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Monday, May 05, 2014

It's Never Too Late to Work Nine to Five

For years, I was not sure I was cut out for working a regular, nine-to-five job. Was I going to be happier working from a home office, away from the kind of nuances that Office Space and The Office perfectly lampooned? Would I ever have weekends and holidays completely free of the fear a last-minute emergency would happen and I would have to work? Was I giving into The Man by wanting things like health insurance, a livable wage, and an opportunity to grow my professional skills?

After years of working part-time jobs and full-time jobs in one industry, I have to say transitioning into a different industry has been an extremely positive change. Yes, I work in an environment that might, from an outsider's perspective, give way to Initech and Dunder Mifflin references, but there is nothing I find wrong with this environment. The office environment I had previously worked in (cubicles, offices, water coolers, copy machines) was not different from what I'm now. 

A week into working my new job, I have zero complaints. The people I work with are serious about their jobs, but are super-friendly and helpful. The atmosphere is extremely easy to work in. I get my work done, get good feedback, and get along with the people I work with. And while my salary and benefits are nice, those are more proverbial icing on the cake. 

The fear I had for the longest time was being stuck in a soul-sucking job. It took me many years to realize that a soul-sucking job isn't necessarily in an office building with cubicles. Soul-sucking jobs come in all shapes and sizes, with all sorts of different schedules. I feel very lucky that my new job is not a vampire of my present and future.

Recently, Mike Rowe gave some great career advice, and I completely concur with the following statement: 

Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that’s consistent with those beliefs.

If you're happy with your life and you work as a garbage collector, fine. If you're unhappy with your life and you're the CEO of a company that's worth millions of dollars, no amount of money will make you happy. I am happy with my life and try to exert positive energy every single day. And that energy stays with me when I leave for the office every morning. And it stays with me when I leave the office in the afternoon. 

Paul Stanley might urge you to stay away from the apparent shackles of 9-to-5 in hopes of promoting the apparent freedom of rock and roll, but I see it like this: I get to listen to music while I work, I'm still motivated to practice the drums when I get home, I'm still motivated to keep myself in shape, and I'm still motivated to write. 

The peace of mind I get from working this job, I get to pursue my passions while still working a full-time schedule. And there aren't any vampires hanging around me.

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