Why The Hell Would You Get A Job?

October 20, 2008


Since I wrote the post, Oops I Sank A Business, several people have asked me if I’ll get a job. I usually find myself biting my tongue, because, whilst I don’t want to offend anyone, I think it’s an incredibly stupid question. I don’t want to get a job. Why on earth would I? And why would you want to get a job either?

For a start, aside from a job I had briefly in 2003, I haven’t worked for anyone else for years. The business I sank wasn’t my first business and I had the choice of turning it round, or giving it up to pursue other interests. And whilst I admit that I wasn’t passionate about that business, I would never have given it up just to get a job.

That’s not to say I wouldn’t get a job if I was desperate for cash and couldn’t find another way to make any. But I’d sooner do other things to bring in money to live on whilst I work on launching my new business. And if you’re trying to decide whether to get a job, or give up a job you have already - here’s a few points to consider:

It’s Not That Difficult To Replace Your Income From Your Job

Unless your last boss was incredibly stupid, or you were a real slacker; he was only paying you a fraction of the turnover your efforts were producing in your job. So if you’re trying to decide whether to get another job, or start a business, bear this in mind. After all, you should be able to bring in the same income by doing less work, if you’re self employed. But if you get a job - you’ll need to do much more.


Getting A Job Is Far Riskier Than Working For Yourself

Some folk say it’s too risky to start a business. And I guess that depends on you. If you get a job instead, you’re not just relying on your own boss not to screw up, you’re relying on everyone you work with not to make a cock up of thing too.

If you think you’re more likely to make a hash of things than your boss and your colleagues, then it’s probably better to get a job. But if like me, you trust yourself more, getting a job is not such a smart idea.

Even If Your Job Is Great - It Could Be Holding You Back

If you have a great job it could be holding you back from setting out on your own. Ok, so most of us know it’s better to motivate yourself towards something than away from something. But the reality is, it’s far easier to leave a job that sucks. If you have a great job, but you want to start a business, the longer you stay their, the more you’ll struggle to break free from your comfort zone.

If You Get A Job, You’ll Pay Tax On Self Improvement

If you get a job, you’ll pay tax on self improvement. For example, if you want to do courses, or buy books that will educate you in your field, you’ll be paying for them out of your net pay if you get a job. But, if you’re self employed, you’ll be able to put those purchases against tax. *Obviously, this depends on where you live. Do check tax regulations for your country, before doing this.


If You Get A Job, You’re Not Really In Control Of Your Own Life

If you get a job, you have to stick to someone else’s rules and regulations. So you’re not really in control of your own life. Unless you have an amazingly generous boss, you won’t be able to take a month off from your job to tour Europe. And it won’t be so easy to get time off to go to the dentist, or see the school play. But if you are self-employed it’s fairly easy to organize your time, so you can do those things.

Admittedly, it may be more difficult when you first become self-employed. But if doing these things is important to you, you’ll be able to organise your life to fit them in. You’re less likely to be able to do that if you get a job.

If You Get A Job Just For Now - Tomorrow May Never Come

Some folks say they’ll stay in a job “just for now” until the right time to go it alone comes along. Trouble is, there never is a right time and your “just for now” job could be forever. You might want to wait until you’ve bought a house, then you start a family, then you need to renovate - the time just never is right. And before you know it, your kids are leaving home and you’ve been saying “just for now” for three decades.

If You Get A Job You’ll Only Ever Be Able To Trade Time For Money

Trading time for money can limit your earning capacity. And unless your job pays a huge amount of money - there will be limits to what you can get. But if you have a business, there’s no need to trade time for money anymore. In the beginning, if you’re working alone, that may be the case. But you can put systems in place and outsource, employ people, or automate, to ensure that your earnings aren’t limited to your time.

If You Get A Job - You Can’t Choose Your Customers

If you get a job, you can’t sack difficult customers. Or at least, if you do, you might find yourself out of work pretty soon. If you have your own business, you can choose who you deal with and you should. By firing nuisance customers who waste too much of your time, you’ll have more time to spend on the good customers, who give you no hassle and spend plenty of money with your business.


So Is It Crazy For Anyone To Get A Job?

No - just because I think it would be madness for me to get a job and it may be a bad idea for you too, that doesn’t mean I think everyone is suited to working for themselves. In fact, some people should probably get a job and not think about working for themselves at all. If you’re happy working nine to five, drawing a wage, sitting in front of the tv, or going out with your friends every night, then you’re probably better off getting a job.

And if you’re not really sure whether you’d be able to motivate yourself to start and run your own business, you may be better off getting a job and working on your business part-time to begin with.

Can you think of any more good reasons for not getting a job? Or do you think folk who pack in their job to start a business, are absolutely bonkers? Please share in the comments section.


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Comments

32 Responses to “Why The Hell Would You Get A Job?”

  1. louise on October 20th, 2008 6:01 am

    Working for myself is one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I just love being able to pick and choose the work I want to do, and when I want to do it. You’re right about the self improvement costs, I’m setting up to do a trip to new zealand next year, and almost all of it is a tax deduction. No regrets!

    louise’s last blog post..Welcome to my Garden!

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  3. Barbara Swafford on October 20th, 2008 6:56 am

    Hi Catherine - You always come up with the greatest scenarios. I do hear what you’re saying. Being self employed, I would prefer not to work for “the man” again, but if I HAD to, I would.

    I agree, some people are better off working for someone else. The weekly paycheck can give some the security they need. However, with the current economic crunch in the US, it makes you wonder how secure jobs really are.

    In an ideal situation we would all have recession proof jobs or businesses, and if not that, a “plan “b”".

    Barbara Swafford’s last blog post..A.S.K. Darren Rowse - How Does A Problogger Deal With Comments

  4. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 7:19 am

    Hi Rita - At least you had a good financial advisor. And hopefully you’ll be able to sell a heap of your jewellery in the run up to Christmas, if there’s still folk around who can afford to buy any.

    Teaching is different - I guess if nobody decided to teach - we would be in trouble. Mind you - you should start virtual online lessons - you teach all of us so much. I would definitely join.

    Hi Barbara - you seem to feel the same way about it I do.

    Like you - I worry that a lot of jobs are not going to be secure and that has a knock on effect on all of us. I was reading an article yesterday that claimed the UK is already is recession.

    I must admit, in the past, I’d thought about recession proof businesses. I bet funeral parlours are a pretty safe bet but I don’t think I good do it. It’s not the dead bodies - I’m used to those. It’s just that you’d be dealing with desperately unhappy people all the time. It must be a difficult business to run.

  5. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 8:25 am

    Hi Louise - sorry, I don’t know how I missed you - I think it’s cos you don’t have an avatar. I’m glad it’s going well for you. A trip to New Zealand against tax sounds wonderful.

  6. Jamie Harrop on October 20th, 2008 8:31 am

    Interesting post, Cath.

    I’m actually on the brink of being employed for the first time in my life (short of one week work experience as a kid).

    I have a number of motives for doing so, including money, but the main factor for me is relationships. I’ve worked at home for the past four years and the last three years of that have been boring. Looking at the same four walls each day. Working by myself. Sometimes not getting the chance to step outside at all during a day.

    It may sound crazy, but after four years of this, I’m now craving the commute, the Friday afternoon pizza hour, the drinks after work, the people I meet on the street, the feeling after a long day of work that I’ve actually done something.

    Working at home just hasn’t given me that. Fortunately, I’m young enough to do this just as something to have done. Just to say I have done it, much like I plan to move in to a penthouse for a year just to say I’ve lived that lifestyle (tick it off my list of things to do, if you like).

    18 months ago I was like you. I simply couldn’t imagine getting a job. It almost made me sick to see people spending almost a third of their life (8 hours a day, 5 days a week), working for somebody else. Then I realised that it wasn’t the “working for somebody else” bit that made me feel ill. It was the “doing something you don’t enjoy” part. Nobody in their right mind would spend eight hours on a weekend (or day off) doing something they didn’t enjoy, so why do it with their job?

    It was then that I realised if I find a job I enjoy, with people I can call friends rather than co-workers, I think I’ll be fine.

    I’m really looking forward to getting a job. 14 days from now and I should be there. That guaranteed wage at the month is going to be a nice feeling, for sure. :)

    Jamie

    Jamie Harrop’s last blog post..One Killer Interview With 10 Killer Bloggers - Analysis & Free ebook

  7. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 8:40 am

    Hi Jamie - I’ve got to admit that I wouldn’t want to give up my experiences I gained through working for other people - both good and bad.

    And the social aspect of working with others is good too. I’ve met so many people through different jobs I’ve had.

    I work totally alone right now but before that - I had Stuart working with me and prior to that I had other folk working in the office. But I guess it does get lonely working alone. Sometimes I even miss the interruptions that used to bug me.

    It sounds like this is the right decision for you right now Jamie. I do think most of us who go into business need the experience of actually working somewhere else. And it will definitely help you when you decide to go it alone again in the future.

    Thanks for including me in your ebook by the way - it’s a really cool idea.

  8. infoaddicts on October 20th, 2008 10:14 am

    Hi Cath,
    You have wrote another thought provoking post.
    Packing in your full time job to go self employed takes a lot of hard work and you need to be 110% committed, but for me, having my own business was such a happy time.
    The worst thing is when your business fails, it is heart wrenching.
    However, at present I work full time in an IT job I dislike.
    In my perfect world I would love to be self employed (again) part time. But wait for it, and making a full time salary (who wouldn’t), and I would also love to do voluntary work a few days per week.
    I am currently working to do this, but it is taking longer than I planned, but who knows, one day I may achieve my dream.

    Regards
    Jeff.

    infoaddicts’s last blog post..How to Beef Up Your Routers Security Settings

  9. Betsy Wuebker on October 20th, 2008 11:39 am

    I love it! Finally, someone puts to page all the great reasons! I promised myself ten years ago I would never float a resume again. I also know that I am not sufficiently reliable to show up every day at precisely the same time, if ever. Being your own boss means you don’t have to worry about being fired! Or that you’ll know it’s coming! :) Thanks, Cath!

    Betsy Wuebker’s last blog post..PROCEEDS

  10. Brad Shorr on October 20th, 2008 11:54 am

    Cath, they say an entrepreneur needs a certain mind set to be successful, and you certainly have it! I’ve been working on my own for three years now and I like it, though there’s certain aspects of a regular job that appeal to me, especially the feeling of being part of a team.

    Brad Shorr’s last blog post..Bloggers - Can You Help the Poor with Two Cents a Word?

  11. Andrew on October 20th, 2008 12:31 pm

    Cath,

    Interesting post.

    I have always wanted to try going into business. However, I have let two key issues hold me back. One is that I have been reluctant to step outside my comfort zone issues, particularly as I tend to be somewhat timid in nature. Secondly, I have never really identified any areas of business for which I would be well suited.

    I will probably opt to work for someone else for some time period after I finish my current work contract in Korea and return to my home country of Australia. However, one of the things which I will be working on over the next year or two is identifying and developing my key natural talents. I am hopeful that through this process, I will find an opportunity which is suitable for me.

    Andrew’s last blog post..Do SRI funds lack accountability?

  12. Kelly@SHE-POWER on October 20th, 2008 12:31 pm

    Hi Cath

    I think self employment is something people should really think about because it is not for everyone. My dad was mostly self employed when i was a kid and my hubby was for years and I have been too, and the reality is far from the dream most people think of. It’s chasing people for late payment and lots of admin and hours that never end and if your business isn’t serving some major emotional/freedom needs for you, then I don’t think it’s necessarily worth it. If you really like your lifestyle and don’t want to think about work all the time, I think a job can often be the easier option.

    Musicman got a job when Bunny was a baby for security and so we could save a deposit for a home. That would have been so much harder if he’d stayed self employed. And cash flow is a massive problem for many small business people. Even as a copywriter I choose carefully who to work for because I hate to wait two months to get paid for a job and lots of big companies do that. It sucks.

    I also think there are plenty of people who feel their purpose is to do jobs like teaching, nursing, being a doctor, a cop, social worker etc … And thank god they’re not all turning to self employment because who would do their jobs then! I think the differences between people are one of the most fascinating things about life and thankfully this is another area where it’s different courses for different horses. Or is that the other way around - horses for courses?

    Kelly :)
    Kelly@SHE-POWER’s last blog post..Sometimes Life Is Just More Fun Than Blogging

  13. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 3:02 pm

    Hi Jeff - It’s great that you’re working towards what you want to do and you know where you want to be. A lot of people don’t even know that.

    I think the salary thing is what puts a lot of folk off being self-employed. You can earn more than you would in a regular job in most businesses but initially you might earn a lot less. And a lot of people don’t like that part.

    LOL Betsy - That’s the good thing about being based at home - it’s virtually impossible to be late when you don’t have to drive anywhere.

    I think there’s too many posts on the pitfalls of self-employment, so I decided to do it the other way round. Glad you liked it.

    Hi Brad - Thank you. I also enjoy being part of a team sometimes and it can get a bit lonely. But I guess that in any business, you can employ folk eventually if you want. That can be quite difficult if you’re based at home mind - a seperate office certainly makes it easier.

    Hi Andrew - thanks, I’m glad you liked it. It sounds like you need to work on building your self confidence and also brainstorming some business ideas.

    I’m running a post on building your self confidence on Wednesday, which you might find useful. And I also have one for finding business ideas that are right for you - but that’s getting quite long so I might turn it into a downloadable resource.

    Hi Kelly - self employment is definitely not for everyone is it? And as you say, managing cashflow, chasing up debts and paperwork takes some getting used to.

    Mind you - I would be pleased if everyone paid me within 2 months. I’ve waited far longer for payments in the past.

    I think a lot of people don’t realise they may have to wait to get paid when they start a business and that can cause them a few problems.

    If you invoice a job on 6th October, it would be normal to be paid at the end of November by most people, as that’s how they have their accounts set up. Even payments from affiliate programs and Google Adsense work like that.

    It’s the bastards who take 3 months or more, or don’t pay at all that I don’t like.

    But folk definitely have to bear these things in mind. And they should also consider outsourcing things like debt collection and admin, or employing someone to do it.

  14. Ari Koinuma on October 20th, 2008 6:58 pm

    Hi Cath,

    Thanks for this. “It’s Not That Difficult To Replace Your Income From Your Job” was exactly what I needed to hear. I’m going to ditch my job within the next 3 months.

    Oh, did I say that? Yes, I did. I’m going to ditch it. It may even end before that time frame, on its own, too.

    ari

    Ari Koinuma’s last blog post..Book Review: Steve Pavlina’s Personal Development for Smart People

  15. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 7:04 pm

    Hi Ari - Good for you. Tom’s course seems to have done you a heap of good.

    It can be tough at first but it will definitely be worthwhile.

  16. Vered - MomGrind on October 20th, 2008 8:05 pm

    It depends.

    Sometime, when it’s a career, not just a job, it can be very rewarding.

    Case in point: my husband. He has had an incredible career - very fulfilling, financially rewarding, and now at the age of 44 he pretty much decides how much or how little to work.

    Vered - MomGrind’s last blog post..Chocolate-Covered Strawberries

  17. chris on October 20th, 2008 8:13 pm

    I’ve been on both sides. I like my job as an educator. My wife on the other hand hates working for anyone so she has her own business.
    If I had to choose, I would rather work for myself because I have done it before. Eventually that will happen again.

    chris’s last blog post..Opportunity Amidst Economic Distress

  18. Stephanie on October 20th, 2008 8:30 pm

    A business definitely works better than a job for me. The thought of working for someone else these days is just about painful.

    My husband, on the other hand, seems to be better off with a job. He was laid off in January and it took until August for him to find a new job. During that time I encouraged him to think about a home business. Didn’t happen.

    Some people just aren’t ready to leave that comfort zone, even when pushed.

    Stephanie’s last blog post..Are You Letting the Past in the Way of Your Future?

  19. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 9:03 pm

    Hi Vered - I guess if you had a career that rewarded you that well, you wouldn’t ever think about becoming self employed.

    Hi Chris - good for you. I’m glad you haven’t been put off by what happened last time. And at least you’ll know more about what not to do next time.

    Hi Stephanie - I guess some folk are just not interested in running their own business. Maybe it’s better for you though. I should imagine that running two businesses from one house would be an absolute nightmare.

  20. Marelisa on October 20th, 2008 9:20 pm

    Hi Cath, I think it’s probably a good idea to get a job right out of school so that you can learn and get practical experience to start your own business. But I agree that working for yourself is the best long term goal. A lot of people don’t understand a point you make here: it is riskier to work for someone else than to work for yourself. When you work for someone else your fate is in their hands, when you work for yourself your fate is in yours. And no one is more interested in looking out after your own fate than you.

    Marelisa’s last blog post..Be Happy Now - Set Goals Without Postponing Joy

  21. cathlawson on October 20th, 2008 9:26 pm

    Hi Mare - definitely, the risk of trusting other people with my fate is the biggest risk for me.

    But as you say, people need to get work experience first. Earlier on, Jamie was saying he’s never worked for anyone else before and he’s going to give it a try. I think it will definitely do him a lot of good.

  22. Davina on October 20th, 2008 11:51 pm

    Hi Cath. I think Vered made a good point. Fulfillment is so important. I was close to being fulfilled in my last job until they let me go. Third time in 10 years I’ve been chucked aside from that industry. I just figured ok, three strikes… and here I am.

    I LOVE having time to manage myself and the freedom to design the future so to speak. There is a definite edge to running your own business that I’m learning to be comfortable with.

    I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to NOT go back to a regular 9-5 job.

    Davina’s last blog post..25 Words That Connect Us ? Frosty Sunrise

  23. Robin on October 21st, 2008 5:52 am

    Get a job? Ha Ha Ha - what a ridiculous concept!

    Robin’s last blog post..Emotional Balance

  24. natural on October 21st, 2008 10:56 pm

    so true: If you have a great job it could be holding you back from setting out on your own

    i’m just going to sigh and slink away.

    i really should not be where i am and i’m holding myself back in a way because i have a job. i’m thankful for what it allows me to do, but i could be happier doing something on my own, like writing.

    natural’s last blog post..Why Poverty?

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  26. Kim the Blogging Bard on October 22nd, 2008 1:21 pm

    This really hits home since I am currently looking for work and the job market is really tough right now. I’ve had some ideas about working for myself and your article has made me think about these again.

    Perhaps I’ll do a little of both–work for myself and get a job, but while I’m looking for work, this is a great time to also explore my own business ideas, so thanks for the motivation!

    Kim the Blogging Bard’s last blog post..Writing a Novel in a Month: Fun or Crazy? How About Both!

  27. Friar on October 22nd, 2008 2:18 pm

    As someone who has a “job”, I’d like to offer a different point of view.

    (Present company excepted), I find there tends to be a bit of arrogance and self-righteousness, regarding jobs.

    Lots of eye-rolling, when people mention “Oh my God, there is NO WAY I could ever work in an office…HOW can you possibly DO that? “.

    Well, there’s also something to be said about putting in a routine 7.5 hours a day, and getting a steady paycheck.

    That STILL leaves me with many hours left over, to work on my writing and projects. And I don’t have to worry about money.

    YES, I agree, there are people who do extremely well for themselves. And that’s FANTASTIC.

    But I’ve read enough between-the-lines to realize that many free-lance bloggers arent’ doing so great.

    Like putting in 12-18 hour days. Missing weekends and social engagements.

    Not having time to go even go to the beach down the road, let alone take a decent vacation. Barely making enough money to cover rent or feed your cats.

    Being off sick for a few days with serious medical problems, and worrying about losing money and not having enoug monehy for groceries.

    And I wonder how many of these people could actually support themselves, if it werent’ for a spouse who was also working? (probably holding down one of those mundane “jobs” to help support their partner’s dream).

    I’m not being negative and I’m certainly not putting down people going into to business for themselves. (in fact, I admire them, and I hope to be like them one day).

    But I find too many blogs tend to romanticize things, and tend to gloss over the bad parts.

    I’d just like to see a bit more of an open discussion about going into business for yourself, showing both the Good and the Bad.

    Friar’s last blog post..Perfesser Friar’s Favorite Science Facts.

  28. QuietRebelWriter on October 22nd, 2008 3:13 pm

    When faced with the prospect of getting another job, my response usually is something like, “no effin way!” But Friar has a good point. As freelancers we can be hard on the work world, but here’s why. I think many of us got into freelancing because nothing in the work world was able to keep our attention and passion. I know I bounced from jobs trying to find the career I wanted, and only could find that when I began freelancing. Of course, the perks of freelancing add to that, but its really about finding the type of job that will sustain your interest and work over the years.

    That said, I think even a job that drives someone’s passion can get old. My partner has a job in a field that excites him, but he’s continually beat down by the rigid schedule, the inability to have a real say, and the lack of time for other creative pursuits. The work world has killed his passion, and he’s searching for something new.

    QuietRebelWriter’s last blog post..How to Make Clients Run Far, Far Away

  29. cathlawson on October 23rd, 2008 5:29 am

    Hi Davina - that is a shame. I would guess that after 3 times, a job wouldn’t feel like a secure option for you. At least it opened new doors for you.

    LOL Robin - I guess it is to a lot of people. Yet some people don’t like the idea of not having one. There seems to be few in betweens.

    Hi Valerie - Have you visited some of the writing blogs? There’s a lot of full time writers who could give you a bit of advice. Do you know Amy Derby? She blogs at: http://write-from-home.com

    Hi Kim - It sounds like doing both might be a good solution for you. Good luck.

    LMAO Friar - I can see where I’ve been going wrong now - I have no bloody beach down the road to go to.

    I can see how you would feel more secure in a job. And illness is definitely a big issue for folk who are working alone. Look at poor Monika right now.

    And I think you’re right - some folk do make it sound easier than it is - particularly the make money from blogging brigade.

    Really I have been lucky in the past, whenever I’ve had flu or something I’ve had folk working for me, so it’s been ok. Mind you, even then - I would not have felt so confident if I’d been away from my business for over a month.

    I guess being married to someone who had a job would be a big plus. Often when I was struggling to get money in fast enough to pay bills, it did occur to me that being married to someone who had a monthly wage, might have been more convenient. My husband did have a monthly wage when he worked for me - but I didn’t really feel the benefit, as I had to pay it.

    Hi Quiet Rebel - I see what you mean. Even a job you really enjoy can become tiresome. I guess that once you’ve done something for a while, it becomes to easy and you need something else to challenge you.

  30. Patricia on October 24th, 2008 3:38 am

    I like what I am doing now and I like the moments of solitude and the time away from teams and people…I can always write people into my schedule.
    I have really never been paid on any job, except when being a waitress, chamber maiding, and housecleaning. I worked 6 minimum wage jobs while going through Grad. School and still could not get paid a living wage. I just got exhausted and tired.
    I am hoping to get a real paycheck one of these days - hopefully sooner.
    I can write grants for non-profits and students and get them lots of money, but it doesn’t turn out when I attempt to do it for myself.
    The year I was 40 I interviewed for 40 jobs and was not hired for a single one. I have only 1 time been hired in my career endeavors, and I worked 80 hours a week, taught college ethics and did fund raising for the program - with no office, benefits, and $500 a month salary. I think they were fools for letting me go….now they pay a man to work 1 day a week, with benefits, no teaching required, no fund raising about $28,000 a year.
    I am trying to be patient with myself, but I just went from 24 blog subscribers to 7 in 2 weeks, and have received no pay and no ads.
    I am keeping focused - because I will succeed in reaching my goals.
    My partner was an employee, now owns a business he loves his work and he works nearly 24/7 - he has 13 employees and with the recession we will see how the paycheck comes in?
    I love what I do, I like myself, I know how smart I am and I am not undervalued or considered the easiest person to let go…
    I spend time everyday researching how to do this work and I am slow at the technical stuff, but I can hardly wait to get started every morning…and really haven’t I just been selling myself all along - now I am just doing it on my own terms…I will succeed.

    Patricia’s last blog post..The Ants Go Marching 10 by 10

  31. cathlawson on October 25th, 2008 7:38 am

    Hi Patricia - sorry I didn’t reply straight away. I was thinking about what you’d said. And I wrote the post “Does Anyone Really Make Money On The Internet” with you in mind, because you need to ditch amazon and find something more profitable.

    Seriously though - it takes quite a while blogging to build your traffic up. And don’t worry about subscribers - I don’t even look at those numbers, they fluctuate every day.

    It sounds like something has been going really wrong for you in the interview process. Your applications must be fine, or you wouldn’t get so many interviews. I bet it’s something really basic - you certainly sound like the type of person who should be able to get a job no problem. I’ll send you an email this weekend.

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