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Getting yourself to work...harder for wage slaves or self-employed?

 
 
dlowan
 
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 03:34 am
I have had one of those weeks where I am very tired and very disinclined to do what I must and get the hell out of bed and to work.

I was musing, as I upbraided myself severely for my laziness, whether it is easier or harder for those who run their own business or are independent tradespeople to keep themselves motivated?

 
Kolyo
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 11:36 am
@dlowan,
I'd say it's probably harder for the self-employed. The only thing that gets me up in the morning is the commitment I've made to others to appear various places. I guess a freelancer could overcome the inertia if he/she made a compact with other freelancers to all work in the same space and hold each other accountable for being there.
Roberta
 
  4  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 11:50 am
@dlowan,
Deb, Motivation. A complex issue. I have a tendency toward laziness regardless of the circumstances. Wasn't crazy about the corporate life, but my motivations for showing up and doing the work were much more varied than they are as an independent contractor. They pay you. You show up and do the work. Other people depend on you. And there's ambition and career to consider. Also, I was involved in the bigger picture. Profits, successful projects, staffing, etc.

As an independent contractor, my primary motivation is to keep a roof over my head. And my commitment is to the person who hired me to do a specific job and meet and specific deadline.

I manage to push myself through innate laziness no matter what. I think it's one of the things about being a grown-up that is a challenge.



0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 02:19 pm
I was kind of veering towards it being harder for the self employed....but was wondering if the fact that the more you worked the more you could make factor, or some intrinsic satisfaction factor, would make a difference. Or just not having a boss!

dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 02:21 pm
@Kolyo,
Kolyo , the no appear, no pay factor doesn't also influence you?
Roberta
 
  4  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 02:42 pm
@dlowan,
Silly bunny. As an independent contractor, I do have a boss. Me. And I'm a pain in the ass to work for. I think my standards are higher than those of the people I work for. Don't wanna check something? Don't wanna look something up? I'm lazy. The book stinks. I see all kinds of things other editors don't checkwhen I'm proofreading. So why bother? Because a voice in my head says, "You're a professional." And on the rare occasion that I don't bother, I end up going back and bothering.

As for the amount of work. Yes, when I could handle a lot of work, the more I worked, the more I earned. Excellent motivation. I can't do as much these days. I push myself to get a few things done.

The upsides to working for myself: No professional wardrobe. No office politics. No schlepping on the subway. No business trips to places I don't want to go, spending time with people I don't want to be with.

The downsides to working for myself: Not enough money. No expense account. (Loved dat expense account.)
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 03:50 pm
@Roberta,
Do you miss the colleagues and office buzz?
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 04:29 pm
I've been self-employed for nearly 20 years and was in a corporate environment or hospital setting before that. At first the "more you work, more you earn" mindset was pervasive and it actually became a problem. I was always working and because I worked at home I was always available to work. It took calls from clients at 10:00pm simply because the phone rang. I eventually came to realize that my office wasn't in my home but that my family lived at my office. I made changes and established set hours and routines.

I get more work done in a 6-hr day from 9-3 than I ever would in a 10 hour day in a corporate office setting because there are no distractions. The downside of that is that there are no distractions. So, yes, the office buzz is missing but that's where A2K came to my rescue all those years back. You all are my office mates!
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 04:31 pm
@Roberta,
Roberta wrote:
The upsides to working for myself: No professional wardrobe. No office politics. No schlepping on the subway. No business trips to places I don't want to go, spending time with people I don't want to be with.


Precisely! Especially the schlepping. What a waste of time getting to a workplace is! Ok, maybe especially the wardrobe. There's a lot to be said for working in my flannel pjs and slippers.
0 Replies
 
Roberta
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 04:46 pm
I left out a major, MAJOR, downside to being self-employed: No benefits. I had great medical coverage. And when I was out sick, I got paid. Also got paid for vacations.

I don't miss the schlepping. I enjoyed dressing really nicely, and I spent a fortune on clothes.

When I first lost my job, I remained in touch with the people I was friends with. I lost most of these people when I got sick. As for the buzz, must of the time it made my stomach churn. But I still get info. I do most of my freelance work for the company I used to work for. And the people who hire me are people I used to work with.

What? Another reorganization? Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Agree big time with JPB. You gotta be disciplined at home. I set aside specific times for working, depending on how much work I have. It's a problem when the work is right here and so am I.

I usually establish quotas. How many pages a day must I do to meet the deadline. I stick to that almost without fail unless there's a major problem.

I also agree with J that the people here fill in for the folks at work. Schmoozing is schmoozing.
JPB
 
  2  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 04:54 pm
@Roberta,
Very true about the benefits. I was lucky in that Mr B held a regular job with good benefits that provided all of us with insurance. It was a major hurdle for us when his company closed and we had to find private insurance. I was deemed uninsurable based on a previous stroke and Mr B's shoulder was excluded from any coverage for any reason due to a bike accident injury. When all was said and done we paid over $20,000/year for insurance benefits once his COBRA ran out.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 05:02 pm
@JPB,
I have heard that that's a common problem for workers at home.....some even getting a place they can call their office to stop the boundary problems.

I'd REALLY miss the buzz...but I often take reports home to do because the phone doesn't ring constantly etc. or if it does, I can ignore it!
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 05:04 pm
@Roberta,
That tie of medical benefits to a job in the US makes me furious.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  4  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 06:06 pm
@dlowan,
Interesting, interesting, bunny hops.

I have to think about it.
I used to like going to work after high school and later (and more difficult transport, university), the rewards a lot for me getting to be around differing people, cramming my mind with the medical stuff around me, and the whole office camaraderie thing. At that time, I knew mostly my aunt and mother.

On work -
I used to like it when I worked for a department, ran a lab, but I was often weary, didn't get a 'helper' for some lengthy time, so I worked my buns off. Still, I liked it. The hardest part was being there at eight, which I pretty much never was except for maybe the first day -- but I made up for that as a workaholic. I didn't have patients in that lab, though I met some long termers.

Later lab work was similar, I was generally forgiven for not being there at five of eight, and learned scads of stuff, left two places to learn more stuff, and finally went to a wrong place, though.. I still learned. But, by then it was killing me not to have a window, and I was playing with art in my spare time

So, at the end of that last employment, I felt trapped, though I'd be ok once I got to the lab. Life was not only med matters but art and love and new home.

And I got out of it - took university extension classes for four years and all new jobs had to do with the new interest, landscape architecture. I didn't know that was my serious interest until I had a class in elements of design. I was turning forty.

Thus I entered my independent contractor years, when very few design places in that period could really pay your way. This one job was a type of internship. My first employment, a type of internship in the new field, was in a primo then landscape architecture firm. I worked 16 hours a week (long drive), at something like $3.30 an hour, helped the secretary file, made coffee - and did large presentation drawings and photo'd work sites, with short commentary.
I was still in school; there were eleven in the firm and nine of us were laid off.
In summary, I was energized, tired, not unhappy.

Something like eight years in a land arch firm - mostly good days, a few scary ones, a few with people at odds, a bunch working into the night, and a lot of fun - and no one expected me to show at 8 am unless with clients or meeting crews to progress review.

I don't remember being unhappy then, but I was getting more interested in my eyes and signed up in a serious eye clinic. Baaaaad news, and I quit driving at night immediately, and cut out twilight driving. Major life change.

Aside from a mix of relief and angst, this was debilitating for me with work, including possible future jobs in city departments, as I couldn't reasonably do it.

I then worked for myself, partly because I was interested in design for (sorry) ordinary places, always have been. That was satisfying, if not lallapaloosa money making. I did some volunteer design. And one or two major client designs, but got involved with consult with a couple of people, one who became a later partner.
So, then, I was ok. She and I had brains that riffed. I was glad to go to work, and at home glad to be painting or working on projects.

My eyes weren't that different from before, and still aren't, re RP - just that I didn't understand the whole of it before.

The bad news was that however capable, we were having a hard financial time, and it made sense for me to be the one to move (she had family there and much more connection to the community, and I needed to get my house sold.

On the last best years, I'm not sorry for a minute.

Well, except that my business partner liked to clean more than I did. But that was her problemo...


So, looking back, when were my years of hatred for getting to work -


that's easy, chemistry class at 8 a.m.



ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 06:12 pm
@ossobuco,
Yikes, sorry for the giant big red print.
Phoenix32890
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 06:49 pm
@ossobuco,
Glad that you mentioned that. I was going nuts trying to figure out some meaning that you were trying to get across! Embarrassed
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 06:56 pm
@Phoenix32890,
Yah, I type pre thinking, that's my way (that's coy, I so think for a second.)

0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  3  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2013 09:21 pm
@dlowan,
dlowan wrote:

Kolyo , the no appear, no pay factor doesn't also influence you?


I try not to think about work in those bleak terms. Getting employment with a boss I like is critical. That way I can think being punctual and about putting out my best work, so that they'll look good and will have an easier time of it-- rather than thinking about how I either have show up or get fired.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2013 01:55 pm
@Kolyo,
I don't see the getting paid thing as bleak!
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2013 02:29 pm
Got to add - quoting myself..
"Later lab work was similar, I was generally forgiven for not being there at five of eight, and learned scads of stuff, left two places to learn more stuff, and finally went to a wrong place, though.. I still learned. But, by then it was killing me not to have a window, and I was playing with art in my spare time.

So, at the end of that last employment, I felt trapped, though I'd be ok once I got to the lab. Life was not only med matters but art and love and new home."

Note - that lab became one of the major labs in the u.s, and the world. I think it was subsumed when the owner died.
I was asked to be manager and said no... a mix of my not wanting to be managerial and not being happy with what was going on atmospherically. I missed research.
Leaving was smart, I would have been in a stew that didn't interest me, which was why with the no re management. But also dumb, as I'd be wealthy.
 

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