Over the years I’ve traveled back and forth between self-employment and salaried jobs. Whenever I switched my self-employment hat for my nine to five job hat, I could count on eight definite advantages:

  1. A salaried job meant a ringing alarm clock that couldn’t be ignored, which meant no more staying up half the night to watch movies or play computer games or check twitter or just generally fool around. Which further meant trading in bleary, black panda eyes for clear, fully awake, raring to go eyes. AND the gift of pleasant walks to work in the fresh morning air.
  2. A job meant ditching baggy, scruffy, totally disreputable around-the-house duds that could double as dust rags for spiffy, au courant office outfits that would be a credit to any organization or mom.
  3. And speaking of making moms proud, swapping a hanging-around-the-house-all-day work pattern for a straight job meant no more excuses for putting off showers and baths or forgetting to shampoo hair.
  4. A job meant freedom from countless temptations lurking in the kitchen — those hourly snacks that “fueled” our work: cookies to energize, ice cream to refresh, coffee and tea and soda to perk things up. With the supply lines cut, excess pounds piled on during self-employment food binges would soon melt away.
  5. A job meant paying close attention to personal grooming again. As in nails that didn’t resemble Howard Hugh’s late-life, jagged claws, hair that was cut more than twice a year, shoes that were polished and didn’t look as though they’d slogged through the Gobi.
  6. A job meant patiently listening to other opinions, no matter how dopey. It meant compromising, cooperating and accepting (gasp) criticisms from colleagues. No longer being captain of the ship could be a good thing too. It meant the sharing of responsibilities that could be a burden for the self-employed to shoulder alone.
  7. A salaried job meant getting out in the world and interacting with far more people. It meant tuning into what was happening on a wider scale, learning new stuff, stretching.
  8. Happily there was lots more money to fling around too. Yes, extravagance could be fun. And, also — wasn’t it grand — there were no more worries about where that next buck was coming from.

More on career journeys