Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A Decade of (employment) Freedom

While discussing ways to create a homestead, live frugally, and live with as much freedom as we can in the police state, it dawned upon me that I missed an important anniversary this year: Ten years of total self-employment! Come next month it will actually be ten and a half years. 

I recognize that this may not be the path for everyone, though most of us should consider it if not immediately pursue it. There is more direct personal accountability, and more authenticity to be gained, as well as advantages such as in my own case of being semi-retired now after only ten years, in fact I made that move at the nine year mark! 

There is also a great deal of flexibility which comes in very handy in all sorts of situations, whether it be taking care of a sick child, to dealing with the recession turned depression under which we are now suffering, and which will only get worse. My job cannot be downsized, and I cannot be laid off. Because I am flexible, I can take jobs that perhaps I would pass over when times are good, but still keep an income. 

Anyway, I just found the realization an interesting one, and as good a reason to celebrate as any. I've got 30 years of work history under my belt, and a full third of these were spent working completely for myself making others very happy.. 


Professor Pope said...

Congrats! I know this didn't all start in McDermott's existentialism class, but IIRC that sort of moved you further in this direction.

I've often thought about having my own business for the reasons you talk about, but worry about supporting my family with the sort of business I'd be interested in (bookstore keeps popping up). Being a professor isn't being self-employed, but it's a nice blend of stability and flexibility.

In semi-related news, have you read Shop Class as Soulcraft. I think you'd like it.

Storm said...

Thanks! Maybe not the journey I started, but it is the one I am on.

McDermott's class pretty well cut the last tie to what I believe for me at least was the illusion of modern working life with any inherent meaning in it.

I understand the fear involved in having your own business, obviously I went through it. The rewards are great, but admittedly the risks are real as well. It was not until I was able to leave the business for two months while I traveled in China, and I returned to plenty of work, before I felt any degree of security.

Perhaps the most reassuring realization was the realization that security in a 9-5 job is entirely illusory itself.

Still, if I could teach, without the office politics, without the nonsense, just teach, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Speaking of which, did I tell you that I did a guest lecturer series at my undergrad university? Did a couple of sections of bio-ethics for six weeks and even got to do a little bit of Gert's stuff! Yeah I am still pushing his stuff, with some important modifications so that essentially there are 8 rules..

I will put Shop Class on my wish list..