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How Valuable is Your Financial Freedom?

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

There is a lot of dependency a worker has on their employer. We depend on our jobs for not only our pay but also our health insurance, life insurance, vacation pay, holiday pay, retirement matching dollars and more. We want that stability and security that we can count on that employer for our livelihood but that isn’t always possible. There really is not any security or guarantee at all and that dependency is also a high risk to us with little we can do to change the results.

There is always a company in the news laying off workers, being bought by another or filing for bankruptcy. As workers many of these events are out of our control yet we are forced to live with the ramifications both professionally and personally. It’s shocking, painful, frustrating and very stressful when these types of things hit us. Many of us are not financially prepared for being without our paycheck for any amount of time without significant negative impact to our family.

It’s no longer common for someone to stay at an employer beyond 2 years! So every 2 to 3 years we are changing jobs by our own choice because we have found something “better” – or so we hope or the company has undergone a drastic change that has eliminated our job. If the average person works 47 to 50 years of their life that is 25 changes in jobs!

I Didn’t See It Coming

I still work full time in a corporate job. When I started counting how many job changes I’ve had in my own career it was just about aligned to that every 2 – 3 year statistic. I look back at my career and there are many high proud moments that I felt really good about achieving success and an equal number of disappointments, frustrations and risks that I was left exposed to because my job was gone. There is very little more terrifying than worrying about how to pay your bills and keep a roof over the family because your employment is gone in an instant and you don’t have a back up plan.

We don’t like to think about the possibility our jobs may be gone at any moment. It’s not pleasant and we always think it won’t happen to us – until it does. Then what? We update resumes, dust off networking contacts and hope for another job that may do the same thing to us in the future. With luck we can find something quickly and we will really like it. Every time it happened to me I’d swear I’d be better prepared for it and over time I was slightly more prepared financially but never enough and it usually left me burned out and skeptical about my next employer. Over time I like to think I’ve developed a sense of when it might happen and I start saving more just in case. Let’s face it you never know how long it’s going to take to find another job.

Most of us don’t have a choice about not working but I like to ask them this:

What would your ideal life look like if you had financial freedom?

Would you work for that boss who always yells at you? Would you put up with the co-worker that you know is undermining and talking negatively behind your back? Do you really love your cubicle workstation with low walls? Would you accept being told there were no funds for the bonuses this year and raises are going to be delayed so the shareholders can be paid first?

Would your responses change if you have the financial freedom to not be 100% dependent on your employer?

It’s Not a Get Rich Quick Thing

Having your own side business isn’t a get rich quick scheme. I am sure some do get rich quick but most of us are building our businesses for the long haul to reduce our employer dependency and perhaps one day replace and increase what we have now. For me it’s about reducing dependency but also creating that security structure I can actually rely on and trust is going to be there.