The interdependence a steady job provides makes it difficult to just up and leave.
The company you work for relies on you to provide your expertise, and in return, you are compensated with pay and other benefits. Each party relies on the other, which means you can’t go willy-nilly quitting your job to start up your dream business. Or can you?
While it’s important to feel needed and experience the camaraderie of working alongside others, the flip side of interdependence is independence — in this case, setting out on your own and not relying on a single employer or person to provide for you. Unfortunately, happiness and a high-paying job do not always go hand in hand, so for some people achieving professional satisfaction means branching out on their own.
It’s common for employees to desire career independence to a degree, but in the big picture, even those who open their own small businesses have interdependent connections in some form. The U.S. economy and employment market can’t be sustained by large employers alone, as small businesses contribute the most jobs.
In addition, you can’t be an independent entrepreneur without customers to buy your goods and employees to help you sell them. It’s like a strong marriage, which is typically characterized by two spouses who rely on each other for varying forms of support.
We get that. We also understand that sometimes you have to put your own financial security at risk toward the dream of owning your own business, and that can add another layer of complexity to planning for your retirement. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for help in creating a retirement income strategy that works for your circumstances.
The pursuit of independence has led many skilled professionals to cut the corporate umbilical cord in exchange for contract work. In fact, during the recession some were forced to do so, but have since learned to appreciate the advantages of greater work/life flexibility, autonomy and control. So much so that now companies are having a hard time recruiting pros back into the full-time, cubicle-style workforce. In 2014, nearly 35 percent of the average company’s workforce was contingent or contract-based — and that number is expected to grow to 45 percent by 2017.
Ninety-six percent of contract workers say they prefer their new employment status because their clients are more likely to value their work, and 89 percent say they like having more control over their schedule. Moreover, a recent study found that 2 million (of the country’s 6.4 million corporate contract workers) earn $75,000 or more a year.
Of course, the contract arrangement is interdependent as well. Companies have found that employing independent workers enables them more flexibility and agility, as well as the ability to find employees with specialized talents.
However, starting out on your own can be tough. You need to know how to price your services, negotiate contracts, create internal processes for billing and client communications and, perhaps most importantly, network to get business.
If a family member or significant other relies on you, it’s likely you rely on them as well. Just remember when you meet with a potential new client or customer as an independent contractor or vendor, that they need you just as much as you need them. That’s how the world works — successfully.