Is working for yourself really all it’s cracked up to be? And is working for someone else really all that bad? We bet whichever camp you fall into, you’ll have a strong view on this. And if you’re someone who’s considering jumping the fence and joining the other side, you need to know the full facts before you do! So..entering the ring for five rounds, here we go…ding ding!
Round one: Salary
When working for someone else, you get financial stability and certainty. You know what your bank balance is going to look like each month and can plan your spending. If you work for yourself, we bet this is one thing that you certainly do miss. When you’re self employed, there really is no guarantee of an income, and it tends to be feast or famine. Work is either flooding in or you have nothing at all. You have to learn to tuck cash away for the lean times. On the plus side, when you’re self employed, there’s no cap on your potential earnings. It’s not restricted by salary bands or a corporate structure – it’s only limited by your hard work and if you run a successful business, the sky’s the limit.
Winner: Working for someone else. When it comes down to it, the security of a regular salary each month is difficult to top.
Round two: Perks
Paid holidays, pension scheme, healthcare, lunch breaks, sick pay, bonus schemes, flexitime. Yeah there are a lot of perks on top of your salary to enjoy if you work for someone else. So, what perks do you get as a self employed person? What’s that you say? No perks?? NONE? Yep, that’s right, if you work for yourself, you have to get used to the fact that you’ve kissed goodbye to all that nice stuff. If you want to have a pension when you retire, you’d better be organised and start paying into a personal one!
Winner: Working for someone else. There’s really no contest on this one. Eeeek, looks like working for someone else is running away with this! Is working for yourself going to put up any kind of fight?…
Round three: Work/life balance
Working for someone else, you don’t get as much choice or influence over your work/life balance. You’re often expected to work long hours, work through lunch, answer emails outside of work hours and do overtime for no extra money. Your boss calls the shots and if there’s a big work deadline, that’s your weekend out of the window. When you work for yourself, you are in the blissful position of controlling your own working hours and schedule. If you want to spend the whole day watching repeats of Friends that’s your call (but don’t blame us when your bank account is empty at the end of the month!). You can decide when to switch off for the evening, when to take a day off, and if you feel like taking the dog for a walk at lunchtime that’s perfectly acceptable. The downside is that if you’re going to be a successful entrepreneur, you will have to put in the hours. But you’ll find that when it’s your passion you feel much better about burning the midnight oil – this is what you’ve dreamt of and have put all your blood, sweat and tears into!
Winner: Working for yourself. It’s truly a great feeling being your own boss and managing your own work/life balance. A clear winner!
Round four: Job satisfaction
When working for someone else, you’ll often find that other people take credit for your hard work and ideas. If you’re lucky enough to work for a company that does exactly what you love doing and always wanted to do, you’re one of the lucky few! Most of us who have worked for the man have found ourselves working on something that was never our passion. Someone else is in charge and ultimately we find ourselves not being able to make much of a visible difference, especially if we work in a big corporate. We’re a small cog in a big wheel. Working for yourself, you can focus on your passion and do what you’ve always wanted to – yay! There’s no boss, (that’s you by the way), you can work to your own vision, values and creative ideals. And in your own firm you can make a big difference – all the decisions are yours. How fulfilling. Yaaasss!!
Winner: Working for yourself. Ooooh – it’s two a piece! Who will come through in the final round?
Round five: Working environment
Working in an office often involves commuting – being crammed into a sweaty tube train like a sardine having to sniff other people’s armpits. Once you’re in the office, you sit in a row of desks next to other people you don’t necessarily like, under strips of artificial lights. You have to put up with canteen food or whatever takeaways are nearby. On the plus side, you do get plenty of banter, chit chat and the prospect of an office romance with the guy from accounts. When you work for yourself, you’ll often work from home (at least in the beginning). You can set up your home office exactly as you like it, listen to your own music, work in your pyjamas if you want, have a home made lunch whenever you want and take a break to stroll in the park. The only downside is the lack of social interaction, but if you really miss this you can always opt for a co-working space where you can connect with other like minded freelancers.
Winner: Working for yourself. Ultimately the freedom and flexibility you get when you’re not tied to an office is one of the best things about being self employed.
Overall winner: Working for yourself wins by three to two! It was close and it was a fair fight but working for yourself just came out on top. Do you agree? Give us a shout on social media to let us know!
Cool words by Lauren, sassy photos by Saskia for Hey Tuesday, London
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