Nine to Five

“All these people on the planet working 9 to 5 just to stay alive…”

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Although I’ve been working the “traditional 9-5” for 7 years, I still haven’t gotten used to it. It just doesn’t seem natural to me. I’ve always had gigs outside of the 9-5 and the work required of those gigs sometimes spills into my 9-5, causing me to slip out occasionally for lunch meetings, coffee breaks, “personal errands”, etc.  Thankfully, no matter what 9-5 I’ve had, it’s been flexible enough for me to “slip out” for a few, but after a while I start to feel bad for somewhat neglecting the 9-5.

Recently, as I slipped out, waiting at a coffee shop for a quick non 9-5 meeting, I noticed how comfortable I felt. Although I kept checking my watch to make sure I wasn’t gone too long, I liked the freedom of sitting in a coffee shop at 10am instead of behind a desk in a cubicle. As I waited for my latte and breakfast crepe, I observed the hushed conversations of who I imagined to be stay-at-home moms or college students. I scanned the quirky décor hanging above entrepreneurs tapping and clicking away on their laptops and smart phones.  I relaxed in my chair as I thought, “I could get used to this.”

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t mind going into the office every now and then; sometimes it’s absolutely necessary. But I would rather have the freedom to choose and come and go as I please instead of being required to be there during a daily specified time period. It becomes so mundane after a while. And sometimes I just want to sleep in. Sometimes I just want to do nothing. Sometimes I want to slink in around noon in jeans and a t-shirt.

My frustration with the 9-5 should serve as an agent for change, pushing me to focus on building opportunities for myself to earn income outside of it, so that I can eventually quit and work for myself. I feel that I’m getting closer, but I just have to push harder and continue to remind myself of what I want and what it will take to get it.

I admit that I can be lazy sometimes and settle for the ease of collecting a regularly-expected paycheck, but if I really want to work for myself (and be successful at it), I’ve got to do more. Work harder. Challenge myself. Sacrifice. Plan. Execute. Network.

I’m not getting any younger, after all.

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