It’s not an easy decision to strike out on your own vs. take a corporate job. I know it wasn’t for me. But in my case, it was a little different. Doors opened for me to become a business owner such as my co-worker marketing me and my skills to a brand new company she worked for that opened offices in the U.S. I was also gifted office furniture, equipment, and software. I know this is not the norm, still… even though I got a head start, there were challenges that I had to face. I wrote down all my fears and concerns on one side of a sheet paper and on the other, all the pros and quirks.
In the end, I made the decision to be my own boss, because it really felt right for me and I knew it was what The Lord Jesus had blessed me to do. Self-employment and working a corporate job both come with perks that can either be your treasure or your trash. In my case, self-employment meant freedom from the corporate culture that I had become very uncomfortable in. I couldn’t find the creative outlet I was seeking and I knew I didn’t fit in. My beliefs and way of life had become a liability. Plus, my heart wasn’t in it to work for someone else helping them achieve their goals while putting mine on the back burner.
In a way, I guess self-employment can be a bit selfish, but there are some good reasons for choosing this over a corporate job and I wasn’t being selfish, just realistic about my desires. I recently read this fantastic article, “How to decide between self employment or a corporate career“, by Alice Waagen at the Jacksonville Business Journal. I highly recommend you read the full article, because it was really well written. Here’s part of that article that really resonated with me:
“Most business enterprises, whether they be private sector, public sector, non-profit, big, or small have some if not most of the following:
- Value statements — here is what we want you to believe
- Competency list — here is how we want you to accept
- Group norms — here is how you need to treat each other
- Policies and procedures — here is how we want you to work”
If you’re feeling you don’t fit into the corporate culture of the company you work for or if your heart’s not in it, that may be a sign that it’s time for a change. I’m not suggesting you go out and quit your paying job right now. That said, do some research and I suggest even talking to someone who is a business owner and pick their brain with your questions.
After doing some preliminary research, you may conclude that want the stability of a guaranteed paycheck and other benefits that come with a job + you may also want to be around other people while being self-employed isn’t always like that. I spend a good amount of time working alone. It takes a lot of discipline to get up everyday and go to work when you’re on your own.
Be absolutely honest with yourself as you consider self-employment. Ask yourself these questions and write the answers down:
- Are you a go getter? Do you enjoy and are comfortable prospecting?
- Are you disciplined enough that you can work alone with no supervision?
- Do you enjoy working alone and/or with a small team?
- Are you really good at managing projects with deadlines?
- Can you negotiate contracts successfully?
- Can you work from home or do you prefer to lease a building for an office?
- How much money can you invest or will you have to apply for a business loan?