Editor's note: Michael Lieberman is founder and president of Multivariate Solutions, a New York consulting firm. He can be reached at michael@mvsolution.com.

A friend of mine just left his corporate job to launch a solo career. With two kids in college and a mortgage to cover, that's a scary move. Giving up that paycheck hurts.

What words of wisdom could I offer Jeff over a hot Starbucks beverage? That the best part of being independent is that you are independent.

At some point in our lives, work transmutes from making a living to being a lifestyle choice. This is particularly true of my late Baby Boomer peers like Jeff who are rounding 50 and entering into the zone of treacherous employability. In the corporate world, we are at serious risk. Our salaries are expensive for the company, particularly in comparison to the myriad Millennials attempting to enter the job market. Technology has transformed so rapidly that most senior management don’t have a clue as to whether their skill sets have become obsolete or not. Losing a long-held corporate job when one has passed his or her 50th birthday is as pleasant as being denied tenure at a university after seven years of academically menial labor.

How else is self-employment a good thing?

Forget tsunami or Sahara. The nature of marketing research (and many industries) is that there is too much to do or nothing at all. A company employee shows up and looks busy, even if she is doing nothing. I call this boredom stress. Consultants, when they have no work, write articles, tweet and lunch but are not required to show up at the office under the watchful eye of a supervisor.

Zero downsizing. An economic slowdown, a tough winter or just bad luck can result in a long slow period. An employee may begin to wonder, “Will I be laid off?” A consultant may worry as well – Where is the business? How do I pay my bills? – but he cannot be fired.

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