Here Is Exactly Why You Wish You Were Self-Employed

Rick Wartzman
Rick Wartzman

In his latest online column for Time magazine, Drucker Institute Executive Director Rick Wartzman writes about a new survey, which found that 55% of employed U.S. adults “would jump ship from a traditional job to be self-employed—if they could still pay their bills.”

“That more than half of American workers would like to strike out on their own says a lot about what folks value in their jobs—and, in turn, what most employers are evidently failing to provide them,” Wartzman writes. “It’s also a blunt reminder of the ways in which people’s career expectations have been upended” over the past several decades.

The finding is based on a Harris Poll survey, which was commissioned by the online education company CreativeLive.

Wartzman notes that Mika Salmi, CreativeLive’s CEO, believes that one reason “people are so hot to go it alone these days” is that “their jobs don’t offer a sufficient outlet for their creativity.”

Wartzman explains that Peter Drucker actually used to “sneer at the idea of ‘creativity.’” “Only the dilettante can afford to forego monotony and to look for ‘creative fulfillment,’” Druker wrote in Concept of the Corporation. “It is not routine and monotony which produce dissatisfaction” on the job, he added, “but the absence of recognition, of meaning, of relation of one’s own work to society.”

In this regard, Wartzman concludes, “I think Salmi and Drucker are actually saying much the same thing: People are looking for a sense of purpose in what they do. Salmi happens to frame this around ‘creativity.’ Drucker would have used a different C-word: contribution. But both, in the end, would have come to the same place.”