When should you stay in employment instead of going solo?

In my career coaching programme, one of the objectives is to explore the different work frameworks in order to establish which one my clients are best suited for. By ‘work framework’ I mean employment, self-employment, entrepreneurship, or portfolio career. 

This article is about the most obvious framework that most clients have experience with – being employed. Being employed is a very different experience to being your own boss. But the latter is not for everyone. For some people, employment in a field that interests them, and in a company that caters for their preferred working style, is the more fulfilling experience. 

The good stuff in employment

Employees know what they get! Their work contract outlines a salary which they can count on at the end of each month, the number of holidays, the hours they’re expected to work and other compensation such as pension contributions, sick-pay, and so on. There is greater certainty and security, which are the most driving factors for people choosing (or staying in) employment over self-employment. 

There is a team of colleagues you can rely on, which will step up in case you’re away or have too much on your plate. If in luck, this team may become your community and potentially friends for life. 

The degree of responsibility is generally lower as you’re contracted to perform a certain role and don’t need to worry about other tasks within your company. This means you can spend time outside of work on rewarding things like family time or a passion you pursue. This, if turning the coin, is a negative factor for those of you who seek more responsibility. 

Limitations of being employed

Career progression can be slow and tedious and income can be limited. Often, people have to ask for pay rises and promotions, which makes them feel belittled. Some companies have pay-caps in place which don’t allow for deserved pay or meet exceptions. 

As an employee, you’re dependent on your employer and have lesser control over the tasks you perform. This may mean sacrificing on things you’re good at or enjoy doing, and instead spending time on tasks that your employer wants you to become better at.  Very often, this is the main reason for people seeking out coaching, as they feel unfulfilled at work.

This inflexibility also refers to the working hours as a typical company asks their staff to be in the office at certain times, which doesn’t allow for much flexibility in case of doctor appointments or events around your children’s diary. 

If you’re just starting your career and feel less confident in what type of work environment might serve you, you could end up with a manager who isn’t a very good leader, who micro- manages you or struggles to delegate tasks efficiently, which could result in a toxic office culture and little confidence in your abilities. 

To sum it up

Employment can offer an equal experience of fulfilment to other working structures if the work you do allows you to use your strengths and skills in an environment that overlaps with your personal values and preferred working style. 

Discovery check-list if employment is right for you

–       Do you count on your holidays and value your time outside of work?

–       Do you prefer security and struggle with uncertainty and risk?

–       Do you like a structure and a clear scope of work?

–       Are you keen on fixed working hours and dismiss unpaid overtime?

–       Do you thrive in a team of colleagues and value the shared responsibilities?

–       Are you attracted by benefits such as private health care, gym memberships, or child-care contributions?

Check out this article on Do you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur and watch the space for related articles on if you are better suited for self-employment or other work structures. 

If this content resonates and you would like support with a similar topic, let’s connect and have a chat. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: