No matter what your goals are after attaining a university education, there is no guarantee a cushy job with company benefits awaits at the end of your journey. While various students aim for a specific position with a business or institution, self-employment may be the sole purpose for many at the end of their studies, and for good reason.
Although the security of a full-time job and a regular paycheque has undeniable advantages, it comes at a cost. Canada has the lowest paid time off in the world (often a scant two weeks/year), and you may further be expected to put in an exhausting 50-hour work week. France offers 30 paid vacation days, so unless you plan on relocating to France, two weeks off per year is a probability at your new workplace. Luckily, there are countless rewards to working autonomously.
- You have the option of working from your own comfortable home office, with your cat, dog, and/or kids at hand. Say goodbye to expensive childcare, restaurant, commuting, and pet sitting costs.
- You don’t have to spend your precious time commuting, deciding what to wear to work every day, or making work lunches, which frees up more personal time to do other things, like exercising or cooking healthy meals.
- The sky is the limit on your income. When you work for yourself, you decide how little or how much effort to sink into your business, or how many clients you want generate. In addition, this gives you the option to weed out toxic clients that you’d otherwise be stuck with working for a corporation.
- You choose your hours of work. If you want to start at 4 am and be done by noon and have the remainder of the day to spend as you choose, you can!
- Self-employment rewards you with working doing something you love and leaving the days of working at a job you loathe in the past.
- Self-employment is rarely dull. With varied agendas and tasks, you can focus on what you do best. Working for an employer often entails showing up at the same place for the same amount of time every day, year after year. Furthermore, if you don’t like paperwork, you can hire it out and remain focused on other activities you relish, such as sales or inventing.
- True entrepreneurs are notoriously creative. They use their imaginations and are motivated to solve problems and make life better for others. This can be hugely rewarding and beneficial in ways you may never find in a regular job that commonly deters creativity and innovation.
- If you’ve ever worked for a sexist, racist, or downright horrible boss, you will appreciate the value of being your own supervisor. You run your company according to your core values as opposed to getting sucked into the train wreck of many dysfunctional businesses.
- Not only can you create a higher income level, you can also write off heaps of bills on your income taxes, like gas, utilities, office supplies, and rent.
- Requesting time off for sick days or holidays can have a demeaning and deflating effect on your morale. Companies can make you feel guilty or like an outright liar for requiring health and wellness time off for yourself and your family. You can kiss all that goodbye when you own the company.
I’ve had the opportunity to work for many successful businesses, with awesome benefits from free wine and beer samples to all-expense-paid business trips to Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Conversely, I worked for managers who asked me to “wear more skirts,” lied to my face about a wage increase, told me I needed a new hairstyle, and assumed I would travel for business on my weekends off. I don’t miss any of it.
Surely there are downsides to self-employment and working for someone else has its place when you have others dependent on your income. However, owning and running your own business is an enviable ambition to work toward, opening an exciting new pathway to creativity, opportunity, financial success, and deep personal satisfaction.