Job security is somewhat of a myth; no job is truly secure. The concept of job security sounds wonderful but is heavily misleading.
Although definitions vary, Collins Dictionary defines job security as “assurance that you will be able to work in your job as long as you please and will not become unemployed.”
Under this definition, at-will employment where an employer can terminate you for no reason doesn’t count as job security. Laws exist to prevent unlawful termination, but such laws become irrelevant when your boss can fire you without reason.
Technically speaking, there’s no such thing as job security because nothing is guaranteed – not even self-employment. However, the freedom of self-employment creates the space for you to be more fulfilled in your life.
If fulfillment is what you’re looking for, here are 4 ways self-employment can help:
1. You get to be the expert in your industry
Working for someone else means doing your work according to someone else’s terms and conditions. You might be an expert in your industry, but that doesn’t guarantee anyone wants your input.
When you have a job, you get paid to do grunt work for someone else’s business; work that often defies best practices, common sense, and reason.
Getting a regular paycheck looks like “job security” but it’s not. In fact, working for a paycheck until you retire might turn you into a ticking time bomb, waiting to explode in frustration or anger.
For instance, if your background is data security and you get hired to install a VPN for every staff member, that’s where your job ends. Your boss won’t want your opinion on the VPN they’ve chosen. If they didn’t hire you to be the expert, they probably don’t want an expert.
Being self-employed means you’re the boss. You determine how you’ll perform the work for your clients. If they want something that doesn’t make sense, you can be straight with them and offer a better, expert solution.
If you’re a web developer, you can design pages that maintain a good user experience and bypass the latest trends. If you’re a social media marketing expert, you can explain to your client that paying for likes and shares isn’t an effective strategy. Whatever you do, you can do it with full expression.
2. You’ll have more time to yourself
Statistics show that 143 million Americans aged 16 years and older commute an average of 25.4 minutes to work each day. That’s 45% of the population! Such a quick commute sounds like a dream for the 10.8 million people whose commute lasts an hour (or more).
Being self-employed automatically increases the time available to you. Without a commute, you can add more joyful activities to your day like yoga, a home workout program, and a morning routine. Without a commute, you’re also less likely to become involved in an automobile accident and have to deal with expensive car repairs.
3. There’s no guilt for taking time to learn new skills
It’s awkward when your boss asks you to perform a task you don’t know how to do. Sometimes you can’t be sure if they’ll understand that you don’t know how to do everything. When this happens, the only way to get that task done is to learn it on your own.
If the task is urgent, you’ll need to use company time to figure it out. It’s easy to feel guilty for wasting time learning something you believe you should already know. You don’t get paid to troubleshoot – you get paid to work!
Although your boss might be great and understand, it’s hard to shake the guilt. When you’re self-employed, you can take all the time you want to learn anything you need to know. You get to earn your paycheck doing what you love to do, and it’s always on your terms.
4. You’re free to refuse unreasonable requests
We’ve all had bosses that made unreasonable or impossible requests. The stress that comes from having to become Superman overnight is damaging. When you’re getting a paycheck in exchange for performing tasks, you can’t refuse without consequences. When you’re self-employed, you can.
Unlike your boss, when a client makes an unreasonable request, you can be honest with them about what doesn’t work, and create a better solution together. You’re not stuck engineering a creative workaround that won’t work anyway.