Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook from his dorm room. J. K. Rowling published Harry Potter after 12 publishers told her to “go get a day job.” What do they have in common? They achieved massive success while working independently.
Freelancing and entrepreneurship are redefining the modern career. More people than ever before enjoy the freedom to work on their own terms or establish their own businesses with the help of the Internet and other modern technologies. What seemed impossible just decades ago is now viable. Companies staff entire projects without a physical office, products are created and promoted without a storefront, and employees connect from locations spanning the globe with a few clicks of a mouse. These unique benefits are shaping modern employment.
Analyzing Your Options
If you want the security and long-term stability of a traditional job, you can have it! Certain fields will always need candidates who want to build lasting careers. Areas such as health care, social services and sciences need people who are in it for the long haul.
If you want an independent career—say, designing websites in Bora Bora—you can have that too! Graphic design, business management, journalism and similar degrees and skills offer great flexibility. Depending on your specialization and life goals, both traditional careers and independent employment offer distinct opportunities.
Weighing the Benefits and Risks of Security
A traditional career provides employment protections that independent work can’t. Retirement funds and corporate programs offer exclusive benefits after certain criteria are met. Furthermore, working for established and reputable companies looks good on a resumé and can lead to further job opportunities.
Most importantly, having set hours provides the security of regular, predictable income. But consider this: in many cases, growth and upward mobility are determined by the company’s needs. While you might be perfectly qualified and capable of management or a promotion, you may have to wait for the role to be available. This could mean spending years doing the same thing every day or investing time working below your skill level to get that promotion.
The Price of Freedom
Independent work offers greater flexibility and growth potential over time. With proper networking and effort, there is no limit to what an independent worker can accomplish. From starting your own business or traveling the world, to simply setting your own hours and working from the comfort of home, you can tailor your working experience to fit your lifestyle and goals. This path also allows you to experience many fields of employment and find one that suits your skill set and interests perfectly.
But be prepared for instability. Part of the game is searching for the next opportunity to ensure your steady income. This often involves scouring the Internet and job sites (such as Jobboom), working with employment agencies and doing a lot of personal networking. Independent jobs might last for years; they can also be one-time payments. Independent workers are also responsible for online casino reporting their own income, managing tax responsibilities and establishing retirement plans.
While independent employment offers greater freedoms, it also requires greater responsibility. The question to ask yourself is, are you ready for it?