I worked for companies for a while. It was cool. Worked in Netherlands when I was 18 for TNT doing IT stuff. Worked in France, Germany, Italy, USA. All as an employee. I loved it. I was young and enjoying what I did.
Then I did contract work - same deal more money, less time spent in any one company and worked in more than 30 countries. Just from here to there - pure P4P. I did that for years.
Then I settled in one country and became a 'boss', first a regional director for a tech firm then I opened and ran a subsidiary of a Japanese MNC and let me tell you - that is a shit job. At that level half the job is politics. Nobody says what they want. They say one thing but mean another. So every conversation you have with someone within your own company you have to think "what's their angle?"
Backstabbing assholes trying to take your job are a fact of life. And as for dealing with beancounters and lawyers. Jeeeez.... Every quarter - working with beancounters - tweaking the numbers so you either show a profit or take a loss so next quarter is better. Moving expenditure from one place to another - because a budget has been cut to save money - but you don't save money - just move the expense elsewhere. Like firing someone on Friday, paying them severance and then rehiring them as a contractor on Monday.
And any good ideas you have - you all meet, agree - decide on the way forward and someone says "Let's just run this by legal" and you may as well just throw the thing in the bin because if there's one thing 'legal' is good at is slowing stuff down or stopping it happening.
Then there's KPI's. Totally arbitrary statistics that can get you fired even though you are making the firm more money.
For running your own firm - not too bad - longer hours, less money for a long time. Your customers become your boss.
So IMO - being an employee/contractor isn't such a bad thing. It's just a matter of lucking out on your career choice. Contractors in the oil industry were making hay for years until oil prices dipped.
- employee - great
- contractor - great
- middle/senior management - terrible
- own business - ask me in 5 years
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Time is the most valuable commodity we have. It is finite. We will never get it back if we waste it.
I read a book in 2010 that talked about moving beyond being paid for time. If you work for an hourly wage you are locked into a finite amount of money that you can generate. If you work and are paid for ideas, you have an infinite ability to generate money.
This was one reason I started seriously looking into trading. As a way to be paid for ideas and not time... Time is everything.
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