Yeppers, the die is cast. You’re going out on your own. I hear you. No more “kowtowing to ‘The Man,’” if you really talk like that.
No more lots of things, like the morning and evening commutes; interminable meetings; insensitive supervisors and department heads; clueless and unresponsive subordinates; and uncooperative and jockeying-for-preference colleagues.
No more interruptions as those same colleagues drop in, uninvited, to your office/cubicle for a chat about the desirability of various female co-workers—one guy even kept a chart!
No more dress codes—it’s time to dig out that cherished “Bat Out Of Hell” T-shirt. You can also now wear around the house —sorry, your “office”—your favorite cut-off blue jean shorts that the kids inexplicably laugh at.
Other pluses—you can grow a mustache or a beard, or that Miami Vice perpetual stubble. Caveat: That still might depend on the person with whom you share your bed and now your new place of work.
NOTE: You’ll notice this is written with a slightly male orientation. While the experiences have a lot in common, there are differences. Most woman would not seize being out of a job as an opportunity to indulge their inner slob.
You thought you were prepared for this day; you’ve dreamed about it for years. Perhaps it didn’t play out the way you had scripted it. You, taking in your completed report (in record time, I might add) and throwing the pages in CEO’s face, saying “Take this job and…” while he grabs you by the leg to stop you from turning on your heel and stomping out with your head held high.
It would be like the triumphant scene in “An Officer and a Gentleman,” but with you carrying yourself out.
You may have been downsized, which is a euphemism for “kicked to the curb.” If this is the case, try explaining your new circumstances to others by using one of the two following phrases from the world of big business sports, often used when an organization wants to sack a coach’s sorry ass: “It was a mutual decision,” or “We decided to go in a different direction.”
So, aside from the day dreams, you may not have thought this out thoroughly, and you find yourself a tad unprepared.
Oh, sure, you’ve taken steps along those lines; for example you’ve got a CPA lined up—but, first you’ll need bookkeeping services—if you think some software is going to do the job for you, forget it. You’ll be trading hours of work that you could be using toward making money for many more hours of work on undesirable tasks that somebody else could do better and faster.
What are the other advantages of your new found total freedom? So many, so many. Ah, you can now smoke at work, like the old days. That is, once again, if your spouse allows this. Smoking in the house, or at least in the corner of the basement that is now “World Headquarters” may still be verboten.
Stop whining and put out that cigarette! This is the ideal time to quit—after all, you’ll need every cent you can scrape up to make this venture successful.
Same goes for alcohol. It’s not going to make you more productive…unless you’re a writer or something equally implausible. Actually, if you’re going to take on the pressures of self-employment, you may have to cultivate a bar whose atmosphere may help you cope.
However, there is some good news on the work-from-your home front. The stigma of not having a real go-to-work-every-day job has all but disappeared. So many people have gone that route nowadays. When I started, twenty years ago, the neighbors looked on me as a bum.
(They still do, but it’s for other reasons…Never mind.)
To help you make the transition, I’ll prepare you; for a while there will be certain things you will sorely miss about not working that 9 to 5 with dozens of other people.
For one thing, there’s, or rather there isn’t, the steady paycheck.
I, myself miss several advantages of working for a company day after grinding day.
No, it’s not the camaraderie and give and take of being in the same boat; nor the synergistic dynamics in coming up with solutions, nor the working together to achieve a common agreed upon goal.
I sorely miss the office Christmas party, the company picnic, and most of all, the football pool.