Well Thriftaholics, we’ve got some more life-changing news to announce to you. After 6 1/2 years at my current job and nearly a decade working in and around the funeral industry, I’ve decided to make a career change. When it rains, it pours right?!? Seriously, when we do things here in the Club Thrifty household, we really go all out.
There are lots of things that I enjoyed about the funeral industry. I was extremely lucky in the fact that everywhere I worked treated me very well. I have met a ton of great friends, and I will really miss the people who I have worked with. They are all caring professionals who truly want to make a difference in the lives of grieving people.
Yet, since we started this blog about a year ago, I’ve really grown fond of personal finance. Honestly, the idea to do a frugality/personal finance blog was Holly’s. I’d never had much of an interest in it before besides occasionally toying around with stock market games. However, over the past year I’ve really began loving this niche, which is why I’m excited to say that I’ll be moving to a career in the insurance and financial services industry. One of the things that I’m most excited about is that I will still get to help people, as that is one of the things I loved most about my current job and one of the reasons that I got into the funeral industry in the first place.
Holly and I put a lot of thought into this decision. It was a long and very deliberate process. We wanted to make sure that this career change was the best decision for our family over the long run. We weighed the pros and cons, bounced back and forth, and finally decided that we should go for it. Ask me again in a few months if it was the right decision
Throughout my time in the funeral industry, I learned a lot of things. I learned many important business skills and concepts. I learned about hard work and commitment. Coincidentally, everyday I was reminded of the value of having life insurance. (If you don’t have some, get some. Readers in Australia can get a funeral plan from Suncorp or another company.) I also learned a lot about the things that I want out of a career – and a lot of things that I don’t want. When it came down to it, I realized that what I really wanted was to – essentially – become self-employed.
Trade-offs of Working for Somebody Else
Don’t get me wrong. Working for somebody else certainly has its benefits. Yet, while working for somebody else is certainly the more comfortable route, I found that sometimes comfort comes with some important trade-offs. Some of them are:
Working for somebody else means that you are required to work on their time schedule. You have to be at work when you are scheduled to be there. You may have to work nights, weekends, or even holidays. You have to ask somebody else for time off. In our situation, we often needed to ask off 6-9 months ahead of time just to rearrange schedules for a 4-day weekend. It is nobody’s fault. It is just the nature of the business. However, it became clear to me that we were planning our lives around our jobs rather than planning our job around our life. My new position will provide me with much more flexibility in my schedule. I will be able to set my own hours, take vacation whenever I choose, and I won’t ever have to work overnight again. Of course, this career change means that I don’t get paid when I’m not working, so there is a drawback to that as well.
If you are working for somebody else, your income potential will almost always be limited. I’m certainly not complaining about how I was paid. I made a nice living. However, no matter what, my salary would always be determined at the discretion of my boss. This includes my salary, health insurance benefits, 401 (k) match, and profit-sharing – among other things. Although I am giving up a steady paycheck, I now have the opportunity to be compensated as much or as little as I like depending on how hard I work. While the steady paycheck is appealing, so is the unlimited income potential. Luckily, I also landed with a company that provides a retirement plan and a great group health insurance plan to boot.
At first glance, it would appear that a good job with a steady paycheck is the most secure option. I have to admit, my job felt about as secure as it could get. However, the cold hard truth is that working for somebody else usually just gives you the illusion of security. In fact, my boss had the option of firing me at any time. If you work for a large company, just one of your superiors needs to dislike you and you could be gone. So, really, how secure is that? Working for myself means that I can’t be fired. Sure, building the business is going to take a ton of hard work. It may be a bit of a bumpy ride to get going. But once I have my business up and running, I really can’t be fired. Sure, a client or two may no longer decide to do business with me – which would be a bummer. However, I can just go out and replace that client. That is true security.
So there are a few of my reasons for deciding to make a career change. What do you guys think? How do you feel about self-employment? Can you think of any other benefits or negatives? Let it out in the comments below!