Are you working in a 9 to 5 job? Are you happy?
I’m not sure what it’s like for people in the US, or for people in other parts of the world for that matter, but over here there’s no such thing as a 9 to 5 job.
It’s not that we don’t have the expression in Dutch. However considering we’re all suppose to take a half hour break which doesn’t count as work time, to make 8 hours a day, you can’t work from 9 to 5. It’s more like 9 to 5:30.
Furthermore there’s a movement of “new way of working” going on that says work whenever, wherever you want. Sure it’s not implemented everywhere, but my current client has it implemented (somewhat). My client being part of the government.
What I’m trying to say is, that “9to5” is not showing the full picture.
Today I read a really nice post titled: “Why you don’t have to quit your job to change the world“. I really recommend reading it!
It made me think about this subject and write this post. It does seem that often entrepreneurs are presenting an image of “working 9-5 = being unhappy”. You can’t be happy in your job, so here let me help you become an entrepreneur. Often they will add in the “you work in a cubicle” argument. Because all other jobs besides being an entrepreneur involve 9 to 5 cubicles. (think about the guy collecting the garbage, the guy fixing the street, the police, the fire department (by the way shouldn’t it be anti-fire?), the person working in the grocery store, a lawyer, a doctor, me. All of us don’t work 9 to 5 cubicles. And that were just the obvious examples.)
I understand that the people I listed may not be their target audience, but those people could be. Silently hungry to become entrepreneurs. There’s just one down side, being an entrepreneur doesn’t instantly solve all your problems.
Being an entrepreneur requires a certain character, as the job description is more than “doing what you love doing”. It’s also managing a business and finding a way to make money from “doing what you love”. It’s finding clients that will pay for doing what you love, so you can make that money.
(reality check: not the whole internet will come running to you, the moment you have something to sell)
What I often miss, is the back story. There’s a lot of “I took a chance and sold all my stuff and moved to “country X” and started living on my terms”. I really don’t buy that stuff. Money doesn’t appear out of thin air.
Either they saved a crazy amount of money and took a chance to hopefully make money after quitting their jobs. Or they already had a business going on before doing all that.
What I believe and what I hope to do is to find the work I want to do and then make that my job. The form or shape doesn’t matter yet if I don’t know what work I want to do. Here’s the steps I’ve set for myself.
1. Find out what I love to do, what I’m passionate about.
2. Practice doing what I love on a regular basis. (Can I do this as a job?)
3. List the possible ways to make money off doing what I love. (Is it a job that exist in this world? Do I make products to sell? Is it a service I offer for money?)
4. Work toward making money with doing what I love. (is that changing jobs, or freelancing on the side?)
5. If it’s starting for myself, make sure to have a market.
6. Quit my day job and go with doing what I love full-time.
That’s right, quitting my job is step 6. Step 5 is an if coming out of step 4. I believe to keep all options open until you found something to make a solid business out of. It’s also considering the best option fitting your personality (step 3).
Even more important is step 2. Is my passion something I can do as a job? Or would that undermine the passion? Would it make me feel alive, or would it make me a slave to something I loved to do in the past?
Life is not black and white. Ask yourself what you would be comfortable with. If you could do anything, what is the environment you want to do it in? What are your security needs? How social are you? How outgoing are you? Do you really love to travel, or would you rather stay close to what you know? Close to your parents, sons, daughters, other relatives? Before you decide that selling everything and traveling the world would be an awesome idea, consider the consequences. Consider what you would need to give up.
And then maybe, if you hate your job, going the entrepreneur route isn’t for you. Maybe a simple career change would solve your problem. Working in that other 9to5 cubicle actually does make you happy.
Instead of immediately wishing to throw your life around. Consider for a moment, if you’re not simply in the wrong cubicle, office, working for the wrong boss, with the wrong people. Maybe you only need to move to the next city to be happy, instead of the other side of the world.
Consider all options, don’t follow the herd. The herd doesn’t matter. What matters is, what makes you truly happy?