mer or off-campus internship might have prepared Carol for these expectations.
Carol should not give up easily. It takes work and time to find a job; a search commonly lasts 6–12 months.
Self-employment requires considerable maturity and experience. Kim should assess her position before leaving her firm: Has she become expert in her field? Does she have enough contacts to bring her steady employment? Does she have the financial stability to endure the months when her income is below average? One rule of thumb is to have a year's income in the bank before venturing out.
Some advantages of self-employment are increased flexibility, responsibility, and choice. On the other side of the coin, Kim will lose the infrastructure, advisers, and teamwork that supported her activities in the firm. Unless she is part of a group, she will also have to deal with the isolation factor—doing without the personal interaction, intensity, and (in most cases) fun of the workplace. She should ask herself whether she has the perseverance and self-reliance to do without those and whether independence is truly important to her. If the answers are positive, self-employment could offer an unparalleled opportunity for growth.