Employee, Contractor, Entrepreneur… Which One Are You?

MBA Blog / 12th February 2019

Congratulations! You know you want to go into business, a fast-paced environment that is constantly evolving, and one that allows you the room to grow, both personally and professionally, but you are stuck on the fence? I don’t blame you. There are myriad options when considering a global career in business, from working for a company as an employee or senior level manager to offering your services as a freelancer. Maybe you’re even considering an entrepreneurial path: starting your own business, leading a startup or building your own app.

There is no reason to stress. You will make the right decision in due course, but meanwhile, let’s debunk the differences and weigh the pros and cons. Employee, contractor or entrepreneur… which one are you?

First, let’s take a look at skills that are important in business, which cover the entire spectrum. These skills, which we teach in-depth at GBSB Global Business School MBA program are a crucial part of your individual success, whether you are a director of operations at a Fortune 500 company or grinding it out in Silicon Valley hoping to be the next Steve Jobs.

Key Business Skills

  • Financial Management
  • Marketing, Sales and Customer Service
  • Communications and Negotiations
  • Leadership
  • Project Management and Planning
  • Delegation and Time Management
  • Problem Solving
  • Networking

It is vital that these important business skills are honed over time. Learning the fundamentals and putting them into practice through case studies, hands-on workshops and networking engagements will propel you to the top of your game, readying you for the real world no matter the path you take.

What does it mean to be an employee?

The dictionary describes it as a relationship between two parties, usually based on a contract or agreement, where work is paid for either on an hourly or monthly basis. One party may be a corporation, for profit, not-for-profit, co-operative or other business entity, and the other an employee, which can hold many titles, from marketing manager to general manager, or regional director.

In this scenario, the employee has the most security. The individual working for a company has a set income with insurance benefits, paid time off, and sometimes accommodation or a company car thrown in as a perk. The downside is that there are limits on your freedoms. The company is owned by someone else, which means you are working on someone else’s dream. You, as the employee, work within the parameters outlined by the company. This is a great position for those students looking for a global career with little to no risk involved.

There is great potential as an employee of a business entity. Often, recent graduates start as interns and quickly rise up the ranks into more senior level positions where the salary and benefits compensate the added responsibilities. But if you want more freedom and recognition, it may be best to look at other options.

What does it mean to be a contractor?

An independent contractor is a single person, business, or corporation that offers goods and/or services to another party under specific terms outlined in a contract. Contractors often work under a limited liability company or franchise, which they themselves own, or may work with as an affiliate of an umbrella company.

Contractors have the freedom to decide who they work with, and also have more bargaining power in regards to the terms of their business agreements and period of engagement. There is a certain amount of autonomy in this position that allows contractors to work as much or as little as they want, and this may fluctuate throughout the year. In business, working as a contractor can be quite lucrative, but there is more risk factored into the equation. A set income is not guaranteed and individuals that seek to provide contractual services have to scout out and look for business opportunities in their field of expertise.

Today, working as a digital nomad from various locations across the globe has become increasingly popular. All that is needed is an internet connection. Given the inevitable advancements in technology, and freelance jobs becoming more readily available, this trend is here to stay. We can see this in Central and Eastern Europe, where countries like Poland, Latvia and Romania are outsourcing web development services to countries like Germany, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

What does it mean to be an entrepreneur?

In business terms, an entrepreneur is an individual who, rather than working as an employee, establishes and operates a small business. He/she solely assumes all of the risks and rewards of the endeavor, which can be both motivating and stressful at the same time. The modern-day entrepreneur is commonly described as an innovator, a source of new, creative ideas, goods, services and businesses/or procedures. In this role, individuals need to be hungry for success, because failure can lurk behind every corner.

It’s often said that entrepreneurs are born, not made, but this ambition can also be taught. Nurturing the entrepreneurial mindset is one of GBSB Global’s key assets. We, as an academic institution, foster innovative thinking and push students to be pioneers in their fields of interest. Our faculty and staff are successful business men and women and serve as mentors, guiding students to see their dreams come to fruition.

Armed with the right tools and theory, GBSB Global graduates obtain a strong foundation in business that assures them that their entrepreneurial endeavors are well founded and have strong potential.

Where do you stand?

Need more information on programs that match your career interests? Ask one of our career counselors or admissions representatives for advice on the right path for you. Check out our list of programs online or request a brochure. GBSB Global is committed to helping you on your professional journey. Your career in business awaits!

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