Jan 21, 2011

5 Things I envy my friends in corporate jobs on: Corporate Job vs. Self Employment

Just like there are advantages in being married but also in being single, there are upsides and downsides in having a (corporate) job, as well as in being self-employed.

Coaches, consultants, bloggers or others sometimes boast about ''leaving corporate world behind'' as if it was disgusting prison, and as if (corporate) jobs are something to look down at. Never mind they learned most being somebody else's employees, working with other as well as FOR others. They got confidence or exposure to business contacts, markets, technology, training, or tools while in corporate world. Or they got the time to figure out they were entrepreneurs at heart, while having regular monthly check. I did so, too.

20 years after my first job, being self-employed by choice, I do not wish to go back to working for others, but there are things I envy my friends working in (corporate) jobs on. There are just 5 things I will highlight as most obvious advantages.


1. Paid vacation. In most European companies this is 25 paid days of vacation per year.

Being on vacation doesn't mean your business stops. You get paid exactly the same while you are sunbathing on Greek island, or skiing wherever you can afford to ski.

As self-employed or business owner you might have someone still working for you, but please tell me you don't think twice before going away. Not to mention word ''carefree.''

2. Christmas Holidays, weekends and Public Holidays are days off and again, it does not affect your earnings.

You are eating Christmas dinner without a worry in the world. This becomes painfully obvious to me when e-mailing Christmas cards around 20th December and getting Automatic Out of Office replies informing me you will be back in the office on 4th January next year.

This is exactly 14 days off, and these are not spent planning your work for the next year. At time when I was still a corporate employee there was a Christmas bonus, too. Is that still around, BTW?

In my industry Christmas is very slow season, and time when most offer at least 30% percent discount on products and services.

3. Friendships, camaraderie, team spirit, company parties, someone to talk to, complain to, brainstorm, or just vent your frustration with.

Is there a need to explain this? Don't you enjoy lunch breaks with good friends you can certainly pick among thousands of employees? In my days it was often difficult to choose who to sit with during lunch. Good laugh was guaranteed on most days.

4. There is a department/business unit/responsible person for everything.

Unless working in sales, you rarely ever think or worry about sales or new business coming in. Perhaps you should but you probably don't. You (might want to) know something about accounting, marketing, law, IT or manufacturing, but it is usually up to you if you are not working in that department or it is not in your job description.

As a business owner/self-employed person you keep track of all, even when you pay others to do it.

5. If you don't do anything all day and nobody finds out, you can still sleep like a lamb without worrying about another day going to waste, or possibility of losing (passion for) your business.

I can think of more advantages, or even things I miss about having a (corporate) job, but I'll stop here before I get nostalgic.

What aspect of your corporate job do you enjoy? Are you making the most out of it guys? Don't tell me it's just the fact of having a job, is it?


  1. First time on your blog and found the posts really useful, jotted down a few notes too!

    From my experience of running a part time business while holding a full time job, I dont make enough from my business yet. But, the money that comes into the bank account from business is so much more satisfying than the weekly pay from work!

    Most people I have met hate their jobs...but are scared to do something about it! I can't wait to walk out of my day job and do something that makes be feel much more contented and happy!

  2. Hi Anurag, very happy to hear that you found posts useful and in line with what you are seeing around you.
    Congratulations on working on your business while holding a full time job. Well done, all the best and let us know how your business is going.


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