What I Miss About Having a “Real” Job

I’ve been a home-based business owner “full-time” for about six years now. I love my work and I enjoy the flexibility that it affords me. But there are a few things I miss about having a “real” job in a “real” office. Here are the top five things I miss:

5. Having a steady pay check. Ah, how I miss that regular pay check…the one I could count on every two weeks. The one I could plan around and literally bank on. My budget has never quite been the same since I gave up that regular pay check.

4. Paid sick leave. I remember the days when I could call in with the sniffles, lie on my couch, and watch “Singing in the Rain” while I convalesced. It was glorious. Now, when I get sick, I just have to take some Dayquil and power through. There are no sick days when you own your own business. No work = no pay.

3. Water cooler gossip. This one sounds petty and shallow, but when working from home there is very little intrigue. It can be a bit boring. The biggest scandal in my house recently was who ate the last of the peanut butter. After a short bit of sleuthing (asking the other three people who live in my house), I discovered it was my husband. Not exactly the plot of the next John Grisham novel. A don’t miss the office politics, but a little office gossip would be nice.

2. A retirement plan. At my old job I had a 401k. AND my employer matched my contributions up to a certain amount. That’s like getting free money! The closest think I have to a retirement plan now is an anemic savings account reserved for “emergencies.” So, you can imagine how much is stashed away there.

1. Cute business clothes. I know one of the main selling points to working from home is getting to wear your sweats and pjs, but after a while you start to feel frumpy. I used to wear flattering business suits and high heels that made my calves look awesome! Were they comfortable? Not really, but I felt professional while wearing them. Now I have exactly two “business” outfits in my closet reserved for client meetings. I just rotate them and hope the client doesn’t remember what I word two meetings ago.

I don’t miss any of these things enough to hang up my home-based business plans, but they are there. If I were proactive enough, I could remedy most of them. I could start contributing to an IRA and buy some casual business clothes to wear around the house (maybe reserving the heels for meetings). I did recently set up a separate business account so I could pay myself at regular intervals. All in all, I can make do with my own version of these things, but the office gossip is a little harder to come by.

I guess that’s why we have reality TV.

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