My boss is organized, driven and people-oriented. She wants me to be successful. She knows when I need time off. My creativity and opinions are very important to my boss, as well as my happiness in the job.
My boss and I have a wonderful professional relationship.I love her.
Of course, most people do love themselves.
(Sense the tongue-in-cheek.)
Were I a better writer, I’m sure I could convince you that self-employment is the greatest thing on the planet, and you would quit your nine-to-five job tomorrow. (Or is it eight-to-five these days? That is a long day. You know, in many European countries they take a midday break. I think it lowers blood pressure or something). Alas, I am not that, so the following will be less persuasive and more biographical—and hopefully somewhat informative.
My parents raised me in a delight-directed, educational environment. We made goal-setting a common practice in our home. I also decided early on that seeking and obeying God’s will for my life was the way to pursue any decision, whether educational, career or personal life choice.
All of these elements were apparent in my decision for self-employment, which my Google dictionary search defines this way: earning one’s livelihood directly from one’s own trade or business rather than as an employee of another. As I matured, the talents and aptitudes that God had given me became apparent. I naturally decided to base my education around these specific areas of talent and interest. During my education, I was encouraged (not only by my parents, but by teachers as well) to go forward in whatever capacity I could, to earn some money with the services I could offer.
I’m sure many people follow a semblance of the same steps in deciding a career for themselves; mine just left me with more tax forms to file.
What does self-employment entail? Like everything in life, there are positives and negatives. I pondered fervently, with the priceless help of my brilliant friend Heather, to think of an exhaustive list to share with you, and came up with a few of the good points.
A flexible schedule
Once, my brother called me two days before he was to leave on a road trip and asked if I would come with him. I said, “Let me consult my schedule—oh look, I can cancel that—Okay, I’ll go!” My brother took vacation from his job, and we spent the next 6 days driving up the East Coast. The ability to work my schedule around time off has always been a plus. The flipside to this is that any time I take off from work is unpaid. If I cannot work or do not want to work for any reason, the loss of money must be my first consideration.
In a similar vein, should I one day be married and start a family, I can pursue as much work as I feel I can accomplish along with other responsibilities. I like that.
A potential to earn a lot of money in a short period of time
I regularly make upwards of fifty dollars an hour. Do I work consistently? Not as much as I’d like. Oftentimes, it can become very sporadic and/or seasonal. There must be good advertising for your work. The more work you can get, the more you earn. There is no set income.
But, there is something to be said for competition, quality work and people skills. These should not be underestimated if you are trying to support yourself with your own business. I would love to promise that if what you are offering is going to benefit people in some way, there will always be demand for your services or product, but sometimes, all you can do is trust God to bring business—which shouldn’t be considered a negative!
The service I offer is not limited to one location, and actually requires travel at times. I don’t feel limited to any one place geographically. I can work from anywhere. This is why I hope to one day live in an Italian flat and drive a Vespa. Bellissima! But, not every career can be that “portable.” If you are serious about scouting and have a good legitimate marketable business, I don’t think it would be hard to find an area where there is a need for your services.
Freedom to change/grow/be creative.
Because I work for myself, no one can threaten my job if I think creatively, or change the way I do things. Granted, my client’s demands will sometimes require me to tailor my services, but if I am in tune with my talents, the right opportunities generally present themselves, and the right type of clientele calls. Of course, if something does go wrong, I have the full load of responsibility, and there is no where to pass blame. In the midst of this “freedom,” there is the fact that I must keep accurate financial records throughout the year. This can be painful. But if I plan ahead, and pay my taxes quarterly; I don’t have as much of a headache, and don’t spend my time wishing I were sevne and thought $30 was a great deal of cash, and didn’t owe $4.50 of it to the government. I am just grateful they don’t tell me “how” I can earn my money …
I have been thinking about why I love doing what I do. I’m reminded of the movie Chariots of Fire, where Eric Liddell says, “I know God made me for a purpose. But He also made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure.” I can honestly say I know that feeling. It’s satisfying to know that my work is what God wants me to be doing; that the work I put my hand to, is in fact, a spiritual service.
My work has been blessed by God. The proof of His hand on it has not always been shown materially, but oftentimes through blessing my clients. And I am continually being stretched: spiritually, practically, and yes, sometimes, financially.
It makes me daily more aware of Who my boss really is.