It’s no secret that over the past few years with the rise in Gen-Y’s, the traditional 9-5 career has become inherently frowned upon. With quotes like; “If you don’t build your own dream someone else will hire you to help them build theirs” are splashed around the internet and social media, accompanied by half naked models who are frolicking in white sand beaches with their arms in the air, it’s no wonder there has become a mundane association with working ‘normal’ hours.
Instagram especially depicts this life of freedom, constant travel and perfection, as well as the ability to work anywhere in the world and STILL afford that Range Rover and chiseled body. For some that may be the case however, these people are the exception. There seems to be this anecdote that has infiltrated our generation that those who do work a 9-5 job aren’t living to their full potential and are living mediocre lives.
After experiencing an early quarter life crisis (I was 22) about what I was doing with my life and falling out of love with the career I had so eagerly chosen at 16, I ended up lost and looking for answers. Inevitably, I was pulled in by the hype that you can’t possibly live passionately and happily if you were working for someone else. So, I’d be lying if I said I hadn’t considered it. I considered doing all of the things that the entrepreneurs these days do; study personal training and running my own PT business, teaching in a foreign country (something I still want to do), clothing lines, being instafamous because the pictures and stories are too good to ignore and the thought of not having a schedule is enticing, especially at 6.30am on a Monday morning. Truth be told, all of these ideas and possibilities seemed a little too monotonous for me.
I was one of those people who at the ripe age of 15 swore I would never work in an office job. But here I am, 9 years later, working in a corporate environment, in an office 30 floors up, within the hours of 8-5.30 (wouldn’t 9-5 be fucking great?!) and absolutely loving it.
So I’m here to call bullshit on all of the people who degrade those of us who work Monday-Friday, consistent core hours and say we aren’t following our dreams. If you want to quit your job because you hate it, dread going to work, or aren’t impassioned by the work you do in your office, then that’s a different story. But that doesn’t mean that some of us can be.
In addition to enjoying the work that I do within those hours I work with some of my best friends and meet new people on the daily but then, at 5.30pm every single day, I get to go home and do MORE of what empowers me, whatever I choose that to be. I can switch off and have the opportunity to pick it up again tomorrow.
I don’t simply go into another room and try to forget about everything else there still is to do. I don’t have a constant flow of jobs that I need to complete that infiltrate my mind when I’m trying to cook or shower. Because when I leave, I leave. And I Love that. I’ve spoken to people who own their own businesses and grew up with parents who did the same and it is by no means, in any way at all, glamorous.
It’s stressful and time-consuming. When you’re first starting out you are more often than not the manager, designer, cleaner, creator, sales-person, production worker, packer, accountant, trainer, and strategist behind it all.
I admire people who start their own businesses and are creating a life for themselves that leave a footprint on the world & I’m not trying to take anything away from that. If that is what your heart truly desires, then it’s admirable to see you go against the grain and try to make something of it.
I’m simply sticking up and taking a stand for all of those people, like myself, who are sick and tired of being made to feel like we aren’t living remarkably, purely for the fact that we work a 9-5.
I love the fact that I have the security of a constant income every month. Within my ‘mundane’ 9-5, I am carving out myself a successful career for my future self. I am still learning and growing every day. I have the ability to run my own business within a business and make an impact on people, companies, and my bank account, but I don’t have the stresses over everything else that comes with actually owning a business.
I know that at the end of everyday I’m guaranteed me time where I have equal opportunity to work on my hobbies, volunteer, read, write, cook, and be active. The things that make me shine. And that’s enough for me. Because I love these things doesn’t mean that I need to go ahead and make them a career or a business out of them. I don’t want to make them my work because I’m afraid that will take the enjoyment and therapeutic nature out of them.
I am MORE than happy to have these outside of my career, and the mere fact that i have the ability to do them is heart-warming. I’ve come to learn that if I can incorporate these things into my life, then I don’t need to make it my whole livelihood.
I’m carving out my own future, living my passions and being mindful, all while working for someone else because I’ve come to realise that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. In fact, they are so harmonious with each other that I wish more people would begin to see that.
I’ve stopped listening to the stories the world told me about my choices in how I spend my time and make my money because as long as I’m happy, healthy and living a life that is fulfilling to me, then it doesn’t really matter what society thinks.