7 in 10 young workers prefer freedom to job security

By Samiha Khanna

A majority of young adult job seekers value the freedom of being their own boss over job security, and many also envision going into business for themselves one day, according to research conducted by MAVY Poll on behalf of the AICPA.

Seven out of 10 (70%) young adult job seekers said they were confident that the potential freedom of being their own boss would be worth more than the job security of being employed by someone else. Additionally, more than half (53%) said they are likely to start their own business in the future.

Working for yourself is not for everyone, said Diane Wightman, CPA, member of the AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission.

Financial responsibility for everything means everything — health insurance, professional memberships, continuing professional education, and time off — she said.

It also requires that you be a confident self-starter who is willing to take risks.

“You have to look for opportunities and make them happen,” she said.

The AICPA National CPA Financial Literacy Commission recommends prospective entrepreneurs ensure they’re in good financial standing before considering self-employment. That could include getting out of debt — relevant for the nearly two-thirds (65%) of young adult job seekers who are repaying student loans at an average of $33,000 per person — and building an emergency fund.

Preparing to work for yourself truly comes down to financial literacy, Wightman said. “If you have financial issues working for someone else, [becoming independent] will not solve those issues,” she said.

For those who want help turning their idea into a successful business, the AICPA’s #CPApowered website offers several free tools, including a small business checklist as well as resources on how to assess risk as a small business owner, how to acquire financing, and more.

Samiha Khanna is a freelance writer based in North Carolina. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Ken Tysiac, the JofA’s editorial director, at Kenneth.Tysiac@aicpa-cima.com.

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