Employment or entrepreneurship? Is one really more rewarding or valued than the other? Recently the emphasis on side hustles and entrepreneurship has risen hugely. However, we want to showcase the pros of employment, as we recognise that many of us actually enjoy our ‘nine-to-fives!’
Arguably, it’s the increased exposure to peoples’ lifestyles through mass media that has led to a glorification of the ‘laptop lifestyles’ of entrepreneurs. As a final-year undergraduate student, I recognise the enthusiasm and inclination to use our creativity and knowledge to build something of our own. However, entrepreneurship or even going freelance is often nothing like what media headlines or YouTube tells us. It comes with struggles and huge responsibility, and a lot of the time a business may not take off for a very long time (or fails within the first couple of years).
We do not need to aspire to entrepreneurship, or own a successful business in order to prove our talent and knowledge. We should let go of the pressure to start our ventures. Even though entrepreneurship offers flexibility (and of course potential earnings are not capped!) it is definitely not for everyone and does not need to be the gold standard. It should also not be viewed as the only option for people who need flexibility and a higher income… Workplaces should be providing more flexibility and fair salary packages anyway (but that’s a different story!)
I for one feel completely satisfied with being in employment. Isn’t it normal to be satisfied with a traditional job? Or do we all need to start a business, and hope we land a place on the Forbes 30 under 30 lists?
If the thought of entrepreneurship seeps into your brain now and then – and you feel unsure about working a traditional job for the rest of your life – here’s some rare counter-arguments for entrepreneurship, and why sticking out your employed career could be a better option!
A stable income
When weighing up the pros and cons of employment, the first thing that comes to mind is money. Yes, entrepreneurship can provide uncapped earnings, but it can also leave you in debt and/or without any income at all. Owning your own business comes with a high financial risk. On the other hand, employment secures a stable income; a fixed amount of money is deposited into your bank account every month, and you know your living costs within that. It offers a sort of safety net, especially as you also sometimes receive other benefits such as access to training and development, gym memberships and social events. As well… your taxes are automatically deducted – bonus!
It is suggested that entrepreneurs out-earn employees, however, this may not stand true for all jobs. For instance, corporate executives can definitely earn more than business owners, all depending on the size and success of the company, of course.
You do YOUR job
Even though entrepreneurship is about doing what you love, entrepreneurs actually spend the majority of their time doing other things that they don’t enjoy, such as sales and marketing.
Viva Andrada O’Flynn, Global Media Relations of World Humanitarian Drive and Community Manager of Grow2Gether, prefers being an employee. She believes that entrepreneurs have to see the whole picture and juggle many responsibilities. They have to overlook business strategy, products, services, how they fit the customers’ needs.
Viva Andrada O’Flynn
As an employee, though, you are assigned a particular role and you will be responsible for performing the assigned tasks. You can focus on doing your job, which is what you are passionate about. You do not need to worry as much about the different departments and how other people are performing across the company.
If you complete the tasks you have been assigned according to your role, you will receive your paycheck at the end of each month. You will also (hopefully) be praised for your role, which will impact your success and chances of promotion. Appraisals help us explore our strengths and weaknesses and improve ourselves.
Fixed working hours
Employees are usually always given a contract that outlines their working hours. You only work the hours outlined in your contract, and will not find yourself hanging around the office hours later or at weekends… Overtime and extra hours are given at the employee’s discretion and are not mandatory.
Viva says, “entrepreneurs are responsible to find new ways to improve, innovate, and plan for the future. An entrepreneur could work beyond business hours and not get paid for those hours. The failure and success of a business are dependent upon the entrepreneur.”
As an employee, you can maintain both a work-life and one outside, which is often not the case with entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs dedicate long hours to build a reputation and a customer base. They do not always have the lifestyles that we see on television.
Working in a team
A major benefit of being an employee is the ability to work with your colleagues. Not seeing work friends day-in and day-out, where there is time to chit-chat about anything and everything, is a major drawback to having your own business. After all, many of us find incredible friends at work that help us get through the workday!
Rather than being attracted to entrepreneurship for material or lifestyle reasons, we need to focus on what makes us happy and supports our growth. Owning a business is absolutely the right decision for lots of people, but let’s not forget about the rest of us who find working for a company or an organisation fulfilling!
Ayesha Mirza is a journalism intern at Yellow Eve. She is passionate about dismantling patriarchal structures and uplifting the voices of marginalised groups.