Before I get into this topic, let me first say this is just my opinion and I’m speaking only from my experience. This post may not apply to and might not be the kind of read to everyone, I get that. Feel free to stop here and read another article or click off this blog. I will not be offended! LOL
If you want to keep reading, I’ll begin with my credentials. I’m almost 58 and I started working at age 13 to help support my single mom and my lil brother. I graduated from high school and I have some college experience but I do not have a degree. Instead I attained a couple of certificates graduating from tech schools with honors.
Mainly, I learned my skills on the jobs I had. It started with hardware/software tech support then to Word Processing, Secretarial/Administrative to Graphic Design and Manager of my own department. This is all before I became a web designer/developer. I also took several continuing education classes after work to learn more about Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator, Desktop Publishing (QuarkXpress, Pagemaker), finally Adobe InDesign. And, a LOT of hours at home practicing designing and reading all the computer books I could get my hands on.
I worked for many companies and in different fields like corporate law, temporary employment agencies, human resources, creative design, publishing, non-profit and sales and marketing.
So when I say I’m no longer qualified for a corporate job, I don’t mean that I’m don’t have the skillsets needed to do the job. It’s more about the other stuff that goes with it and it’s not just about my age either. Job qualifications and corporate cultures have changed and not always for the good. Add to that the pandemic which has played a huge roll in the way we work and how companies hire.
I started my career in the early 80s and it ended in December of 1998. That was the year I lost my last job, our department was laid off. Of course, I went on many interviews during that time since they gave us two months notice, but I couldn’t find a job.
I was offered the opportunity of working for myself which eventually, I did in January 1, 1999. I will never forget that first year, I was scared to death! I only had four months of severance pay and receiving unemployment. I knew that if I didn’t turn a profit soon enough to get off unemployment, my severance would run out and I’d be back looking for a full-time job again.
Somehow, and the only reason I can see is that, God had other plans for me. The first year was a reality check for me in that I knew this was what I was meant to do. I never had a job that I enjoyed, but I can take away the positives. One of which is the experience I gained and the technical and design knowledge I acquired. I’m self-taught and it took many years to reach where I am today so I’m proud of that.
In today’s job market, there’s so many more steps to go through during the interview process and sometimes it is just plain ridiculous. A friend of mine was interviewing for a job and the company made her go on several interviews + travel to some events performing the job functions on a trial basis at her own expense.
To get further considered for the job, she had to pay her own travel, lodging, gas, etc., and work for them for several weeks before they made their final decision. Then, once she learned what kind of culture she was getting into, it wasn’t even worth all she went through.
In my day, you couldn’t be fired as easily, but nowadays employers let people go without a valid reason and no warning. The days of working for one company and retiring with a pension are gone.
A company doesn’t have to show loyalty. And, it’s not just whether you’re qualified to do the job, it’s also that you play the game: ex., gossiping, joining in with the other workers even when it’s wrong, etc. Or, your ability to keep the job is performance-based meaning your #s and/or ability to meet tight deadlines have to be at a certain level.
I have some of this with my day job, but the difference is I work from home so it’s easier. I remember one night, I was in the kitchen cooking dinner and praying. I asked The Lord to always bless my business, because I know the only job I’m qualified for is to be my own. Still, working for a client is something I’d like to stop as I’m now in my late 50s. It’s time to start planning for my retirement.
When I worked in the Corporate job circuit, it was also about working long, long hours without much sleep. The culture was intense, deadlines were increasingly hard to meet and there couldn’t be any mistakes. I find that just too hard to handle on a daily basis. And if the money isn’t there, it’s really not attractive, at least to me.
I’ve watched many YTubers say that they quit their jobs to run their channels or blog full time. The reality is, we spend 3/4 of our lives working and that is a long time to work in a field or company that we dislike.
Working from home has positives and negatives too, but in my case the latter wasn’t a deterrent. I found a tax person who handles filing for us. And, I use Excel to keep up with the bookkeeping. Because my day job is for a client, I do have a contract to work # of hours monthly but it’s not the typical job. For one, my role is what you’d call “essential” as I handle website security as well as web development and performance.
The organization is a non-profit with all its officers and board operating on a volunteer basis. The staff is small and on a paid status. Our jobs are vital to keep everything running. It’s a small “family” team I’m a part of and we rely on each other daily to handle all our tasks. It does come with its stresses and heavy deadlines but at least the people I work with aren’t difficult to get along with. We try to support each other’s personal life obligations. That’s a plus. And we all work remotely, a HUGE plus.
One other big plus working from my home is that I have a dedicated space that I have designed to suit my needs. I’m much more comfortable on my own and no one around me. I can concentrate best when I work alone.
Technology has also been such an asset and I hate to say anything positive about going through a global pandemic, however because of it companies and organizations have leaned a lot on virtual meetings and events. More apps are developed and created to give employers/employees more options to continue working without having to do it all in-person.
We have bi-monthly team meetings on Zoom and it’s much more convenient but also we are all in different countries so getting together in person would be impossible. And, if I happen to not feel so good and don’t want to be seen, I can turn my camera off and still attend meetings.
The days of dressing up, driving to work in heavy traffic Monday – Friday and working at my desk from 9 to 5 with 2 breaks and 30-minute lunch just doesn’t appeal to me anymore. I feel like I’ve done my duty and I’m ready for the next chapter The Lord has for me.
Feel free to chime in and tell me your thoughts by leaving a comment below 🙂 You may disagree or agree with me and both are fine. I’d love to hear how you feel about the current workforce. Are you thinking of quitting your job, are you self-employed or are you happily retired? Tell me more!