One of the greatest benefits of full-time work is getting paid whether you work or not. I miss that.
How awesome is it to paid when there is a snow day? How good does it feel when you’re out sick or injured for a week and the paycheck continues to roll in? When you’re sipping Mai Tais on the beach thanks to your four weeks of paid time off plus national holidays, life is pretty good!
Now imagine if you got furloughed for a month or more during the holiday or busy season. What a wonderful opportunity to spend time with the people that matter the most to you.
Although you miss the bi-weekly paychecks, you’ll eventually get paid once the government reopens for business. Almost all government workers got paid during the previous government shutdown. Expect the situation to be no different during the 2019 shutdown.
Now compare this work and pay situation with that of an entrepreneur or freelancer. If the entrepreneur doesn’t work, and if his or her employees don’t work, the entrepreneur does not get paid. Entrepreneurs don’t have a safety net as their full-time colleagues do. And therefore entrepreneurs must always have contingency plans.
In 2018, I got something worse than a furlough. I freelanced the entire month of October but didn’t get paid because the company I partnered with decided not to pay their contractors. But not to worry, the company paid all its employees for the work they did in October and provided 1-2 weeks of severance pay.
Freelancers like myself, however, got screwed.
So you see, if you are furloughed with back pay without having to work, life could always be worse. Therefore, it’s always good to focus on the positives and take every opportunity to do good.
In my case, I took my October robbery and decided to aggressively diversify my clientele. Further, I now insist on more upfront payment just in case. And don’t worry about me. I have plans to make them pay me what they owe.
Nobody swindles a Financial Samurai and gets away with it.