Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Other Side of Self-Employment

Brazen Careerist also linked to David G. Blanchflower, another economist looking at happiness. From Self-employment: more may not be better (PDF):
"It does seem likely that people have an unrealistically rosy view of what it is like to be running their own business rather than staying with the comparative security of being an employee. A surprisingly high proportion of employees say they would prefer to be self-employed. Despite the fact that very high proportions of employees say they would like to set up their own business the reality is something else."


Elizabeth said...

My husband and I are battling with this question all the time! Just when he's not sure it's all it is cracked up to be, something happens to make it all worth while and the cycle repeats.

Jeremy said...

Thanks for the comment, Lesa. You guys seem to have a good mix, with you working a "regular" job, and Jildaz going solo, which probably helps even out the ups and downs...but I'd love to hear more about how you make it work.

I have noticed those cycles for my self-employed friends and family -- when things are slow for too long, there's some worry and self-doubt. Other times there's too much work, and the opposite kinds of stress pop up. But overall, I think the ebb and flow of self-employed work is probably healthier, more engaging and smarter than daily/weekly/monthly/yearly toil doing the same thing for the regular paycheque.

I think the article is arguing that there's a gap between our expectations of the entrepreneurial lifestyle -- overestimating the benefits and underestimating the challenges -- which is probably true.