Have you heard this message? The message says that if you have a JOB, you have somehow failed your calling or your path to true happiness. That if you truly had grit and creativity, you'd be an entrepreneur.
Here's a story to illustrate the point. A few years ago, I was coaching and doing team workshops in a big, financial company. My coaching partner and I were out to dinner with the HR Director when he announced that he was thinking of quitting his job to start his own business. My partner and I practically flew across the table screaming, "Nooooooo!" As the sole breadwinner for his family of 5, printing a new business card was not going to send his 3 children to college. He had a good thing going at his job and quickly saw from our stricken faces that staying was a good choice.
Now don't get me wrong. Being an entrepreneur is great - the flexibility, freedom, and creativity can't be beat. For some people, becoming an entrepreneur is a great option. If you have a financial safety net, the ability to work on your venture on the side, or a robust network of people ready to hire your new business, you have a great place to start.
As the HR Director discovered, there are many fabulous benefits to corporate life. Here 5 compelling reasons to ignore the call of entrepreneurship and stay in your job. (These just happen to be the things I miss most about corporate life):
- Your salary. You get paid when you are sick. You get paid when you are on vacation. They pay you if you work on a big project or if you spend your day cleaning out your email. You get raises, and many companies give bonuses or other financial awards. Pay for entrepreneurs is uncertain and constantly fluctuates. When an entrepreneur isn't working, they don't get paid.
- Your colleagues. This is probably the one I miss the most. Lunches out with your office mates. Daily conversations, shared experiences, and energetic collaborators. Entrepreneurs work alone much of the time.
- Free food! Corporations have coffee areas and do things like bring in sandwiches and bagels. There are amazing holiday potlucks (delicious jello cake! artichoke dip!), retirement parties, snack boxes from consultants, and celebrations for major milestones. All I can say is there is no free food in my kitchen and no one is providing it but me.
- Paid professional development. Corporations send employees to conferences. (You get to stay in a hotel and expense your meals! I still remember the sushi dinner in NYC.) Companies host classes on everything from courageous conversations to productivity to Six Sigma. Entrepreneurs pay for their own professional development and eat at Subway.
- Other people do the stuff you don't like. Not into managing finances? No worries. Someone else manages the company's finances. Your computer doesn't work? Call the IT department. Have an insurance question? Benefits is just a phone call away. As an entrepreneur, you are all the departments unless you have a long suffering partner or generous friends with IT and marketing skills.
Organizations offer different sorts of benefits so your company may have a different menu of great things. I'd love to hear what they are. What is a compelling reason to stay in your corporate job?
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me all about it. I promise not to get too jealous of your free food.
With rebel love,