Not only does my other office have a window, it has a view -- a few
rooftops and TV antennas, and then it's nothing but the Sierra Nevada mountains
for as far as you can see. And now that it is my full-time office, it's even better equipped, and well, it's ... just like home.
Getting downsized out of my job two years ago and going back to freelance
writing (instead of another job) has been an ongoing financial challenge,
but the quality of my work life has never been better.
I'm told there is life after paycheck --
but it takes, on average, two to three years to make the transition from
employee to independent contractor. The good news is that knowledge
workers who do make the transition tend, in the long run, to be happier
and make more money than their employed compatriots.
The jury's still out on whether I'll make the transition -- or want
to. There are days when a steady paycheck looks real attractive ...
As a journalist specializing in high-tech business and employment
trends, I am in the curious position of frequently reporting on what's
happening to workers like me. Clearly, as corporations and governments
continue their downsizing frenzy, more and more opportunities are opening
up for independent contractors, but it's not so clear that there are enough
opportunities for everyone who's been laid off.
Besides, not everyone is cut out to be an independent. Personally,
I find it much easier to write about best business practices than to actually
practice them myself. As exhilarating as it may be to be your own boss,
it's a whole other job piled on top of whatever it is you do professionally.
It takes a serious amount of self-discipline to be your own business.
Not only do you have to be a self-starter, you have to be a self-stopper.
Being a home-based entrepreneur can be a fatal attraction to latent workaholics.
And then there's marketing, billing, bill collectors, taxes, insurance,
zoning laws, office expenses and all that other stuff you never had to
deal with when you worked for somebody else.
Reality bites. It's enough hassle to make even the most diehard free
spirit yearn for a nine-to-five gig again. Fortunately, I am pleased to report that there are increasing prospects
for those of us on the bleeding edge of the hybrid high-tech workforce.
More and more employers are actively looking for employees and contractors
with home offices.
Aside from my own articles for BNA's
Employee Relations Weekly and Gil Gordon's Telecommuting
Review, the best evidence I have to offer is the advent of such Internet
sites as The Telecommuting Jobs Web Page. Having a home office is actually becoming a job requirement.
If I decide to go back to a Real Job, I certainly intend to use my home office as a bargaining chip. It represents both a resource I have to offer a prospective employer -- and a concession I'm willing to make: I'll sacrifice salary (not all of it!) for the privilege of working at
Simply put: My other office not only has a window with a view, it has a window of opportunity.
Got a comment? Don't bother David.
These opinions are strictly my own.
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