Most people are unhappy with their jobs and wish they could change them. So why is working for someone else a waste of time?
By working for someone else, you enrich their assets. You may end up getting a fixed income (regular paychecks), but it won’t help build your own wealth. So the opposite is true: When you work for yourself, you have the ability to exponentially increase your wealth.
Also, you give up time that may have been spent doing other things. If you were able to finish your work and leave by midday, how would you spend the rest of the day?
In this post, I will go over why many people end up working for someone else. Along with that, I will lay out five reasons working for an employer doesn’t benefit you that much.
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- Why Are So Many People Content To Work For Someone Else?
- Your Exchange Your Time For Money
- The Focus Is Saving Money Instead Of Investing
- You Get Stuck In One Location
- You Have No Safety Net For Yourself
- You Cannot Increase Your Income
- Signs You’re Not Meant To Be An Employee
- Questions To Consider
Why are so many people content to work for someone else?
Today, there are more people who work as employees than those who work for themselves. According to Statista, there are about 3.32 billion people employed in 2022 (compared to 2.28 billion people in 1991).
I think one big reason is people have been taught how to be good employees. What I mean is that the modern education system is designed to teach people to eventually get a job working for someone else.
There is less emphasis on teaching entrepreneurship and personal finance in the education system. These are great topics to learn about, but they aren’t emphasized as much in today’s society.
More so, it’s not surprising that most people go down the path of “going to school, getting a job”, and so forth. That’s what they’re supposed to do, and they end up working for someone else.
Why is working for someone else a waste of time?
When you work for someone else, you contribute to that person’s wealth and assets. Rather than building your own dreams and aspirations, you are building someone else’s. You may earn a good living, but your situation doesn’t improve.
You exchange your time for money
When working as an employee, you’re giving up a certain number of hours in return for a paycheck. Whether it’s four hours, eight hours, or even a 12-hour workday, that’s sacrificing time that you can spend doing other things.
How can you spend that time wisely? You can work for yourself, but are you able to make money work for you instead?
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know how to create recurring income for themselves. Not learning this valuable skill means that you’ll always work for somebody else. In exchange for money, you need to give up your time like in survival mode.
“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.“–Warren Buffet
My thoughts on working for money
Within the last few years, I’ve come to realize that working for money is not the best way of living. I still do right now, but I’m working on creating passive income so that I don’t have to work for someone else.
It’s why I don’t like doing overtime where I’ve worked before, as it just means more time I have to give up. Sure, the extra money is nice, but I’ve given up more time than I want to.
My goal is to make money work for me so that I won’t have to endlessly work for others. By learning how to do that, you won’t need to exchange your time for money.
The focus is saving money instead of investing
Saving money is not a bad idea; however, the idea of “scrimp and save” is not the best way to live. People can save money for a rainy day, but could that day arrive sooner?
In that case, they’ll have to use it up and they no longer have savings. Unless you have a lot of money stocked up, you’ll end up struggling to pay for unexpected expenses.
Also, if you put money in a savings account today, you’re likely to lose more money as inflation goes up. Savings rates are not as high as they were before, so you will not get a big return on your money.
A relevant article from notimekillers.com
Read next on “How To Live Beneath Your Means: 3 Ways To Be Financially Fit, to learn how you can be successful with your finances.
Save some money, then invest the rest
I believe it’s good to put some money aside in an emergency fund (life happens). Instead of putting all of your money into savings, I believe it’s best to invest the rest in things you understand.
By investing, I don’t mean just putting your money in the stock market. But you should invest in areas that you understand well. If that’s in the stock market or cryptocurrency, you can do that if you understand the risks involved.
If you don’t understand anything, then it’s always best to invest in yourself. It’s best to learn new skills that can help you make money down the road.
You get stuck in one location
Unless you work at a company that provides mobility, you’re likely stuck working at the same location. Not having the mobility option gives you fewer options if you want to move elsewhere.
Do you want to move out of state or out of the country someday? If so, working for someone else at one location won’t do you any good. So having mobility can help if you need to move at some point in life.
You have no safety net for yourself
As I’ve discussed before, there’s no such thing as job security. When working for someone else, you have no control over how decisions are made at a company.
If you’re not able to have a say in where you work, you’re at risk of losing your job someday. Any company can make bad decisions, which may mean laying off some people.
You’re in trouble if you end up on the chopping block of layoffs. What’s next? Can you support yourself and your family without a job?
If not, you will struggle to get by unless you have a backup plan or live on savings. It’s never a great situation to go through if you don’t have some safety net in place.
A relevant article from notimekillers.com
Read next on “What Are You Doing Differently To Spend Less Money? 5 Tips“, to learn how you can spend less money than most people do.
I’ve been through this situation before, where a bunch of people and myself were let go from our jobs. To make it a short story, the company I worked at made a lot of bad decisions in a short period of time.
As a result, they miscalculated and realized they were overstaffed. So the best outcome was to let a lot of people go. Although my situation was not as murky as others, I understand what it was like to experience it.
I learned a lot during that time, and it proves that no matter where you work, there’s no such thing as having a safe job. That’s not the case if you work for yourself, where you have full control of your situation.
You cannot increase your income
It’s very hard to increase your income exponentially working for somebody else. For some companies, the best outcome you may get is a small pay raise each year.
Although these raises may help, it’s certainly not enough when your standard of living has significantly improved. The ability to increase your income helps lower your expenses while fighting external factors such as inflation.
Unless you can prove to your boss you’re the most valuable person at your company, it’s very difficult to ask for a 200-500 % pay increase. That type of increase would make a difference in your situation, but highly unlikely for most employees.
If you work for yourself, you have the ability to increase your income. You can make as much money as you want (if you have the right mindset and work hard at it).
Signs you’re not meant to work for an employee
If you think working for someone else is a waste of time, you may not be best suited to be an employee. Working for money or not liking being told what to do is understandable.
Here are some common signs you’re not meant to be an employee:
- You get easily bored
- You don’t like sitting in a cubicle for 8 hours (under fluorescent lights)
- You don’t enjoy working in a corporate environment
- You don’t like working in teams
- You don’t like asking for permission
Is it better to work for someone else or yourself?
Working for yourself gives you more control over your situation. Financial decisions or business structure decisions are up to you. However, those privileges come with more responsibilities as well.
Questions to ask yourself
- Do you not like the job you’re at right now?
- Do you find working at an office job to be boring and a waste of time?
- Do you wish you had more time to do things you enjoy doing?
- How can you start building your wealth instead of for someone else?
There are more downsides to working for someone else than yourself. The fact that you have little to no control over your company should be an indicator of that.
I’m a firm believer in financial freedom, along with time freedom as well. When you achieve both of those, you have more control over your life.
The reasons laid out earlier should give you second thoughts about your situation. If you find that you don’t like the job you’re at, maybe it’s time to reconsider.
Either way, you have the ability to make changes to your situation. If you’re able to work independently (without relying on an employer), more power to you.
Your Turn: Do you believe working for someone else is not worth it?
I would like to get your thoughts on this topic. Do you enjoy the job you’re at right now?
What changes can you make to it? If you can’t quit right now, what can you do now in order to leave your job?
Were you meant to be an employee? If not, are you actively working on getting out of the rat race?
Feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below. I look forward to reading your responses, and I’ll gladly respond promptly.
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Eric is the owner and chief editor of notimekillers.com. He takes great pride in helping people manage their time and grow their businesses. Eric is a firm believer in financial and time freedom, as he believes in financial independence and taking ownership of your time. “Time is your most important asset. It can be your best friend or worst enemy. How you use your time can shape the future you desire to have.” In his leisure time, Eric loves to write and read whenever possible. He enjoys going for long walks outdoors while doing in-home workout videos every week. You can also connect with Eric via LinkedIn.