Home Business – The Cost of Being “Boss-Free”

Have you ever considered the cost of being boss-free? I haven’t given it much thought until last week when I had an interview for a part-time Program Coordinator position with a local non-profit agency. As I was discussing the benefits, the pay and other details with the interviewer, I was so excited that I could literally feel my heart start to race. It has been so long since I have had a regular schedule, a consistent paycheck (with benefits to boot). The pay for the position was almost twice what I’d earned in a similar one and it was a work-at-home position too. Absolutely perfect…pinch me.

….and then the interviewer said, “and I will be your direct supervisor”. My heart sunk nearly as fast as it was skipping. Don’t get me wrong. I really liked her. She seemed wonderful, bubbly, upbeat, family-oriented…but she wasn’t ME. I am the best boss I’ve ever had and I couldn’t imagine someone trying to replace me.

I don’t dislike bosses. I used to be one. I have just become so accustomed to flying solo that I think I would make a terrible employee at this point in my life. “You want me to wear nylons…you are kidding, right?” “I have to start working at eight a.m., are you insane?” “What do you mean I can’t simply leave for vacation whenever I feel like it?”

It is easy to list the benefits of being boss-less. Self-employed people wear what they want, show up when they want, take vacation when they want and work whenever they feel like it.

But (as I was reminded last week) there are quite a few benefits to having a boss as well. Regular paychecks, assistance, paid vacation time, insurance coverage, savings accounts and other benefits.

Interestingly, had I been offered this position five years ago before being boss-less, I would have done cartwheels. Yes, yes, yes…I’ll take it! Now that I’ve been independent for so long, I am not sure if I can handle being supervised again.

This decision reminds me of my college years. I spent three years living on-campus several hours away from my parents. During the summer of my sophomore year I moved home for the summer to save money. Suddenly, I had “supervisors” again. It was a daily struggle. I am fairly certain my parents would have allowed me to live at home for as long as I wanted. I could have had free rent, free meals, and other “benefits” but I chose freedom and independence. I also chose to be broke.

So, what has being boss-free cost you? Extra money…a 401K plan…insurance coverage? Has it been worth your freedom? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section.

In the meantime, enjoy these related articles:
Networking with Former Coworkers
Dealing with Dozens of “Bosses”
The Difference Between Jobs and a Business