If you’ve read my blog before, you already know that I used to be in corporate America and I broke free from those chains last year to pursue my lifelong dream of self-employment. It’s only a couple weeks away from the anniversary of that glorious day, so let’s talk about why so many people are choosing this route instead of traditional employment, and why it’s terrifying for corporate America.
Corporations that rely on traditional employees are threatened by the rise of self-employed independent contractors for the same reason abusive boyfriends are threatened by battered women’s shelters: their victims are empowered to end the cycle of abuse, leave them, and find something better. It’s no secret that corporations these days pay bare minimum wages, offer little to no advancement opportunities or raises, and treat their employees as if they and their families aren’t even human and don’t matter. So what’s the incentive to be loyal to them if they’re not loyal to you? Exactly.
To give you an example, I worked for a major entertainment/telecommunications corporation awhile ago, and it was bought out by an even bigger whale of a corporation. This buyout resulted in the workplace becoming one of the worst places I’d ever experienced. I wasn’t allowed to use the restroom without asking my (male) supervisor, and the supervisors were trained to question too many restroom visits, so what’s a girl to do when it’s that time of month? “Um yeah, I’m about to start bleeding all over this chair if I don’t go, so pretty please?” 😡
That was far from the worst thing they did, though. I had already scheduled a week off earlier in the year for my wedding/honeymoon. Suddenly, they “lost” the record of my approved days off and wouldn’t reapprove them. Again, we’re talking about my freaking honeymoon here. When I complained to HR, they made it clear that if I called off all those days I would be fired. I was done dealing with their bullshit anyway, so I beat them to the punch and quit. The terrible hostile environment there had already been affecting my mental health and causing panic attacks, so I knew I had to be done with that scene.
Being an independent contractor is perfect for me because I’m self-motivated and I love my freedom. I choose my own projects, set my own hours, work from home (or my car if I choose such a project), and I don’t have to adhere to any dehumanizing corporate rules. I can plan a trip anytime and take days off without begging a boss to treat me like a person. I can even go to the bathroom whenever I want! That shouldn’t be so novel, but it is.
More and more people are choosing self-employment for all of these reasons, and it’s bad for the corporations because they rely on having an infinite supply of pawns they can mistreat and use in order to make their executive officers wealthier. The ones who are especially stuck in their ways are going to find that they’re unable to fill these low-paying bullshit jobs as easily as they could before, and the smart ones will adapt their business model to the changing times.
So if you’re miserable in your job, sick of being treated like shit, and feel like there’s no way out, think again! If you’re organized, innovative and self-motivated, you could get out of that abusive relationship too. The power is in your hands!