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Becoming an independent professional is a daunting task and a scary life-changing choice probably why the majority...
Becoming an independent professional is a daunting task and a scary life-changing choice probably why the majority of people who even daydream about abandoning their energy-sucking 9-5 lifestyles never do it. Needless to say, becoming an independent takes preparation and a degree of risk acceptance. In return, however, you will gain so much more.
Imagine not being bound by the confines of your cubicle or office, and your 9-5 professional life. Being an independent pro allows you just that. You get to choose when you start working, how much you work, who you work for and the best techniques to pull it all off.
What is more, you get to put a price tag to your work which allows further flexibility and less feelings of being trapped, helpless and without control of your own life. With many types of jobs doable online and the rise of global teams, you can even choose which continent or country you want to work in.
The second big freedom of being an independent stems directly from the first one. Independence allows you to focus on all the activities and hobbies you might have neglected due to your ever-mounting workload in the classic workplace, or your lack of energy.
Let’s face it, after a 10-hour stretch working for someone else, often you only feel like flicking on the TV or staring into space. When you’re self-employed this is eliminated as you can balance your work and private life much better.
Let’s be honest: most of us are initially in love with our jobs. It’s only when the routine, the sensation of sameness and (often) being under-appreciated set in that we begin to quietly loathe waking up to go to our offices, face our bosses and colleagues, toil for 10-12 hours or manage under-disciplined employees. Being self-employed erases all these grievances we’ve come to blindly accept.
You may have a character of steel, 110% work dedication and zero interest in talking behind other people’s backs, but truth is offices are small communities and in each community, relationships are the name of the game. That’s why in many workplaces you may find yourself managing your standing in the social hierarchy more than you actually spend working, draining you of precious life force.
Tons of gossip present in many offices detracts from everyone’s productivity and you are bound to be its victim sooner or later, making you live in fear. Finally, being independent normally means that you choose if you work in your three-piece suit, gym slacks or PJs.
Becoming self-employed seems unattainable for so many people because they perceive it as insecure and not a good basis for planning the future. Sure, you might find yourself working less for a month or two in the beginning or during slow periods, but in the post-2008 world, the reality is that no jobs are secure.
Temp jobs are becoming more and more common, indefinite contracts seem all but a thing of the past and companies can crumble overnight, rendering you jobless and without any skills to survive. Being independent, on the other hand, trains you to be in a constant state of vigilance. The best part is, you become better at it the longer you persevere.
When I started the process of becoming self-employed I carefully assessed pros and cons and made sure I didn’t rush into it. This took a lot of patience and sacrifice. But having my sight on these big five helped me get through it and stick it out. Today, being independent is second nature to me, but the main point is that all these reasons turned out to be very true and, what is more important, 100% worth it.