This week, I gave my notice of resignation to my boss. In two weeks, I will be entering the exciting but unstable world of self-employment. I have been working up to this moment for years. It started as a seed, planted roughly 10 years ago, when I was unhappy with my role in my job. I managed to change roles a year later and was happy again, so I put aside aspirations of self-employment, but I never forgot about it.
It didn't take long for the seed to be replanted. In 2001, the mighty powerhouse of an employer I worked for, the employer I thought I'd grow old with and eventually retire from, cut me loose along with 70% of its workforce, because they mismanaged their money during the Internet bubble. Luckily (sort of), I was offered continuing employment with another company as part of a technology transfer, so I was never without a job. However, it made me realize that there is no such thing as secure employment: no matter how big the company you work for, and no matter how good your performance reviews are, the management boobs above you could still screw things up, sending you and your coworkers to the unemployment office. When you work for somebody, your financial security is in the hands of those management boobs. So much for security!
Now don't get me wrong: I am not suggesting that self-employment is any more secure than working for somebody. But I am suggesting that it is no less secure. As a self-employed person, I will be the decision maker. The buck stops with me. If I perform well, I will reap the rewards. If I perform poorly, I will pay for it. It's all up to me now. But at least I don't have to worry about some idiot atop the corporate ladder making a stupid move and ruining my only source of livelihood.
It's all in my hands now. It's great. It's scary. I'm excited!