I love entrepreneurial people. In fact, I wish I had more gumption. I really love the idea of leaving behind the safety of a forty hour work week and stepping out into the unknown. But while I respect my fellow Americans who risk and sacrifice so much in order to fulfill their dreams, being a full time entrepreneur just isn’t in the cards for me right now. And you know what, I’m ok with that. Although it has caught a lot of flack for years now, working for The Man isn’t a terrible thing. There are some great financial perks to working for someone else. Here are the top 5 reasons working for the Man really isn’t all that bad.
Free Money – I’m not referring to your paycheck. That’s hard earned. I’m talking about the 401k match that 78% of employers offer to their employees. The most common method of matching, which I have at my work, is 50% of the first 6%. That means that if you toss 6% of your check into a retirement account, over the long term you’ll be letting the equivalent of 9% of your income work for you for that eventual day you finally leave behind the nine to five. I’m no dummy. I never pass up on free money.
Steady Paycheck – Working for the Man provides some stability in regards to income. You don’t have to wonder if you’ll be able to eat next week, which is kind of cool. I like eating. Especially anything pork related, mmmm bacon – but I digress. A lot of my friends that have their own businesses (or blogs) are doing exactly what they want to in life, which is awesome, but the uncertainty that they face financially can be hard. I’m pretty happy with my steady paycheck that the Man provides me every two weeks.
Vacation Time – Nine out of ten full time American workers get twelve days of paid vacation. Unfortunately most of us don’t even use all of them! On the other hand, entrepreneurs often take even less vacation because of the difficulty in leaving their “baby” behind. If I take a week off to go to Ireland things don’t fall apart. If a full time blogger or sole proprietor of a start-up business takes a week off everything comes screeching to a halt and havoc ensues. I’m certainly not judging. I understand how hard, but also rewarding entrepreneurship can be. I just also know that I really like being able to unplug and take a couple of vacation weeks every year.
Health Insurance – Roughly 55% of Americans receive their healthcare insurance through their employer. Most employers put a lot of their own money towards employee plans, discounting greatly (usually over ¾) what you would pay on the open market. Even though I don’t find employer provided health insurance to be the most efficient if we’re talking policy, in the real world it’s nice to have discounted coverage thanks to the Man. My family and I are thankful for that.
Tax Help – Working for yourself has tax consequences. I wish this weren’t so. It’s a burden on our society’s creators and innovators. But, if you work for yourself you’ll be paying 7.65% more in social security tax than I do. The Man covers my extra 7.65%. I’ll be sure to thank Him for that when I see Him!
Some companies, like Craigslist, offer perks that are above and beyond your run of the mill employer offering. My particular employer brought back their pension offering in 2007. How cool is that!? Those sorts of things really help to retain employees and keep them loyal and motivated. Trust me, it works.
I’m not trying to convince you that you should abandon your hopes and dreams of working for yourself or launching that amazing product that could make you rich. In fact, I’ve got a couple of side gigs because I don’t love the idea of putting all of my income eggs into one basket. But for those of you looking out the window imagining what it would be like to start your own biz, just know that it has it’s own set of challenges.
Does this make you appreciate working for the man a little bit more? If you are an entrepreneur, how hard is it to do without these 5 perks of working for the man?
Check out more money saving tips from Joel on his blog SaveOutsidetheBox.com or follow him on Twitter.