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They say it’s lonely at the top, but being your own boss can bring enough rewards to make working independently worth the sacrifice of not being part of a team. Not all independent work requires running a full-fledged business, including telecommuting employee positions. Understanding the benefits of a more independent work situation will help you determine if it’s the right path for you.
One of the main advantages of working independently is that you aren’t under the thumb of a boss. If you own your own business, you only answer to your clients, who have little say over how you do your work. Even if you work as a telecommuting employee, you won’t have a manager looking over your shoulder every day. Your interaction with superiors is mostly focused on what you need to do, rather than how you have to do it. This eliminates the micromanaging that can come with an on-site boss.
Depending on your work situation, you have the ability to set your own hours, choose where you want to work, determine your own fees and decide whether or not you want to accept certain work. Independent contractors can take the day off, work from a coffee shop or the beach, sleep in and work later during the evening, and generally choose working conditions the enjoy. As long as you get your work done at a high level of quality, you aren’t forced to work a set schedule.
The fewer people you work with, the fewer egos you have to massage, co-workers you have to please and enemies you have to deal with. Working independently lets you focus on what you love to do, rather than how to get projects done without dealing with a wide variety of personalities.
When you work independently, you often find more job satisfaction because you are responsible for determining how you’ll tackle your duties and get the credit for your successes. You’ll be going out on a limb more when you work independently, and won’t be able to pass the buck if you fail, but working without a net can increase the rush you get when you achieve your goals.
The less supervision you have, the bigger the opportunity to use your talents to achieve your goals. This allows you to experiment and use your imagination. Whether you work for clients or have a boss with specific goals, as you meet their objectives, you have freedom to spread your wings.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.
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