We live in an age of Do It Yourself. We love creating. We can’t get enough. Blame it on the bloggers, the Pinterest pinners, whomever, we love making our own fill in the blank.
This Do it Yourself mantra has crept into so many parts of our society, even the workplace. I read about more and more people who are turning their hobbies into businesses, and it is seriously so inspiring to see people’s dreams make them profits.
But what about the rest of us? Those who are still working for The Man?
Many of us sit at our desks and read about cool new gigs that people create, and I think sometimes we feel inferior. (At least I do at times.) We romanticize the Working for Myself job and think that Corporate America is for those who can’t get their dreams off the ground.
But friends, that is not so. There is great work to be done within companies, and not everyone is meant to run their own business… or should! I don’t think passion in work is just confined for those who create it from scratch.
I really enjoy my job and have come to enjoy working for a company. No, I don’t love it every day and sure I don’t jump out of bed every morning excited to wear a pencil skirt and heels, but I am happy to be at a company in a position that I enjoy. And as much as I’d like to sit around in sweatpants all day long, that is not sustainable. We were made for work.
“Work is so foundational to our makeup that it is one of the few things we can take in significant doses without harm. Indeed, the Bible does not say we should work one day and rest six or that work and rest should be balanced evenly but directs us to the opposite ratio. Leisure and pleasure are great goods, but we can take only so much of them.” – Tim Keller
I don’t want to dismiss those who work from home or have their own business (I’ll be the first to romanticize and envy your situation), but I want to encourage my fellow 9 to 5-ers who clock in, take orders from a boss, and bring home the paychecks each week. Your work is important, and there are so many benefits that we have.
Benefits of Working for Someone Else
Simplicity and consistency. For the most part, you know what to expect when you come in day after day. Some may call this monotony, but I think there is a peace about knowing what is expected, what you will be paid for that work, and how you can model the rest of your time around your work. You do not always have that luxury as an entrepreneur.
When the job is done, you get to go home. Okay, this is not found at all companies, but the general rule of thumb is at the end of the day, the work stops. I did not have this luxury in my last job and I value it so much in my current one.
You have an easier budget. Take your post-tax salary and divide it by 12, and there is the monthly amount to budget. Have you ever tried to budget with income that fluctuates from week to week? Way harder.
Health benefits. I take for granted health benefits at my job. I have a handful of freelance friends who pay an absurd amount of money for their health care, out of pocket dental visits, and vision expenses.
Retirement money. Most companies have retirement opportunities that you can participate in, and many times they will match a certain percentage. If you are not taking advantage of this, run to your HR department and sign up. Free money people!
Paid time off. One of the largest complaints I hear from those who work for themselves is the pressure that work never ends, there’s always something else to work on. With paid time off, though, you are able to disconnect a little easiest than if you work for yourself.
Co-workers. You may not see this as a benefit if you work with some unpleasant people, but one of the reasons I love coming to work is connecting with my coworkers. Gabbing about the latest episode of HIMYM (hated the finale, in case you were curious), taking long lunches on Fridays, celebrating birthdays with cake, and just having normal interaction with humans on a regular basis. Working by yourself can be so lonely!
Weekends. Two glorious days off from work. Need I say more?
Taxes are taken out for you. Ouch, this one may be fresh for so many who run their own businesses and April 15th is quickly approaching.
Opportunities to advance or move on. Working for someone else gives you new opportunities to advance and grow in your career, or the freedom to move on to another company when the opportunity comes. You also get the chance to work and learn from some very smart people. Quitting or moving on from your own business feels like failure (which it oftentimes isn’t) and is so personal.
Your job is important. Maybe you don’t see it as that important because it’s not glamorous or you do such simple work, but if you are contributing to the economy and society, then you are doing important work. Unless you are a drug dealer or gossip columnist… you probably aren’t benefiting society at all.
What would you add from the list? Do you work for a company? For yourself? What is your ideal work situation?