stability
Posted By Jim On 03/29/2007 @ 11:38 am In Career,Personal Finance | 12 Comments
If you work for someone else or for a company, you have invariably decided to trade away the risk of trying to scratch together a buck and the freedom to do whatever you want in return for a little less money than you’re worth (so someone else can profit) and stability. While you’ve probably never framed it in those terms before, that’s exactly what you’ve done.
When you take on a job, you agree that you’re going to work for someone, do what they tell you, and they compensate for you. If you strike it out on your own, you take on the full risk of performing poorly any particular day. If you don’t earn the rent check that month, there’s no one watching your back. When you work for someone, they accept that risk. Whether you generate revenue or not in a particular month, you still get paid for your salary. So while you do take on some risk, too many bad months and you’ll be out of a job, the risk is mitigated by the fact that you still get paid after a bad month, even if it’s your last. On the flip side, if you have an exceptional month, you still get the same salary. While that doesn’t “sound” risky, it truly is (and that’s why salespeople are on commission). If you secure a contract worth $10M, you will probably still see the same salary (maybe a nice bonus, but not a cut of the $10M )… that’s risky.
Another part of what you give up when you take a job is the freedom to do what you want. Some jobs give you more freedom than others through the use of comp time and such (where you just have to work your 40 hours a week) but in general, 40 of the possible 168 hours each week is earmarked for the man. That’s almost 25% of your week spent on working on someone else’s project.
Now, start framing this in your mind, you are a business. Consider your skills and see whether you’re better off working for the man and pulling in that stable steady paycheck or if you have some entrepreneurial blood in you, read to take on a little bit of risk for some freedom and potentially a whole piece of the pie. However, like everything else in this world, it’s not black and white, perhaps you have that thirst for some risk but you don’t have the skills… a relevant job may just teach you those skills and give you those contacts that will help you strike it out on your own.
There wasn’t much of a point to this article other than to put down some thoughts I’ve had lately onto “paper” and to see what you all thought of it. (No I’m not going to quit my job, I actually enjoy it) As always, I think that if you try to look at things from a different perspective it will give you insight into your daily life…
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