Most of us assume that the right track after graduating from school is getting a corporate job – but why? Who planted this idea in our head? Why do we feel like having a 9 to 5 is the most stable and safest way of earning a living?
While getting a corporate job might seem like a safe route – it isn’t necessarily a good idea. You don’t want to slave away for a 9-5 salary for the most part of your life, instead look for an avenue where you get to control how you work.
I have a friend Jeremy who started his own business at the young age of 18. He went through the traditional education route, primary and secondary school, followed by Junior College and even making it into a local University. Jeremy was by no means incapable, if he wanted to find employment, he would definitely get a job because of his skills, grades and charisma.
However, finding a 9 to 5 job was not Jeremy’s priority. Jeremy grew up in an environment that was underprivileged. His father was the sole bread winner and he had 5 siblings. Jeremy knew the struggles of relying on a traditional mode of working and decided he did not want to live a life like that. Jeremy wanted to be self-employed and an employer and worked towards that goal.
From a young age, he picked up some part-time jobs to save money and provide for his family. By the age of 18, he decided to invest with the money he saved (other productive ways to spend your money). When he started University, he had opened a business in student education and also gained a passive income through his investments. Graduating from university, Jeremy did not need a job because he planned ahead and made himself an employer.
If you’re looking to break free from the rat race and from the working culture, the best advice I can give you is to plan ahead. Set yourself a 5-year plan on how you are going to gain an income without a full-time job, work towards this freedom.
Not convinced why self-employment is important? Here are 3 reasons why you shouldn’t get a job:
1. Not the safest source of income
Yes, you heard that right. We grew up with the idea that we should study hard to get a stable well-paying job that can provide for all our needs – but one route of income is not enough in this day and age. In this time of economic uncertainty, we can never feel too secure in our job.
Consider other ways of earning a passive income. This could be through creating a business, generating money through royalties or renting out a room in your apartment. The possibilities are endless.
At Bridge, we provide a platform for self-employed persons to find gigs (top three Singapore gigs) that are catered to your specializations and interests. You can also connect with like-minded freelancers and other self-employed individuals to grow your professional network and foster new business opportunities!
2. No Autonomy
The tough reality of working in a traditional job is that you never have full autonomy over your tasks. In a corporate world, you constantly have to do your job in a way that aligns with the company’s overarching goals. There are times where you would want to take a different route in dealing with a project – but ultimately, your boss will have the last say on how the task is executed. Does this give you satisfaction?
One of Jeremy’s main motivations in setting up his own business was that he wanted to be the employer. He wanted to dictate how he controlled his life and the business decisions he would make. Having this autonomy satisfies Jeremy and gives him the motivation and drive to continue running the business.
Check in with yourself – does living a life under someone else’s discretion give you joy? If it doesn’t, it’s time to look at other alternatives for gaining an income.
3. Limited Experience
Working in the same role for several years limits your experience. For example, if you land a job in marketing, more likely than not, you will stick with this career your entire life. You will repeat the same skills over and over, barely expanding your skillet and becoming used to a routine.
Starting up a business on the other hand, requires you to wear many hats. You have to be an employer, an employee, think like a customer, advertise like a marketer – there’s so much more to learn and challenge yourself.
I urge you to start regaining control of your life. I get it, quitting your job right now might be an impossible task. But think ahead, do you want to stick with your current job in the next 5 years? If you don’t, start planning your exit strategy. Save money, take on freelance gigs related to the career you plan to start next and start earning a passive income.
Check out our career guidance page for more useful lifestyle and career tips!