I graduated high school in May of 2003 and briefly held a part-time job from February of 2005 until July of the same year when I married and moved away. In March of 2006, I started an e-commerce business utilizing pre-existing online platforms to sell antique books and assorted items as they presented themselves. My husband and I worked this business as our sole method of income until March of 2009 when we decided to monetize our shared knowledge of varying topics by freelance writing on various venues including Associated Content while still maintaining our business.
I often considered working outside of the home over the past five years, but the idea of a commute was not appealing and jobs within walking distance of my house are few. However, in March of 2010, I did see a sign on the window of an office I use every day asking for part-time help. I jumped at the opportunity and was shortly thereafter awarded my first job where I was not self-employed or riding on the coattails of past acquaintances. Having this new opportunity has provided me with a lot of happiness in a short amount of time, and I have realized things about working I never really realized since I was always my own boss.
Lesson Number One: Keeping the loudspeaker off is okay.
Keeping tax records for four years on a Schedule C business and assorted 1099s has me firmly entrenched in the spirit of disclosure. I hide nothing. I hide nothing at my new job either, but I have learned that I do not have to tell someone I spilled a glass of water if I can clean it up. When I correct a mistake without help, if it will not affect anyone else down the line then there is no need to broadcast the failing over a loudspeaker.
Lesson Number Two: Some jobs have breaks.
Being self-employed means you and you alone are responsible for not only getting a job done but being the motivation and driving force behind ever decision made when it comes to earning a dollar. This type of realization is necessary to keep a home based income going. There are rarely real non-working breaks. Other jobs have those on occasion, or at least moments of relative stillness, and these can be embraced.
Lesson Number Three: It is nice to be a part of something outside of yourself.
Being a contributor to something larger than yourself can be a refreshing moment. Knowing that you have your area of responsibility and set tasks to accomplish is peaceful. When you are working at home there is always something else to do and peace rarely completely sets in.
Lesson Number Four: There are “real” people out there, and they aren’t that bad.
In the e-commerce world I have dealt with some really odd people, and I expected to have the same experiences amplified dealing with other people in a work situation. This has never transpired. While I’m sure I will have to deal with a disgruntled person one day, people seem to keep their claws retracted a bit more in 3-D which has made dealing with actual person to person transactions a lot more pleasant than internet based transactions.
Life is always surprising, and the lessons I have learned in this new situation of being employed part-time versus solely working at home have made my days a bit brighter.