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The Disadvantages of Being an Employee

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Being an employee means regular paychecks, predictable responsibilities and coworker camaraderie, but it also brings disadvantages. Many are familiar with tales of bad bosses, unjustified firings and lack of training. The main disadvantage employees have is their reliance on employers for a nurturing, appreciative environment, where hard work is rewarded. This reliance leads to several potential drawbacks for being an employee.


Being an employee involves taking orders. Employees who dislike authority and directives may see the presence of supervisors as a disadvantage. While supervisors offer guidance, they also carry power over other employees. Even top managers take orders from a company's owner. Having a boss is considered a disadvantage when employees lack respect for, or confidence in, members of upper management. The lack of confidence in a boss' ability to manage may cause problems in employee morale.


Opportunities for self-expression are sometimes restricted by dress codes and policies when you are an employee. Company uniforms and restrictions on hair length or number of earrings are examples of restrictions employers may enforce. Company image can be a disadvantage for people with a strong need to assert individuality. Conversely, business owners may create their own dress codes and policies based on a combination of personal preference and market demands. Owners have the decision-making power, while employees do not.

Firing and Redirection

As an employee, you are at risk of being laid off, fired or having your job title changed. For those who enjoy certainty about their future with a company, the idea of being let go may be bothersome. A company owner has worries, as well, but she need not be concerned with the prospect of being fired. For an employee who enjoys the prestige of a job title, the risk of having a job title changed may be disadvantageous. Owners can create their own titles and change them at will, while employees rely on the company's direction.

Scope of Work

The scope of an employee's responsibilities in a company are often limited to the job description. Employees who want to branch out and gain new skills may consider these limitations disadvantageous. Learning a new program outside the scope of one's job title may be challenging, if the workplace is unwilling to provide training. In addition, a company may reject the efforts of an employee who is trying to contribute to something outside his perceived expertise.


Chrystal Doucette was health and education reporter for "The Columbia Basin Herald," a staff reporter for the "Snohomish County Tribune" and a contributing writer for the "Everett Business Journal." She owns and operates a retail business full-time since 2010. Baldwin holds a master's degree in communication and a bachelor's degree in journalism.

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