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15 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Be Your Own Boss

15 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Be Your Own Boss

The world can be a monotonous place, especially if you are stuck at a 9-to-5 desk job. I have lived the daily grind and hated it, and decided it was time to go back to the thing I love most: being my own boss. In this interconnected world, it is easier than ever to make a living doing what you love. Be forewarned: being self-employed is hard work, but it is worth every sleep-deprived moment. From my personal experience as an entrepreneur, these are the reasons why you should quit your job and be your own boss.

1. You will never have a boss again

If you are stuck in the cycle of bills, bills, and more bills, quitting a steady income job is absolutely terrifying. What if you can’t pay your car bill, or your cellphone? What if you can’t have cable TV anymore? Are you prepared to give up Starbucks and drink instant coffee every morning? Could you eat a PBJ for breakfast and lunch and dinner?

Being your own boss is worth every single risk. “Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks”; even a guy named Herodotus from over 2,000 years ago knew that nothing great can be achieved without significant risk. If you leave your desk job, trust me, you won’t actually die. You might have to shack up with your parents, or forgo Netflix for a few months, but believe me, there are way worse things in life, like working for a boss who has a lower IQ than Johnny Knoxville.

2.  Say Bye-bye to monotony

Once you are free of the 9-5 grind, the world becomes alot less boring. Now you can march to the beat of your own drum and do whatever it is that you want to do.

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3. Your earning potential is limitless

Do you make badass dresses for little girls? Post that picture on Etsy, do a little social-media marketing, and your passion can turn into an empire like KPea Original. This independent clothing company started as a home-based business and has boomed into one of the largest completely American handmade clothing companies, employing over 100 people in the small town of Elmore, Ohio. I’m sure in the beginning no one thought a woman with a sewing machine and a dream would turn into a 100,000+ fan Facebook page and a cult following.

If you put in the work, you will see the reward. If you have a skill, or make something that people want, post it, share it, publicize it. Somewhere, someone on the inter-webs needs it, all you need to do is let the world know that you exist.

4. You get to travel more

This is probably the best perk of being self-employed—you have a legitimate excuse to travel. In my business, I go to trade shows throughout the Midwest. I frequently travel to meet clients. I visit vendors. If you enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people, being your own boss creates a plethora of opportunities for road trips. If it weren’t for my business I would have never discovered the hipster mecca of Ferndale, Michigan, nor would I have experienced the wonder of Cahokia in St Louis.

5. Realize your self-worth

Once you have worked for yourself, you begin to understand your own self-worth. Seeing the rewards from all those hours of hard work begins to sink in—you have built something, you have achieved something, you are worth something. Often times at a 9-to-5 job, you go under-appreciated and your efforts unnoticed. When you can directly experience the reward of your efforts you have a feeling of self-fulfillment and realization that can never be fully felt when you are working for someone else.

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6. You call the shots

No more of those awkward moments where you are trying to skirt around your boss to avoid a tongue lashing. Now, you call the shots. Now, you can do the tongue lashing if you so chose.

7. You have more free time

At first, working for yourself involves putting in a schload of time. I’m talking 15 hours days. But then, once you learn what efficiency and effectiveness and delegation are, you suddenly have this chunk of free time that didn’t exist before. You can go to the gym at 2 p.m., or get breakfast with Grandma on a Monday at 9 a.m. Remember, you call the shots, and now you call your free time.

8.  Make your own schedule

As your own boss you not only get to live a less monotonous life, but you get to make your own schedule, too! Why not make those Monday mornings with Grandma a weekly affair? Now that you control your destiny, you can make your schedule as you well please.

9. Do what you love

If you’ve played your cards right, you are now doing something that you absolutely love. Even on those days where you do have to work 15 hours, it doesn’t feel like it. You get to wake up every morning and pursue your passion.

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10. You will meet interesting people

Often we get stuck in the yokel funk—we see the same people everyday for years.This is especially so if you live in a rural area. But now, you get to travel, you make your own schedule, and you meet people that you probably didn’t even know existed.

11. You will step out of your comfort zone

With being an solopreneur comes uncomfortable situations. You may have to do things you really don’t want to do, or things that you have never done. Like giving speeches, teaching a seminar, going to meetings. But, these awkward situations will help you to grow and develop into a better person and business owner.

12. You can write off expenses

And now you also get paid to drive your own car. And you can write off your home office space. The beauty of being self-employed is now all those spaces and things that you use for your business are considered business expenses and you can write them off of your taxes.

13. You will earn street cred

You are at your 10-year reunion. Guess what? All those jocks that wouldn’t look your way suddenly have heard of your entrepreneurial exploits and are quite interested. Thankfully you have been also participating in CrossFit while those jocks now have voluptuous beer bellies. But hey, that guy from AP Chem class now looks like Ryan Gosling’s younger brother? And guess what, he has heard of your business and wants to get drinks.

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14. You will become a (local) celebrity!

Not everyone likes fame. BUT we all do like a little pat on the back for a job well done. Now that you are your own boss you are well-known around your hometown and have made your family proud.

15. You can give back

Best of all you can now afford to give back. You can help your parents pay their mortgage. You can donate funds to the local tee-ball team. You can support the local food pantry. It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to the community and to pay it forward. Because you never know who may be looking up to you.

Featured photo credit: Andrey Belenko via flickr.com

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Published on September 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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