A lot of companies now hire people with an entrepreneurial mindset as facilitators to continuous innovation. However, is there anyone who doesn’t like entrepreneurship or a job that doesn’t invoke an entrepreneurial flair? Covid-19 pandemic has brought the hospitality industry and a lot of other industries to a standstill. If you are one of those who are exploring entrepreneurial routes when things normalise then we have some food for thought for you here. This post would take you through some steps and methods to decode the dilemma of job vs self-employment.
So, what stops people from being an entrepreneur? Why do we all get into the fix of job vs self-employment? Why are we not able to fulfil our passion?
There is no comprehensive answer to these questions. The answer lies within all of us. Paradoxically a large number of people prefer to opt for jobs in line with the prevalent social order.
There are so many questions like what if I fail? How much will it cost me? Am I really able to spin this off? Will this be profitable and so on. This ‘what if’ is a bottleneck in decoding job vs self-employment paradox. On top of it, we have our very own society which never likes to break the inertia. Each one of us faces some issues in unlocking our real innovative strength.
Here is an interesting take which is far from perfect but at least a good start. Answering the below question and introspection might help us decode job vs self-employment paradox.
Honest answers might also help in appreciating the current job and adding flare to performance. Here are a few entrepreneurial traits to test ourselves. Each one of us possesses these traits but, the intensity varies.
Comparing employment with self-employment
Let’s first begin comparing jobs to entrepreneurship. While entrepreneurship might seem like the trend these days, it does come with some cons.
Advantages of a full-time job
- Regular income.
- Uniform career progression (with riders)
- Social security
- Medical benefits
- Retirement funds
- Regular working hours and workdays
Disadvantages of a full-time job
- Can be stressful
- Office politics
- You will have a boss
- Fixed income (this is both a pro and con of employment)
- Learning can be limited depending on the company
- Can get monotonous with time
Advantages of Entrepreneurship or self-employment
We have used entrepreneurship and self-employment interchangeably in this post. However, we do understand that these are not the same thing and we have used this for the sake of simplicity and easier comparison.
- You can be your own boss
- Income can be huge if the project you undertake is hit
- More learning opportunities
- Greater flexibility in terms of clients and coworkers
- Greater work satisfaction
Disadvantages of Entrepreneurship or self-employment
- The journey to start with can be lonely.
- Less income during the startup or incubation stage
- Work-life balance can be difficult during the growth stage due to long working hours
- Technically no holidays
- No social security or medical security of the company
- No fixed career progression (you tend to become the jack of a lot of trades)
There are numerous other pros and cons of the job as well as entrepreneurship which would vary depending on your age, locations, choices, interests and so on.
Job and self-employment have also been compared in the infographic below (Courtesy- Pinterest).
The choice depends a lot on the industry you are in
Like in the hospitality and tourism industry, the normal working hours are huge.
Career progression can be skewed in the hotel industry and managing culture and politics can be difficult.
Moreover, a lot of jobs barring the best-paid hospitality jobs in the tourism and hospitality industry are not paid that well.
Thus, self-employment can be a good choice for hospitality industry professionals.
A lot of hospitality industry professionals also tend to become moonlighters by taking up a few freelance hospitality job options before getting into entrepreneurship full time.
Industries like Information technology gives a lot of creative freedom to its employees. Working hour and facilities are conducive to innovation and creativity. Companies even provide a few hours to the employees out of the company quota for a startup or to come up with innovative ideas.
Thus, it can get a bit complicated to take up full-time self-employment as that might not be completely different from a full-time job or may not even create more opportunities.
In the case of consultants or bankers, a full-time job would be a lot safer than self-employment. Similarly, manufacturing and other labour specific industries don’t provide a lot of opportunities for getting self-employed.
However, this again largely varies with choices, location, family background and culture.
The decision on Job vs self-employment also depends on the personality
Here’s a quick checklist for you to go through that can help you decide if you are made for a job or you should try your hands with entrepreneurship.
Are you Street Smart in your core?
We all are street smart. If this was not true how would we have been able to get the best deal in winter sale, or the last ticket for the cinema?
How about the last parking space for the car, or a free upgrade at a hotel or some extra cheese for free?
There are numerous occasions on which each one of us might have wanted to pat one’s back for doing something which was smart. Take a tour of your memory lanes and there would be many such instances. They do wonders to our confidence. So, how much you rate yourself on a scale of 10?
If you think you are street smart with a high score, you can be good at exploring self-employment.
There are a lot of tests online that can help you check whether you are street smart or not.
Trademark approach of entrepreneurs. Right or wrong – Who cares?
This common perception is not true.
A common perception is that Entrepreneurs are fearless and have ‘who cares approach’ but the difference is that they have learnt to tame fear. They have the tendency to push themselves for that extra mile. Creativity is to be explored taking the support of this who cares approach which is possessed by one and all.
There are people who don’t even care about the question of job vs self-employment. They simply innovate whatever the circumstance. So do you have the who cares approach?
Who is your idol/ mentor whom you follow on a regular basis?
Each one of us has an idol in life. It may be parents, a teacher, a friend, a philosopher or a famous person.
Most of us have an idol or more than one. Another point to introspect now. How many of us idolize someone outside our family who has been in a job throughout his career?
Most of us want to be like someone who has taken an alternate path.
We have a tendency to be creative, work beyond our potential, untamed and free of all restrictions. We want to live in a world with a free license to innovate and imagine new things.
We all evolve through stages to become successful to our own likings.
As an example, Ratan Tata from India is an entrepreneur by soul, administrator by profession and strategist by heart. He is a philosopher overall. He once said, “I take a decision first and then work to prove it right”. So, do you have the courage to move towards an unknown direction?
Do you Learn to Plan and Plan to learn?
Most of us would have heard of the phrase ‘Failing to plan is planning to fail’. But, it is more important to learn how to plan.
The lack of a proper planning process hinders our creative juices from coming to surface and from being espoused by our body and soul.
- Do you plan your day when you get up in the morning?
- Do you plan your work strategy?
- Do you write ideas that flow from within?
If not then you must do so to clear the dilemma of the job vs entrepreneurship.
Are you an Innovator?
- Did you buy the first edition of the iPhone?
- Did you start using Facebook or Linkedin many years ago?
- Did you go to some unexplored places for a visit recently?
- Did you watch a movie without reading the review?
- Did you buy a book before it became a bestseller?
- Do you try a new restaurant every time?
- Do you have no favourite cuisine as you have tried too many?
- Do you love studying out of syllabus without worrying about the results?
- Can you walk on the stage and speak to a crowd without worrying about a topic?
There are numerous other parameters on which you can be treated as an innovator.
If you don’t fall into this group, you shouldn’t worry as not many entrepreneurs or famous people fall under this category.
Do you play safe most of the times?
- Do you prefer safer bonds, fixed saving deposits and mutual funds over riskier financial venture?
- Do you follow the advertisement or reviews to buy a product?
- Do you rely on word of mouth or on the opinion of leaders, management gurus, and spiritual gurus?
- Do you rate star value over the content of a movie?
- Do you have a timetable for all the things but seldom follow it?
- Do you prefer a desktop over a tablet or smartphone?
- Do you prefer reading only bestselling books?
- Is the first thing you consider before buying a car is the mileage?
- Do you choose only top destinations on Tripadvisor or other holiday guides for holidays?
- You order the same item whenever you go to a restaurant?
- Do you prefer consultancies and job portals over direct reach out and direct applications to companies?
You can check a lot about your personality type in order to decide whether you are fit for employment or entrepreneurship.
There are a lot of self-assessment tools like MBTI, MAPP, Big fiver personality traits tools and more to help you decide the way forward and in helping you understand your strengths and weaknesses.
Final words on Job vs self-employment
A lot of people fall under different categories for different industries and choices. A motto of the discussion is to help people realize their inner strength.
The crux of the matter is to find the answer to a single question, and that is, whether one would like to follow an established agenda, or, will prefer to set own agenda to achieve his/her dreams.
Job vs self-employment is a perpetual question.
The grass is always greener on the other side. Several companies now appreciate the fact that innovation is the propelling force for success and are inclined towards developing an entrepreneurial outfit. The answer to job vs self-employment is being answered by companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon who are fostering innovation. Innovation and entrepreneurship bridge the gap in employment vs entrepreneurship.
Please remember that there is one thing common to all human beings. It is the limitless creativity and immense power to innovate at will. We just need to explore these capabilities to meet the entrepreneur within us.