I came across an article the other day that has really made me think. The author is Steve Pavlina, a reformed shareware game developer who now runs a personal development website offering ideas for self-improvement. He has hundreds of articles on his page and, even though some of it is pretty new agey, I found much to consider.
This article stuck out in particular, though, possibly due to my own dissatisfaction with my current employment situation. The title says it all: “10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job.” Although there’s quite a bit of sarcasm here and the tone is at times fairly harsh, the point is interesting.
Steve Pavlina maintains that it’s much better to work for yourself than to work for someone else. I won’t recap the entire article as it’s worth it to go read the whole thing for yourself, but a couple of his reasons really resonated with me.
I find the idea that my livelihood is entirely dependent on the whims of a few people to be scary. Factors completely out of my control can shut off my only source of income like the flick of a switch. Also, it’s true that I don’t get to realize much of the fruits of my labor. Most of the work that I put into my job benefits others much more than myself.
Having a job does seem to provide a sense of security, but is it really a false sense of security? I think he’s got a good point here. Those of us who rely entirely on a job for our income do serve at the pleasure of others. Once they decide that our services are no longer needed, we become a liability rather than an asset.
It’s clear that having this threat hanging over our heads can lead us to make decisions that we otherwise might not. We are conditioned to protect our jobs and to stay safely inside the box of other’s expectations. We make choices in life that are channeled down a certain path by external factors rather than our own needs, desires, and internal values. In the end, we can become thoroughly compromised. Can this possibly be a good thing?