Yeppers, the die is cast. You’re going out on your own. I hear you. No more “kowtowing to ‘The Man,’”—if you really do talk like that.
No more lots of things that are now just fond memories—the morning and evening commutes; meetings without end; insensitive supervisors and department heads; clueless and unresponsive subordinates; and uncooperative and jockeying-for-position colleagues.
No more interruptions as those same colleagues drop in, uninvited, to your cubicle/office for a chat about the desirability and physical attributes of various co-workers—one guy even kept a chart!
At last, no more dress codes! Time to dig out that cherished Bat Out Of Hell T-shirt. Finally you can wear cool clothes around the house —sorry, around “the office”—like those raggedy cut-off blue jeans that set the kids off into bewildering fits of laughter.
Other pluses—you can try growing a mustache or a beard, or that Miami Vice perpetual stubble. NOTE: You’ll notice there’s a slightly male orientation here. While the experiences of newly self employed men and women have a lot of commonalities, there are differences. Most women would not seize on being out of a job as an opportunity to embrace their inner slob.
You thought you were prepared for this day; you’ve dreamed about it for years. But perhaps it didn’t play out quite the way you had it scripted. You, taking in your completed, brilliant report (in record time, I might add), and throwing the pages in the CEO’s face (or your immediate supervisor’s face—in most large companies, neither the CEO, Chairman of the Board, nor your immediate supervisor’s immediate supervisor knows who the hell you are), saying “Take this job and…” while he frantically tugs at your leg, trying in vain to stop you from turning on your heel and stomping out, head held high.
It was supposed to be like the triumphant scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman,” but with you carrying off just yourself. In reality, your departure was possibly unplanned—at least on your side; you might have been downsized, Corporate Speak for “kicked to the curb.”
If so, just explain your new circumstances to others by borrowing cliches from the world of Big Sports, employed when a team disemploys its albatross of a coach: “It was a mutual decision,” or, “They wanted to go in a different direction.”
My own employers broke my heart with “It’s not you, it’s us.” I still maintained my composure, exiting with dignity, pausing only to score some office supplies.
Setting daydreams aside, you may not have thoroughly thought this out ahead, and might find yourself a tad unprepared.
Stay positive—think of the other advantages of your situation. Now what are they? Well, for one, you can smoke at work, just like the old days. However, smoking in the house, if allowed at all by your spouse, may be restricted to that corner of the basement dubbed “World Headquarters.” Besides, this is the ideal time to quit smoking—you’ll need every cent you can scrape together to make your newfound freedom viable.
More good news on the work-from-your-home front: Nowadays, the stigma of not having an actual go-to-work-every-day job has all but disappeared. When I stopped going to a “real job” many years ago, the neighbors regarded me as a bum. (They still do, but for various other, totally understandable, reasons.)
Initially, there will be certain things you’ll sorely miss about logging to that 9 to 5 day in, day out, job. For one thing, there’s, or rather there isn’t, the steady paycheck. Not to mention (or have) insurance. You’ll be made painfully aware (and that pain is not covered) that there is a single payer concept already existing—and that single payer is you.
I myself still miss several advantages of working for the same company with the same people doing the same things. No, it’s not the camaraderie and give and take of being in the same boat as my fellow workers, nor is it the satisfaction from the synergy experienced while finding solutions to exciting challenges.
It’s the company picnic, the office Christmas party, and the weekly football pool! But even those pleasures pale in comparison to the joys of being on your own. Alone. Like knowing you’re respected for the important and prestigious work you do.
Oh, oh, better handle that first. Dryer’s buzzing.