Photo by wili_hybrid
This is a follow-up to my earlier post Top 10 Reasons Not To Have A Job. While I think that having a job is something that should generally be avoided if at all possible, I wanted to offer some balance and acknowledge that it’s sometimes a necessary evil, and indeed is sometimes preferred.
1. Guaranteed income.
When you start a job, you just show up, and as long as you avoid getting fired, you get paid. No if, ands, or buts about it. Cold, hard cash in your bank account within a month, tops. I’ve never once heard of an employee who wasn’t running a profit in their job. No business can compete with that.
Of course, people can lose their job at any time, but it doesn’t happen very often. We’ve all heard stories of people getting laid off and having to go through a very difficult period, but keep it in perspective—how many times does any one person get laid off in their lifetime? Not many. By contrast, entrepreneurs typically have to go through many different ventures, starting over each time one doesn’t work out.
There’s always a learning curve when you start a new job, and it might take a few months to fully get up to speed. But once you’re there, you can just put yourself on cruise control. The road may bend a little, but you never have to change directions, look at a map, overhaul your car, or question whether you really know how to drive.
4. Less responsibility.
You just have a single role that you need to fit into, and that’s all you’re responsible for. That’s much less of a burden than having to determine all the roles that are needed and figure out how to fill them.
5. Easy to match your work with your field of study.
If you went to college, you probably majored in a field that was aligned with your interests. For example, maybe you majored in civil engineering because you’ve always had a knack for math, physics, design, and so forth. And then after spending four or more years honing your skills in that discipline, it makes sense that you’d want to put that degree to good use, say, by becoming a civil engineer. Most of the available majors have obvious careers that make use of them. This way you’re always moving forward along a single path, and never have to take a step backwards.
After settling into a new job, you get used to a predictable routine. Every day you go to the same place, sit in the same chair, work the same hours, and do the same things. A life of no surprises means never having to worry about bad surprises.
7. Friends are included.
Many people say that coworkers don’t count as friends. But let’s face it, you do spend more time with these people than with your “real” friends, and sometimes even your family. You feel happy when they come back from vacation and you feel sad when they leave forever. And you get to socialize with them whenever you want, even if they don’t like you.
8. Being normal.
If you go with the flow, you don’t have to explain yourself when you need to do something out of the ordinary, like mail out packages at night or make phone calls on a Saturday. You don’t need to keep receipts or deal with Schedule C when you file your tax return. You know how much money you’re going to make for the year without having to make all kinds of crazy predictions.
9. Easier to introduce yourself at cocktail parties.
Job titles are often short and sweet, like “teacher” or “policeman” or “doctor.” Sometimes they’re more complicated, like “regional collections supervisor for a box company,” but you just say the words and you’re done, because people know what they mean. Even if the meaning of your title isn’t obvious, you can still quickly explain it. Having a business means needing a lot of words to explain what you do, or inviting a barrage of questions.
10. Frees you from the burden of having to decide your life purpose.
When you have a job, a lot of ethical, spiritual, and philosophical questions are answered for you. The answer to any question about why you do what you do is “because I have to.” You’re free from having to choose between right and wrong, and worrying about the consequences if you make a mistake. You can’t be blamed for anything you do, because it’s not your choice. No one can blame a pawn for protecting the king.
If you’ve read this carefully, along with my Top 10 Reasons Not To Have A Job, no doubt you’ve detected my bias towards being an empowered entrepreneur instead of a lowly wage slave. However, most people aren’t going to just stumble into financial independence right out of school, and having a job is an easy way to pay the bills while you search for a way to call your own shots. Under the right conditions, it’s even possible for a job to be great.