Gallup's The Dream Job covers the key attributes employees look for in a job. These are:
- the ability to do what they do best
- greater work-life balance and better personal well-being
- greater stability and job security
- a significant increase in income
- the opportunity to work for a company with a great brand or reputation
This list nicely illustrates the trade-offs people make when they become self-employed.
The top reasons people cite for becoming self-employed are (data from the MBO Partners State of Independence study):
- The ability to control their own schedule
- Increased flexibility
- Like being my own boss
- Do what I love
- Work on projects and tasks I like
- Earn more money
These two lists almost completely overlap, with the obvious exception being "greater stability and job security".
Given these lists, it's not surprising that the self-employed consistently tell us in interviews they are trading job security in exchange for greater work autonomy, control and flexibility.
Most self-employed see this trade-off as being well worth it.
The image comes from the website Broke-Ass Stuart, which has the tagline "you are young, broke and beautiful". The tagline nicely captures the site's content.