The Joy of Self-Employment in Ireland

An ironic title as such joy is largely confined to the freedom to pick your work hours that exists in a quite limited sense if you’re providing services to people and you have to fit around their schedules.
Let’s look at the positive side:

  1. You’re the boss. Customers or clients may harass or harangue you but at least the boss won’t bully you.
  2. You have some flexibility regarding place and time of work that you may otherwise not be afforded as a PAYE worker.
  3. Expenses. You get to factor in some expenses associated with a home office into your tax bill. More on this later.
  4. Job security in the sense that you are ultimately responsible for whether you have it rather than a VP or SVP with no personal stake in your life deciding you need to be downsized because your division doesn’t look good on his spreadsheet or you’re at a grade where his costings suggest he could bring in someone younger to bugger up your job.
  5. The sense of achievement that comes with making it on your own.

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Marriage Referendum – own your prejudices

I’m writing this post in response to “GAA Star” Ger Brennan’s op-ed piece in the Irish Independent explaining why he intends to vote No in the upcoming marriage referendum in Ireland. This piece has attracted a lot of commentary on social media, most of it negative. This was picked up the

Mr. Brennan added the following comment

Coupled with the antagonizing view from the ‘Yes’ campaign that if you are even slightly ‘No’ or even thinking about it, that you are a homophobic and that you are anti-gay, which for me is not the case.

So with due respect to his athletic abilities, I’d like to point out why I think Mr. Brennan is in denial about his prejudices. Nobody is suggesting that Mr. Brennan isn’t entitled to his opinion but, by writing an article about his opinion in a national newspaper, he is setting himself up as a spokesperson for the No side. He’s also advocating for the no side and, therefore, trying to convince others to vote No rather than simply defending his position. So he should absolutely expect that he’ll face criticism for his comments.  I sincerely hope nobody attempts to harass or intimidate Mr. Brennan but he must expect criticism, much of it harsh. 

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To avoid regrets

Life can be complicated, joyful, sorrowful, depressing & ecstatic. Sometimes, we experience these emotions in the space of a few hours as events intervene. We have little control over events such as accidents & illnesses that can negatively impact our lives and the ones we love. One thing we do have some control over, is having a sense of regret about wasted time and energy. Regret is one of the most common emotions that we hear in mediation. It’s not just confined to families, it can apply to workplace mediation also.

If there’s a piece of advice I’d give to reduce regret, it’s this:

  1. Try to treat people with respect.
  2. Don’t waste your time on people who don’t treat you with respect.

These points seem too simple at times and too arduous to follow at others. We ask ourselves, “how can I leave this person?” or “how can I leave this job?” while forgetting that life will go on and could even get better :)

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Shane Dempsey muses on Life and Technology

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