Why I rather be self-employed than work for someone else

man working with a Mac computer
Made in Canva

Looking for a job is like searching for a needle in a haystack. First, it takes years before finding something interesting you want to be and then no one wants to hire you because you don’t have work experience in the field you studied. You don’t get experience because no one wants to hire you. Not even for an internship. You need to be a student to get one of those. It’s even better if you’re young. Bloody age discrimination. All these job ads are a joke too. There’s always a skill you don’t have. Then you need to have a bachelor’s degree in some jobs. In design, for example, that must be some education. It isn’t rocket science. The biggest problem is the lack of work experience. If you work for someone else you have to be the way they want. If you’re good enough for the culture of the company and so on. You also need to be social and outgoing. That means talking nonsense with your co-workers. That’s not a place for an introvert. Working for someone else seems so stressful. Things like that don’t inspire me at all.

I’ve been looking for web design jobs over a year and there’s nothing I could apply to. Most of the jobs are in the Helsinki area. It’s really depressive to look at job ads and boom you need to have at least 3 years of experience. How fun. Maybe I educated myself to the wrong occupation after all. But I have always been into creative things. I could have been like a lot of people. Working in a ‘normal’ job. In a job where you have a better chance to find a job. I’ve chosen this path and it’s too late to turn back. You should stick to your principles and not be like everyone else. A lot of people settle for the job they have because they have to support their family somehow. I only have to support myself so I can do what I want without having to ask permission from someone else. Since I can’t find a job in my field, entrepreneurship is becoming the only solution. I’ve already had clients so I have worked for free. There is a lot of talks you should volunteer first before earning money for your business but I’m past that. If I were a beginner then I could work for free but now when I have some work under my belt it would be wrong.

I’ve thought about entrepreneurship for some time now. I went to the entrepreneurship course earlier this year and my dad is self-employed so I know how it is. So what is stopping me from making the first step, you might ask. Well, like I wrote in this post, it’s difficult for me to start things. Starting a business has its cons and it can’t be taken lightly. There is a lot of rules and politics around it. Especially if you’re unemployed. You’re at the mercy of the unemployment agency. If you show the slightest glimpse of entrepreneurship, they take the benefits away from you. They decide if you’re a full-time or part-time entrepreneur. At least that’s how it works in Finland. It doesn’t matter if you get paid for your work or not. You need to be really careful or you end up with nothing. You have no money to live on and then you’re in a big trouble financially. You can apply for a startup grant before starting a business but it’s no guarantee you get it. The beginning of 2018, you could try entrepreneurship for 4 months without having to worry about losing your benefits. But it seems it doesn’t really work the way it was planned. Some people got more problems than solutions when they tried it. Reading about their experiences doesn’t attract me to try it.

What concerns me even more than the financial side is finding clients and trying to sell my skills. Am I really good enough for people to buy my services? Is there a market for my services? There’s so much to think about so everything seems so overwhelming. I’m not good at marketing myself. I could hire someone to do it but then you need money. The word, networking, is the worse an introvert can go through. I feel like like I’m an outsider when I’m in situations like that. On social media, it feels like no one notices my posts so I’m paranoid I don’t get people to find my business.
Another concern is the contracts you need for your clients. When I was in school it was already written. Of course, there are tips online about what to write in a contract and so on. But still, it concerns me. I’m worried I make mistakes. Everyone does those sometimes so I shouldn’t feel bad about it if I do. We all learn from our mistakes and so what if it doesn’t go the way you want it to. Maybe these are only excuses because I’m scared of a big change like that.

When you read about opinions or experiences about entrepreneurship it’s negative or really positive. Finns have a bad habit of encouraging others in a negative way. Some have the attitude that you shouldn’t try anything because you’re gonna fail anyway. If someone does something with their life and actually succeed, then other Finns are jealous. People make entrepreneurship like it’s really difficult. Maybe they just say so because they don’t want competition. There is so much paperwork when you have a business. Someone has failed at their business so they don’t recommend it to anyone. There is always an excuse. But those people who fail haven’t done things the right way. I never understood why things are made so difficult when there are things that aren’t that bad. There are so many good things being self-employed. I might not have all that it takes but I shouldn’t stop dreaming about it because someone says it shouldn’t be done. Would it be better to be unemployed and not ever try to do something with my life? I’m not one of those who rather sits on the couch and collects benefits the rest of their lives. The thought of having my own working schedule and not having to go to work like everyone else is tempting. That’s much better than search for a job I might never find.

Looking for a freedom

freedom person jump
Made in Canva

If you didn’t know the blog title is a song with David Hasselhoff. Actually, he was my hero when I was a kid. As Michael Knight mostly in Knight Rider. I loved the car K.I.T.T. He was once in Finland when he was in the TV show. There was also the replica of the car. Everyone is looking for a freedom. Free to be whoever they want to be. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same rights. That’s totally another story that I won’t get into. In a way, I’ve been lucky my parents didn’t tell me what to do or what to become. I could be whatever I felt like. I also live in a country where you’re allowed to be yourself. There are rules of course so it’s not complete freedom. Here we have choices but it’s up to you how you handle things. No country is perfect.

Unemployment is a big issue. They say it has got better but I think that’s just propaganda. Maybe in some occupations but everyone can’t become nurses or work in construction. No employer wants to hire someone with no work experience. If you’re not young, internships are under a rock. Some say that is not even work experience. But that’s all I have so my chances are thin. Life experience doesn’t seem to mean anything in working life. A lot of people are frustrated with not getting hired no matter what they do. They can have years of experience and yet they get nowhere. That’s far from freedom. If you have a job, be happy you have one. Everyone needs a purpose in life. It’s even harder for an unemployed to find work because there are those with jobs that also wants to find a new job. It seems unemployed is a second citizen. The longer you’re out of work, fewer chances you have. That isn’t right. Do we forget how to work? Maybe some don’t even bother learning something new but there are those who have educated themselves. Unemployed are not made of the same mould as politicians seem to think. Not everyone can be entrepreneurs either.

For me, freedom is one of the most important things. Especially after I studied web design and had a few clients. The thought of not having to go and work for someone else sounded so tempting. I’m still in the should I or should I not- stage. I can’t decide. My cousin started her nail art business this year and she already got clients. She’s a bit like my dad. She didn’t hesitate to start her own. That’s what I lack. I think and think but I don’t do anything. It’s been over a year since I did anything in web design so maybe I forgot all about it. Her line of work is different from mine and she already had a job. I’ve got too many hang-ups. I think too much about what I could lose than thinking what I could gain. When I look at what’s out there in the job world, the requirements they want is someone with 2-5 years or 5-10 years of experiences. And a web developer. I just don’t have it. The competition in the design world is though too so there’s so much you need to do. I’m just too introverted for that. The easiest way would be just to accept my faith that I’ll never find a job. Or have the courage to start a business of my own. Making decisions shouldn’t be this hard. I wish I had the courage to just start things because that’s freedom and that’s what I’m looking for.

New door do not open

old keys
Made in Canva

You know the saying, when one door closes, another opens. Well, I’ve tried to open a lot of doors but they still remain closed. I’m speaking in metaphors of course. Mostly doors about opportunities. Or lack of them that is. Sometimes it feels like I’m being lied to so I don’t take chances because of that. I have never got anything in life easy. I didn’t even get away from household chores when I was a child. My mother always said to me to clean up but she only wanted to teach me responsibility. When other kids got pocket money without having to do anything, I actually had to work for it. She also taught me to save money for a rainy day. I just wish I could earn that money instead of living on benefits. That’s where this open door thing comes in.

I opened doors to studying and thought that would open another door. But instead, it hasn’t brought me any opportunities. No matter how strong you are mentally it still bothers you what’s wrong with you that not even Lady Luck knocks on your door. You know you can do things but no one really pays you any attention. It doesn’t help in what school you attended and how many educations you have. That door just won’t open. I’ve started to think why the reason might be and I came to the conclusion it’s work experience. I have it but they’re internships. Some don’t see that has experience. Sorry but that’s all I have been given. Just because I haven’t got paid a real salary, it doesn’t mean it isn’t work experience. Should I find a time machine so I can go back in time to find a “real job”? I don’t think so. It seems some employers are idiots. OK, fine don’t give me a chance. Your loss. It shouldn’t matter if you got paid for the job or not. I don’t know what internships should be called then if not work experience. They’re done in a real working environment and not done at home. An internship is better than nothing. Some don’t even have that.

Those internships haven’t helped much. All of those places haven’t opened any doors. So when people say internships will help to get a job is just nonsense. Employers only want to exploit cheap labour. All this propaganda that unemployment has decreased are just fillers in the media. Whoever believes in that are fools. Only the people with good connections will open the next door. All those unlucky ones have to settle for what they got. Most people have dreams and goals but they don’t have a chance to make them true because they have so many other issues to handle. Everyone can’t become entrepreneurs or be at the right place at the right time.

Sometimes I want to give up and not even try to open another door. But then motivation kicks in and I’m full of hope. It doesn’t take long but at least I see it. Failing is part of life but it’s like the heatwave, it’s only temporarily. Even successful people have had it rough but they didn’t give up. If they had, they wouldn’t be here to courage people. Intentionally or unintentionally. Everyone has doubts. A lot of athletes have had injuries and they thought they wouldn’t be as good as they were before it. They believed in themselves and they made a comeback (like Novak Djokovic who won Wimbledon yesterday) Things like that lifts up my spirit. Believing in yourself when no one else seems to is the best revenge. I will try to open every door until I find the door that opens. It must out there somewhere.