Sunday, June 24, 2012

Work on Your Own or Be Employed?

Part I

Well, it’s been 4 months since I got back to work with my former employer.  4 months since I decided that it’s more practical to have a full time job than make it on my own in the ‘outside’ world.

These past 4 months reminded me what I liked (and didn’t like) about being an employee and what I liked (and didn’t like) about working on my own or being self-employed.

Let’s start with what I like about being employed.  Needless to say, the opposite of these are the ones I dislike about being self-employed:

One, the amount I will receive on a monthly basis is a sure one.  I don’t need to wonder whether I have enough money left over for my personal expenses, which was my constant concern when I was still self-employed.  Being employed means my salary is all mine.  Of course, that’s assuming my salary is enough to cover my own expenses in the first place.

Second, it’s not all about me, me, me.  I don’t need to be the jack-of-all-trades, to know everything and anything that has to do with accounting or auditing or tax, etc.  When you’re working for an accounting firm, and a big one at that, there are people you can go to and consult when you run into problems that have nothing to do with accounting or auditing.  Heck, even in accounting, you can still consult with other people, whom we sometimes refer to as “subject matter experts”.  So you don’t need to be an expert in everything, you just need to be an expert of ‘knowing’ to whom you can go to when you want to ask some questions.

Third, training is free.  Now this one I had to admit could eat into your funds when you’re self-employed and you need to update your knowledge and you need to attend all these trainings, seminars, etc., etc.  In an accounting firm, especially in the Big 4, trainings are free.  They had to.  They had to update you, as their employee, because you will use your (updated) knowledge to audit their clients.  If they train you right, you will serve the clients right.  If they don’t…

Fourth, and I’m not really sure if this is really under the category of ‘likes’ but I’ve included this anyway – you get to encounter (more) complex accounting and auditing issues.  Being in a big accounting firm (we’re like 2,000 plus in our office alone) means you get to audit really big clients with accounting issues that are so complex, you’ll rack your brains on how to resolve them.  Hint: Want to avoid this (or lessen the ‘rack your brains’ part)?  See like number 2 above.

So that’s all about the things that I like about being employed.  Next post, what I like about being self-employed.


  1. Being a self-employed requires involvement, networking, intense reading and in depth conceptual clarity of subject matters...somethings that don't come overnight.
    You clearly love the "comfort zone" and hence were never mentally prepared to step "outside".
    Its a wise choice you made to go back to your previous employer because staying 'outside' would have clearly gotten you chewed up. (or rather it already happened considering you came back in 4 months).
    All am saying is different games have different rules.

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