After I graduated with a Bachelor degree in Computer Science in 1993 I worked full-time at various hi-tech companies till 1998. After that I had a failed start-up experiment and returned to work as an employee for a few more months before that company was closed and I became full-time self-employed.
This is part of my series about Business Models and Income Streams.
Fill time employment
I have about 5 years of experience as a full-time employee.
Thinking about it now, the majority of that time was quite enjoyable both professionally and socially. I learned and used new and interesting technology and I was surrounded by nice people. (Only at Vyyo I had a really strange boss shouting at the employees.)
Most places were quite small and my drive to learn new things and to improve how the things were done was accepted and even encouraged.
Or maybe it was such a long time ago that I only remember the nice things :)
As I recall I did not do any projects outside of the employer until the last one, just before I set out to build my own start-up. Coincidentally it was also after I got married and my son was born, so I guess I was also less busy going out. I remember working on my computer at home while he was sleeping next to me.
In a way I recall it as a relatively calm period, employment and income-wise.
No full-time employment for me
However, I don't think I could go back to full-time employment.
These days I really like the fact that I can put a lot of time into creating online content. Sometimes people are thanking me. I think I felt a lot less of that kind of appreciation when I was employed. After all it was expected that I do my job.
I also really enjoyed the fact that I can take a week off from my long-term contract client to go and teach a course or to go on vacation (when vacations were still a thing). I am sure I earned less money as a self-employed than I would have as a full-time employee, but I had a lot more freedom.
Being a full-time employee is also risky. You have one income source. If your employer gets into financial difficulties they won't have sentiments and they will let you go. If there is a pandemic and businesses have a lot less income or they see the future a bit less bright they can easily let you go.
If you have only one income stream then when it is gone you are left with nothing.
Basically all the 5 companies where I was ever employed has either gone out of business, or has was sold and closed the offices in Israel letting everyone go. So it is not an insurance to work at a smallish hi-tech company. (The only place that was big and that's still around is now part of Intel, but there I was just a temp-worker anyway.)
Which brings me to a common misconception that self-employed people accept or even like risk. In fact having more than one income sources (e.g. more than one clients at the same time) reduces the risk of remaining without income.
It is unlikely I'll ever become full-time employee again, but as the saying goes, never say never.
In the meantime I explore other Business Models and Income Streams.
Published on 2020-08-06 by Gabor Szabo