In previous posts, I’ve covered how to leave your job, and the pros and cons of making your side hustle a full time gig. There are serious pros to starting your own business and running it where ever you want: flexibility, location, and being your own boss.
However, there are a lot of compelling reasons to not leave your full time job… either while you’re building your business, or ever. Is it possible to have both a full time job and a rewarding side business? It can be, if you take the following into consideration.
Before I continue, we’re going into this post assuming your full time job is an office job, 9-to-5 or, if not an office job, is an office with fairly set hours that pays you either a salary or per hour, offers benefits, and offers paid sick and vacation time.
These types of “perks” are compelling reasons to remain at your full-time job, but if you’re job doesn’t offer all of these perks, you still may want to stay for some of the perks outlined here anyway.
Full Time Benefits
One of the biggest reasons many people keep their full time job, even after starting a side hustle or fully launching their business, is health care. I know several people at my full time job who run very successful side businesses, but remain at their full time job partly because of the health care and dental benefits we receive.
Hospital bills, even for routine visits to your doctor or dentist, can really add up. Having a health care plan that pays for even 80% of your visits could mean the difference between having a savings or being in debt.
Personally, I have a small emergency fund, but one hospital visit could easily wipe that out. I do have a high deductible plan, but at $1,500, it’s fairly reasonable. If I had to go on the Affordable Care Act plan, my deductible would be much higher – I’ve received quotes for a minimum deductible of $3,000 and up. That means I’d have to pay $3,000 first before my insurance took over. Healthcare is a huge reason why people remain in their full-time jobs, and you can see why!
No matter how you feel about your current job, isn’t it possible that you could receive a promotion in a few years to a better, or different job? Even more compelling, what if you like your current job and could see yourself promoting higher?
In many office settings, promotional opportunities or the ability to transfer among departments or locations is a solid reason to remain at your full time job. Beyond getting a raise, you could find yourself managing people, adding significant new skills to your resume, and doing something new and interesting.
That’s not to say you wouldn’t learn new things or manage people while running your own business, but you may learn them at a slower pace than what you would at your full time job.
Camaraderie in an Office
Another big reason small business owners sometimes choose to keep their full time job? Socialization! Being a small business owner, particularly one who works from home, can be a quiet, isolated and sometimes lonely job. You may miss the water cooler chatter, going out to lunch, or making work-friends with your colleagues.
While you could join mastermind groups or visit co-working spaces, unless you regularly pay for and go to your co-working space, you won’t have the same familiarity with your “colleagues” as you would at a full time job.
In addition, who would you bounce new ideas off of? Since remodeling our new house, I’ve gotten a ton of contacts for plumbers, electricians and more from my more experienced coworkers (people who remodeled their homes before and know who is worth hiring). While you could use Yelp to help you make these decisions, sometimes you get a better perspective (and possibly a deal) by using your co-worker connection.
At many offices, employees are offered free training, whether it’s directly related to their current job or focused on improving current skills. This is just a short list on the types of classes many employers offer:
- Computer classes (accessing email, setting up calendars)
- Learning new programs or improving skills (Excel, Word, Powerpoint, etc.)
- Public speaking classes
- Emotional support (dealing with stress, handling family conflicts, etc.)
- Personal finance (how to buy a car, how to get started investing, etc.)
And the list can go on for bigger companies. Some companies even require their employees to keep up their skills and will pay for certification classes. And don’t forget nationwide or international conferences – some employers will allow you to travel to conferences around the world and pay for your travel, lodging and food.
Just my two cents? If your job offers free travel, I’d stick with it unless you’re totally burned out 🙂
Paid Sick/Vacation Time
Paid sick and vacation time is a huge topic nowadays, with many organizations (particularly restaurants) fighting against the idea of providing their employees unpaid sick time (let alone paid sick time or any kind of vacation time).
If you have an employer that provides paid sick and vacation time, consider yourself lucky, and keep in mind what it means to be your own boss. There’s no such time as paid sick or vacation and, unless you keep to a very strict schedule, you won’t be able to take time and “forget” about work like you may be able to at a full time job.
In the end, it’s up to you whether or not you can handle a full time job alongside your side business. If you’re able to juggle family, health and other priorities along with a full time job and side business, it might be something you choose to do. There are a lot of good reasons to stick with your full time job – for the long haul, and even just temporarily.
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What are your thoughts on leaving a full time job to jump into full time entrepreneurship?