Working for the man has it’s advantages. There’s usually more structure. You usually have health insurance, maybe a 401k or even your own little office. Sometimes you work with some really cool people- maybe at times mentally underdeveloped, but still rather pleasant people. It’s usually scheduled the same- day in and day out. You develop a routine. You become part of somebody else’s machine. You probably wake up, do your morning routine, grab your coffee, walk in and say hi to people, sit down and check your email, and start the grind.
But working for somebody else can also have a dark side. You are subject to the whims of whomever controls the company. In some situations, this can be downright dangerous- especially if “the Man” you work for is corrupt, immoral, unethical, unintelligent, moody, foolish, shady, dishonest, and any other host of adjectives that could be used to explain a bad leader. You will probably never be compensated what you are really worth. You’ll never truly know 100% what your future is, because you are not the one actually making those decisions. You are forfeiting your right to call your shots. And if you decide to do that, you had better trust the one who is calling the shots for you. Otherwise, you’ll never truly be happy. And somebody else’s lack of judgment will likely end up *your* problem to deal with in one way or another.
Since stepping out on my own, I have developed a deeper sense of self and a deeper sense of purpose. Being “the Man” has both a greater sense of responsibility, and greater sense of freedom. It’s make or break it, and nobody else can mess this up for me even if they try. And try they may. But iff it breaks, I have nobody else to blame. And if it works, I’m not feeding the fruits of my labor up to somebody else. I reap what I sow.
There’s no shame in working for somebody else, but I personally have found greater sense of pride now that I am back to running my Phoenix Web Design, SEO, and Web Marketing Company, MCP Media. Fortunately in my years of being corporate, I had enough successes under my belt that the moment I stepped out on my own, I had a ton of business just waiting for me. My transition has been easy because opportunity has been knocking the entire time. So easy in fact, that I’m not sure why my sense of loyalty prevented me from being my own man for so long. I guess you can chalk it up to experience.
That experience has proved invaluable. I’ve learned that once you accumulate a critical mass of knowledge on how business works, there are some things you just never do the same. And taking a “jobby-job” is probably one of those things. If you are critical to a business’ success and you are thinking of working for somebody else, get a work contract. Don’t just become an employee. Be very clear on the rules of engagement. You must trust the person or people you will be working for. If you don’t, it will not be worth the money in the long run. Profile your BOSS first. This person will be responsible for making decisions about your future. You might think YOU are responsible, but that’s not really the case when the buck stops somewhere else. And above all else, LOVE what you do. If you take a job just for the money, you’ll go home each day a little less happy than you would if you felt good about what you did all day.
As for my previous experience in corporate America. the jury is still out on how I feel about it. Most of it depends on how the company handles itself now that I am no longer an employee (i.e. honoring my severance, which has still not yet been paid) but I can say this, I am glad I did it and I am glad it’s done. Because now I can move forward and BE the MAN, instead of being subordinate to the “man”.
And as the man, I can tell you this. I take the responsibility seriously. If you have a boss you believe in, one that truly cares about who you are and tries to put you in a position to succeed, then it might be the perfect stepping stone into becoming “the Man” yourself. As I expand, I will be the man giving ten fingers to launch people toward their own goals. I will do what I can to make sure when people talk about their experience working for me, they say ” He’s the man! ” instead of ” He’s ‘the man’ “.