Are you Self Employed? Why don’t you get a proper Job?

Posted: November 7, 2011 in Misc
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Are you Self Employed? Why don’t you get a proper Job?

Have you ever been asked this? I have. “Why don’t you get a proper Job?” is probably one of the most common questions self-employed people are often asked (in my opinion).


First, what is a “proper” job. As companies continue to merge with competitors, downsize and cope with the continuing recession  a “proper” job is not what it used to be.  No job is safe is these days.

And secondly I could never go back to a “proper” job now and work for somebody else or some faceless organisation, why, well to start with no one tells you what to do. I have been self-employed since april this year.  I’m a dealer in science fiction and horror comics, books and other collectables. I am in total control and can decide when to work and when not too. I mean yesterday I just took the day off with no hassle of having to ask permission, just like that. And more importantly I take the credit if it goes right and at the end of the day its going to be me that is rewarded instead of some manager who doesn’t know what he/she is doing……

I love what I do but it’s not been easy and in fact it’s been very hard.  Starting a business is a pretty big change for starters and takes a lot of balls and courage. And growing the business is even harder, as it takes a lot of hard work and patience. You have to continually see what isn’t working and make changes in order to continue on the path. There have been a lot of hard times with very little money as there was no secure regular income but I always think if you didn’t have these hard times you wouldn’t appreciate the good times.  But not everybody is cut out to do it. And I guess those people can get very jealous because they cant do it, which is probably why they ask “Why don’t you get a proper Job?”.

I knew this first year would be extremely tough, especially having very little money, and sometimes I did wonder if I am doing the right thing but I only have to listen to others who have a “proper” job constantly complaining about their job to make me realise that I am blessed and that I have made right decision.

Take my brother for instance who works all the hours god sends and has forgotten I have existed.  He is contracted to work 9-5, monday to friday, doesn’t get overtime pay but normally works all day and doesn’t get home till late.  He also works at the weekends.  Does he get any thanks, probably not. Then for what, why does he do it, money. Dont make laugh, whats the point of money if you are always working and can’t enjoy it with your loved ones.

My parents are another classic examples of this.  I don’t have much memory of them in my early childhood as they were both working very hard (they worked all the hours under the sun) and when I did see them after school they were very stressed.  And even though they worked hard we still had very little money. When I was around 11 or 12 my father had to stop working due to ill health from a heart attack. He had Angina (heart disease) and so my mother had to stay at home and look after him. And so my main memory of my father is that of a stressed argumentative ill old man who drank loads, smoked and ultimately died of cancer and heart disease when I was about 17.   It’s not a nice memory to have and I don’t want my son to go through that. By the way my mother eventually passed away in 2006 from cancer.

Having worked in the pharmaceutical industry for over 12 years I used to be one of those who put in extra hours just to get noticed on the hope I would get a promotion or pay rise.   But it never happens, instead it is expected of you that you work extra and you are asked to do more and more.  It was one of these places where unpaid overtime was an unwritten rule. And the only people who are rewarded are the senior managers who get big fat bonuses.

So, in answer to the question “Why don’t you get a proper Job?” No, why should I?

Never again will I work for some body else. Now if I work hard I will get rewarded. In addition, because I work from home I can spend as much time as I can with my family and choose my own hours to work.  And that’s whats important to me :).

What do you think, what are your experiences?

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  1. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been asked this. I think people with J.O.B.s (Just Over Broke) might be jealous of you.

    Either they would like to do what we do but are letting fear stop them, or they’re miserable in their own situations and haven’t yet figured-out how to escape.

    I’m so glad to hear you’re not letting other people’s opinions prevent you from living your life.

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