If you’re anything like me, you might fall into the trap of thinking that things have to be a certain way whether they actually need to be or not. Humans are creatures of habit, and sometimes when we get into a certain train of thought, we have trouble breaking out of it to consider other options or ways of doing things.
I think that this is often the case with jobs and careers. We tend to think of the standard, employer-sponsored, 40-hour job with a steady paycheck. However, I think that in the process, we sometimes tend to lose sight of the fact that there are all kinds of ways to make money out there, not all of them consistent with our ideas of the standard work role. And while such options might not provide the kind of money a regular job might, there could be other ways to make up for a lower income.
Don’t like the form? Break the mold
Back when I worked in the hotel business, I could see my life mapped out before me; and it just seemed so boring. With the next 30 years planned out, I decided to make a sharp turn and do something completely different. I was tired of the daily grind, the standard 40+ hour work week, and dealing with complaining customers so I decided to do something about it. I was good at management and good at managing myself, so I made the move into self-employment. It was a scary, yet exciting step toward a whole new career; a career that didn’t fit the mold of that which I’d gone to college to prepare for.
Passion can be important, but how will money be made?
I was passionate about my new line of work as a freelance writer, but passion doesn’t necessarily pay the bills. I had grand visions about the future and my works being picked up by an appreciative publisher along with a nice check and advance for my next book… then there was reality.
After a rough first year in which my income was almost nothing, I was forced to rethink my passion and find ways to turn it into an income generating job. I had to learn how to market myself, find income generating opportunities on my own, sell my work, provide customer service, and tackle a variety of other responsibilities that I hadn’t expected to be dealing with in order to pay the bills.
Something you can take into retirement with you
By creating my own job and finding my own work though, I realized something. I’d set certain time constraints upon my previous work, laying out retirement dates for myself. However, with my new work (even though my income was drastically reduced), I realized that because I liked what I was doing, I had no desire for an early retirement. The idea of taking my current work with me into my golden years didn’t bother me, and I actually saw it as something to give myself a reason to get up in the morning when others were struggling with lack of direction in retirement.
Of course there can be downsides
While creating your own work role can be fulfilling in many ways, as with most jobs, there are of course downsides. You might find that you’re never officially “off” from work when you work for yourself and your boss is always around. You might experience a lower income – initially or even over the course of time – compared to previous work. There can be a lack of benefits – no employer sponsored retirement plan, healthcare, Social Security contributions, etc. And you could find it difficult to go back to a regular job after working for yourself.
So while being your own boss can be a wonderful feeling, and breaking the mold of the “standard” job may be freeing, it’s also important to consider all of the ramifications before doing so.
More From This Contributor:
Building a Revenue Producing Blog
I Won’t Be Waiting to Take Social Security
Preparing to Publish My First E-book
The author is not a licensed financial professional or career advisor. This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute advice of any kind. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.