How to avoid becoming a slave to the machine. Regardless of your background, whether you come from privilege or disadvantage, you’re almost certainly aware of the phrase “doing what you have to do”. You may live by this phrase or a phrase with similar implications. You may be convinced of its truth and be happy to live a life pursuing the rat race. Or you may not, but feel like it’s your only option, that making it on your own won’t work, or will disappoint your parents or partner. Whatever your feelings about the daily 9-5 are, being aware of your options is always important.
There are many different types of 9-5, but most share many similar qualities. As someone working a 9-5, you get up at the same time each morning, work for the same number of hours each week and receive the same regular paycheck each month. The 9-5 in one word? “Routine”. Unlikely to offer you a challenge or inspiration very often, the work you do will likely be monotonous and boring, your exhaustion at the end of this week rarely the result of intellectual or practical difficulties. A 9-5 type job will unlikely be fun and rarely offer you the opportunity to express your individuality, you are a cog in a machine when working a 9-5.
Although something some may consider a negative, the routine of a 9-5 job type is also one of its positives. With most 9-5 job types, you’ll probably find yourself on a full-time contract, with regular pay and benefits. It’s also likely that your employer will pay into a pension program for when you retire. Being in a job like this makes it easy to plan your outgoings, you will have the ability to plan your savings and make large investments e.g house, car etc. This gives you the security to settle down or start a family.
This may very well be something which suits your personality if you value security and take pride in climbing up a preexisting system and hierarchy of jobs, working a 9-5 for a large employer is an extremely positive way of attaining this.
On the other hand, having creative and practical control over your own life and the work which you produce is something that’s perhaps best achieved outside of the framework of a corporation. In many cases, the stability of a 9-5 job is necessary whilst you are still finding your feet in the industry where your true passion lies. Whether or not this is in art, music or business, making your own path in life often requires a period of initial investment, both in terms of time and money. Using a regular paycheck to fund your passion is a very effective way of going about this.
The main motivation and message of this article aren’t to dissuade you from pursuing a life of rising through the ranks of a corporation or even to say that this in itself isn’t a potentially rewarding lifestyle. The point is to ensure that you do not become stuck in a position where you are unhappy with your work. If you are passionate about something, pursue it. If you love something creative, spend all your spare time perfecting your art. Become an expert in your field and turn your hobby into a career. Be willing to do things for little pay, to begin with, grow your brand and reputation and put yourself in the best possible position to achieve your dreams.
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I’m totally lost without my routine but it definitely sometimes just feels like going through the motions. I like your take on it here – thanks!
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