THE INC. LIFE

Need a Reason to Finally Quit Your Job This Year? Economics Offers 3 Big Ones

If you’re more moved by hard data than inspirational speeches, this is the expert for you.

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BY Jessica Stillman - 07 Mar 2017

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

If you're looking for a reason to finally listening to that nagging voice in your head telling you to hightail it out of corporate America and set out on your own as an entrepreneur or freelancer, there are a ton of voices out there to give you encouragement.

Many of them stress the intangible benefits of charting your own future -- the sense of autonomy and liberation, the ability to craft a path that's truly right for you, etc. Those are often compelling arguments.

But some folks are more the practical type. Inspirational speeches and rah-rah cheerleading leave them cold. Freedom is all well and good, they reply, but, you know, I still have to feed my family and pay my mortgage.

Luckily, the case for quitting your unfulfilling job isn't all self-actualization and the possibility of a large but far from guaranteed economic upside. There are practical dollars-and-cents reasons that setting out on your own makes more sense for more people these days than ever before (though don't get carried away -- no one is saying that everyone, no matter their situation, responsibilities, or skills should hand in their resignation tomorrow).

In the course of listing all the many reasons that 2017 should finally be the year you take the leap, outspoken blogger James Altucher rounded up three of them. In the Medium post he runs through all the more gauzy arguments for self employment -- you'll learn more, be happier, etc. -- but he also digs up some pretty compelling economic reasons why there's never been a better time to be self-employed. Here they are in brief:

 

1. Salaries are disappearing

"Average income for people ages 18-35 has gone from $36,000 to $33,000 since 1992. This is not political There was a Democrat, a Republican, a Democrat, and now a Republican. This trend is not going away," Altucher points out. In other words, most of America is just growing slowly poorer by working away at their stable, full-time job.

 

2. 94 percent of all new jobs created in the past ten years are part-time or freelance

"Every time someone writes a line of software, a job is lost," Altucher writes. "Robin Chase, founder of Zipcar, told me, 'When self-driving cars are everywhere, 90 percent of the auto industry will disappear.' With 90 percent of the auto industry gone, the car insurance industry will disappear. The oil industry will turn upside down. The real estate industry will change. And so on."

And the auto industry is far from the only sector affected by the relentless forward march of AI. (Terrified of this reality? Experts suggest you focus on developing these skills, and get your kids to do the same.)

 

3. Productivity is for robots

"Amazon is building a new store: when you walk in, your phone beeps. When you pick up a book and put it in your basket, your phone notices. When you walk out of the store, your phone logs into your account in Amazon and buys the books in your basket. That's every store. And then maybe every restaurant. Where will the cashiers go?" frets Altucher (and just about every economist and political thinker pondering the future of work.)

The hard truth is that no one knows the answer to this question (though plenty of people have ideas about how to handle the transition).

Being an entrepreneur won't completely insulate you from the stormy economic transition we're just beginning to undergo, of course, but the rocky weather to come does shift the risk-reward equation. Waiting it out in a "stable" job just isn't safe anymore, making entrepreneurship far less risky in comparison.

Check out Altucher's complete post for another seven reasons to finally turn in your notice.

Are you convinced by Altucher's arguments that entrepreneurship is more attractive than ever for economic reasons?