Ready To Quit Your Job? Read This First

Lots of people are unhappy at work these days. If you’re among them, you may be wondering if it’s time to ditch it all and finally start that home-based catering business or consultancy that’s been in the back for your mind for the past 10 years.

Self-employment can bring more time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures–if you’re suited for it.

Not so fast….

We’re big champions of the independent life, but we’ll also be the first to tell you it’s not for everyone.

In a new piece for the AARP’s career site, Work Reimagined, we’ve spoken to experts to help you come up with an accurate and honest answer to the question: Is entrepreneurship right for you?

The vast majority of small businesses are one-person operations. If you’re thinking of starting one of your own, you’ll need to weigh considerations like how much you enjoy working alone, your ability to sell your product or services, the kind of lifestyle you enjoy and more. We know that’s not easy. One of our most popular posts ever has been Six Questions to Determine If You Are Cut out for Freelancing.”

The key thing to remember when you’re weighing self employment is that there’s nothing wrong with realizing you prefer the structure, salary or benefits of a traditional job. (Besides looking at entrepreneurship, Work Reimagined also offers advice on building a more satisfying career in traditional jobs, as well).

But if self-employment is a good fit for you, it can be an amazing route to a freer, more fulfilling life, as Elizabeth and I have found.

We’re not alone, as the latest survey by MBO Partners underlines. In an annual report called The State of Independence in America, the consulting firm found that the number of independent professionals in the U.S. increased from 16 million in 2011 to nearly 17 million this year.

While not everyone they studied entered self-employment voluntarily, few independent workers said they wanted to give up on their solo businesses. Just 13% planned to seek a traditional job in the next two years–compared to 75% who expected to continue as indie professionals or to expand and hire others to work for them. That’s good news, given that–like it or not–long-term employment trends seem to portend a lot more Americans needing to build careers outside of corporate and government employment.


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