Your full-time job is not that secure! (Find out how to protect yourself)


Do you believe that since you have a full-time well-paying job, you’re safe forever? I’m sorry, but I’ll need to burst your bubble.

In fact, you’re probably living dangerously already.

Here’s what I mean.

Your job has never been guaranteed.

You can lose it at any time, even if you’re the best performer. Your boss could fire you for any reason. Your company can decide to downsize. Your company’s most significant clients can go to a competitor, forcing the business into a problematic situation. Finally, for any reason, such as mismanagement, the company you work for can go bankrupt.

It happens often with huge companies internationally. Just a couple weeks ago, Carillion, the second largest construction company in the UK announced that it would go into compulsory liquidation, and put the jobs and pensions of thousands of employees at risk.

It happens here as well.

In fact, my closest friend, Waseem, went through this dire experience early in his career. He was a web developer for Noveo. He used to work enthusiastically until one Friday morning when the manager asked for a quick meeting.

Here’s the full account from Waseem.

“The manager said: ‘Guys, I have to let you go, I am closing the company as investors are decreasing personnel.’ Everyone, project managers, developers and admins were all laid off without any hesitation. As such, we found ourselves without a job. He did give us our money but for us, we lost more, we lost a job that we loved, and found ourselves needing to start again from scratch. People might say it is easy to start again as we were fresh graduates but still, it meant we needed to get back again on the job market. I spent a couple of months without employment and that’s when I started freelancing to cover some expenses (until I got a full-time job).”

It’s not just entry-level jobs or small companies.

I know a couple of managers who lost their jobs after more than 25 years in the same company (big groups that I won’t name for obvious reasons). But the saddest case, which I know of, is that of a young lady who lost her job right after her maternity leave. Can you imagine her state when she got the news? She surely never expected that.

You’re leaving a considerable amount of money on the table.

One of the other reason that I say you’re living dangerously is that you’re purposefully missing out on income. With your job, you are dependant on the salary your employers choose to give you. And, if they are compensating you generously, well, lucky you!

However, things change quickly. You can decide to get married (if you aren’t already), to become a parent, or to conceive your next child. All of these will raise your cost of living, but will your job give you that salary increase when you need it the most?

So, allow me to ask, how secure is your job when your long-term success depends on so many external factors? External factors that you have absolutely no control on.

Sure, you can get a new job when you get laid off. You can go to another employer if your current one is refusing you a raise.

And, the circle will just repeat itself. So, what can you do about it?

My advice?

A healthy side-business.

I’m not saying it’s wrong to have a full-time job, or that you should quit your job right now. I respect full-time employees.

In fact, I’d urge you NOT to quit your job. Instead, you can choose to be a “Chicken Entrepreneur”. I know it sounds weird, but check out the definition below, by Mark Ford, the guy who coined this term.

“A chicken entrepreneur is somebody who keeps his day job while he gets his ideal job going at home in the evenings and on weekends. He is an entrepreneur, because he is taking the initiative to start his own business. He is chicken, because he’s not willing to quit his current job and lose the income. The compromise he accepts is that he will have to work 60 to 90 hours a week for several years before he can either abandon his great idea or fire his boss.” – Mark Ford

You’re already awesome. You probably know that.

You can quite easily use that awesomeness to start a side business that you love. And, who knows? In a couple of years or less, you can even leave your job because you’re earning more from your business.

But I’m getting ahead of myself, let’s take a step back.

Why should you start a side business while working full time?

1. You’re getting paid to learn.

Everything you learn at your full-time job can be used in your business and vice versa. You get to learn skills such as time management, project management, leadership and working in teams. And, you get paid to learn those skills.

2. You’re sure someone needs your services.

For example, if you’re working as an accountant at a company, you are sure that someone is willing to pay for your accounting skills. In fact, you can convert most full-time jobs into profitable side businesses.

3. You’re not desperate.

The worst thing for a freelancer is to be desperate for money. When you need money immediately, you need to focus on short-term. Yes, a fully grown business has the potential for massive revenue, but that will come in the future, not right now.

4. You mitigate your risks.

With a job and a side-business, you diversify your revenue sources. If one fails you, you still have the other. What if you lose your job tomorrow? Would you be forced to accept the next job offer, even if you hate it? A side-business can give you time to make a reasonable career choice.

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Your turn.

Have you considered freelancing or starting a side business? Why haven’t you gone through with it? Let me know in the comments.

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