I grew up hearing the same cliche that I’m sure plenty of you were taught too – in order to be successful you need to graduate from high school, do well at university, get a 9-5 job, then proceed to ‘climb the ladder’ to success.
For my entire adult life I’ve been trying to pursue this illusive ‘success’, but over the last three years in particular I’ve noticed a pattern… Get new job, feel super motivated and inspired by new job for 6-12months, feel trapped, uninspired and stressed, think job/career/industry is not for me, reevaluate career and look for new job…
And the cycle continues.
I again find my self in the final stage of this cycle. It’s finally occurred to me, after accumulating a some-what eclectic career history jumping from job to job, that maybe the problem isn’t where or who I’m working for, but that I’m just never going to be satisfied working for someone else, in a job where I’m required to show up every day, for 9 hours a day, Monday to Friday, for the rest of my life. Yikes?!
Here are my reasons I’m getting out of the 9-5 grind*.
*Disclaimer: No offence intended for those peeps who love a secure, traditional job, but it’s just not for me.
**Disclaimer #2: I know there are companies out there that are amazing, flexible, and give you almost everything I mention below, so I’m not bagging them. I’m just talking about my own personal experience with companies NOT like that.
1. I just don’t like working from 9am until 5pm every. single. day.
I am most productive in the late morning, then later in the afternoon and evening. It seems incredibly inefficient for me to sit at a desk when I’m not being productive. I get so annoyed at the ridiculousness of pretending to work simply because I have to be there.
I also like variety. Variety is the spice of life, isn’t that what they say? Doing the same thing every day is like a prison sentence to me. I want the freedom to start late one morning if I want to, or not start at all, or to work all day and night because I have a rush of inspiration!
2. I want to spend more of my life LIVING than working.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve definitely done the whole ‘work long hours to prove your worth’ thing. I’m a try-hard, it comes naturally. Yay for me. But I’ve had enough burnouts in my short 26 years to know it’s not worth it. There’s got to be more to life than working, right?
I want to make a living that allows me to LIVE. Something that supports my lifestyle, not the other way around. I don’t want to live my life for TGIF, feeling ecstatic because I finally get to escape the office for two days, WOOHOO!
3. I want to travel when I want to, for as long as I want to.
In New Zealand as an employee you get 4 weeks paid holiday leave a year. I know that’s a lot more than you get in other countries (in the US there aren’t any legal requirements for paid leave AT ALL), but I want (or need?) a little bit more freedom than that.
What if I wanted to live in Mexico for three months, and work from there? Or just go home and spend time with my family for a few weeks? Wifi is everywhere, work can be everywhere! It doesn’t have to be in an office, and neither do I.
4 . I want to work on projects where I can make a difference.
It isn’t just about having a job that pays the bills for me. Nor is it for a lot of other millennials too. A Forbes article stated that 72% of students coming out of university wanted “a job where I can make an impact”. The standard old corporate job isn’t going to satisfy that desire in me.
If I’m not working on something that inspires me, I get depressed. It may sound a bit bratty, but I find it incredibly draining just working on the day to day shit that goes along with a traditional office job. I just don’t want to do it ok!
5. I want control over what I earn, and what I’m worth.
I find it incredibly frustrating that when you start a job are given a salary, and it’s usually not as much as you would like, but that’s what you get and you are supposed to be grateful for that. And you then have to wait around for your next ‘pay review’ to ask for more, where you then receive a minuscule pay-rise that barely incorporates the rate of inflation. You’re welcome, valued employee.
I’ve always been that painful employee that constantly asks for performance reviews and pay-rises, but I constantly hear colleagues talk of how they find that uncomfortable so they sit back and take what they are given.
I’m sorry, but fuck that. I don’t want some corporation to limit my worth, and dictate it based on their salary budgets for that year. There is unlimited opportunity out there in the great wide world beyond 9-5, and I’m going to go get it!
This is all potentially a whole lot of talk that might come back to bite me, considering I still have my 9-5 job and so far have not found a way to leave it… buuuut if you want to follow the journey in my pursuit of freedom, click the ‘follow’ link to the right and we can do it together!