business cards business cards (Photo credit: bargainmoose)

In the last year or so, I’ve noticed things changing. Or, well, reversing. Friends that held full time jobs left them in droves to pursue working from home or starting their own businesses either by choice or because of layoffs.

In the meantime, long time work-from-home types were suddenly job hunting and I’ve seen many of the usual suspects in the selling world jump ship for the 9 to 5 world. 

There’s no denying that the economy is wrecking havoc with a lot of people’s lives but I still find this trade-off strange. If it were just the work-from-home crowd jumping ship for normal jobs or just frustrated workers going into business for themselves, I could understand it but the fact that everyone just seems to be trading places just raise more questions than answers for me.

Is this a “grass is always greener” scenario where people are looking to the exact opposite of what they have now with envy? Or is this part of some larger shift that I’m missing?

I understand going from running your own business to a “normal” job. It’s easier, usually more profitable, and much more consistent even if it may not be a fulfilling as working for yourself. That makes sense to me and, while it saddens me to see many of my writer or seller friends give up on “the dream” or whatever you want to call it, I don’t blame them for a second for opting for security over the often tumultuous world of freelancing or running your own business.  After all, you can always run a business on the side of a normal career. (I did it for years myself.)

But I’ll confess to being mystified by the people who leave good “normal” jobs to start their own business in a down economy by choice. Just looking at my friends, it has worked out spectacularly for about three of them while most of the rest have either crashed and burned or are heading that way soon. And that’s probably a fair sample of new businesses in general and how many succeed and not a commentary on my friends in particular. To me, I’d always rather test the business out on the side of my 9 to 5 until I was sure that I had a viable enough business model to successfully support myself before I took the jump and left my job. (And, again, this is literally what I did so maybe I’m biased.)

What do you think? Is selling your main gig or do you currently have a day job? (You don’t have to tell us what it is if you don’t want, just if you have one.)

Do you spend the majority of your time working out of an office or from home? For yourself or “The Man”?

Was this always the case or was this a recent shift?