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I believe the 9 to 5 concept is insane and thats why I quit my career
Part 1 of the ‘Why I Quit my Career’ series
On the 14th March 2017 I quit what would have been a very good job in the finance sector. I had only been there three weeks. There was no plan in place and I’m the sort of person who always has a plan. I felt like I had gone crazy.
Just so you know I have had other jobs. In fact I always had a job as a teenager and have worked full-time plenty of times before. But this job, this one was going to be my career. The one where I really succeed, made my fortune, achieved life fulfilment. You know the spiel.
I should probably begin with explaining the 2 main reasons why I quit my career:
(They are also conveniently part 1 and 2 of the ‘Why I Quit my Career’ series, suspiciously convenient even…)
1) I believe the 9 to 5 concept is insane.
I will tell you more about this in a moment…
2) The 9 to 5 was making me sick.
I’m just not well enough to work a traditional full time job, something I have been in denial about for a while. But I explain all of that in part 2 in the ‘Why I Quit my Career‘ series.
So why do I believe the 9 to 5 concept is insane?
Okay the controversial ‘9 to 5 concept is insane’ statement, lets explain that before everyone starts getting all het up. I know we have always been told that you’ve got to work your whole life. While the pinnacle of that life is having a full time career with progression.
But I personally think for a lot of people careers in the traditional sense are just not the right idea. In fact I think for the majority of people the idea of spending all that time in a place that you dislike with people you don’t love is just a bit crazy.
Lets examine exactly how much of your time is dedicated to the work place, I reckon it might surprise you.
So you have around 112 waking hours per week, that’s assuming you sleep for around 8 hours per night.
An average full time position will require you to work 8 hours per day 5 days per week. In the UK by law everyone must also take a 30 minute lunch break. You are also expected to be at work around 15 minutes early and leave about 15 minutes late. (To get yourself set up for the day and to tidy up at the end). That brings your working day up to 9 hours best case scenario.
I just want to point out that most people also have some overtime to do, paid or unpaid. So its actually quite rare to only be expected at work for 9 hours per day.
Now you have 67 hours left per week, that went down quick but its still a decent amount of time.
Realistically we haven’t included commuting time and most people I know tend to travel for an hour each way. (Mainly due to rush hour traffic rather than distance). So that’s 10 hours per week just on communing, now we have 57 free hours per week.
Still sounds like quite a lot. I bet your thinking that there loads of cool stuff I could do in that time. But lets take out general living, you know showering, day to day eating, laundry, cleaning, you get the picture. This is time that is going to be used up regardless of whether you are at work or at play. So its important we take it out of the equation.
A few guestimations here as I have no idea how long you all take to shower, but lets say an hour and a half to get ready in the morning (gotta look smart for work). One hour to cook and eat dinner, then another hour each day to do general chores (this is an average as you may do all your chores in one day).
That totals 24.5 hours so now we have 32.5 hours per week free.
Still sound like a lot of time let’s compare. 32.5 hours per week to do your fun stuff and 79.5 hours per week spent funding that. And don’t forget your 79.5 hours per week will go up if you do overtime or work longer shifts like in the medical profession.
So if your quick with math you would already know that you spend over double the amount of time doing work and related necessaries compared with LIVING YOUR LIFE.
But wait theres more! The majority of your healthiest and active years are used up on those 79.5 hours per week. You gotta keep doing that for 40 to 50 years, by which point you are no longer as able to do all those fun things as you use to be!!!
(There is a lot of people now going for early retirement. If you want to know more about this, I mean who doesn’t, then have a look at my post about financial independence and early retirement).
But I love my work…
I can almost hear some of you screaming that through the computer. Work is amazing. It’s my passion. I would still do it even if I wasn’t paid. I hear ya and I salute you. You chaps are living the dream. If you are doing something with the majority of your time that you love and your getting paid to do it then as far as I am concerned you are winning at life.
Sadly though literally millions of people out there don’t enjoy their jobs. In fact many hate their jobs and they are just doing it for the money.
Now reassess those hours again. This time thinking what if you disliked your job (some of you wont have to pretend, I feel for you guys).
79.5 hours per week spent at best in mind numbing boredom, at worst hating every second of it. Just waiting for those 32.5 when you can be free for a bit.
That’s no way to live your life.
I don’t know about you guys but when I thought that all through it really screwed me up. There was no way I wanted to be stuck somewhere I didn’t like with people I didn’t love for the majority of my best years.
Especially as I was one of those people who could never really pinpoint what they wanted to do for the majority of my time for next 40 to 50 years. (Personally I think it’s a bit crazy expecting people to know that at 18 or even 25). I was therefore stuck doing work that I really had no passion for. My work wasn’t horrible, I just felt like I was wasting valuable hours of my life doing something that I didn’t care enough about and being around people who realistically didn’t care about me.
When you start really thinking about it forcing yourself into a career you don’t love does sound a bit daft. I mean if you spent an equal amount of time playing football when you didn’t like football and didn’t like your teammates, well that does sound silly.
Something I also just want to touch on is how inefficient workplaces can be. Have you ever had to look busy but you actually have nothing to do. Or felt really rough but still had to go in, knowing your work would be subpar. I believe the 9 to 5 concept is insane and thats why I quit my career because of things like that.
Traditional 9 to 5 workplaces expect everyone to work hard, but the problem is that working hard isn’t always the most productive. You need to work smart instead and working smart just isn’t encouraged in the 9 to 5 doctrine.
If you want to read more on the inefficiency of long working hours I found this post on Feakonomics really interesting.
What other option is there?
But what can you do instead you ask, not everyone can just floof (technical term floofing) about on their laptop like you Sammy.
Well I’m glad you asked because there is actually a lot you can do. You see there’s a popular movement at the moment about early retirement and financial independence that I touched on earlier. In a nutshell you can retire at any age as long as you have built up enough savings. (The blog post I linked to will help you figure out how much to save and give you further details)
If this idea excites you but you don’t have the time to really get to grips with early retirement right now then I’ve given you some really brief actions steps below. That way you can start working towards a life free from the 9 to 5 today!
Step One: Do you have an emergency fund, if not you need one!!! Start by saving 3 to 6 months worth of living expenses. Plus have a look at this post to learn the importance of an emergency fund, how it saved my life and how to create your own.
Step Two: Get your finances in order, budgeting, saving, paying off debt, get a plan in place for all that
Step Three: Side hustle baby. You’ve got to up your income if you ever want to leave that time consuming and inefficient 9 to 5 your currently working. There are tonnes of possible side hustles, but the best ones are passive income based, which means the money you can earn is limitless.
Obviously, I’m biased and think you should start a blog, and luckily I have created a tutorial on how to start a professional blog for profit. Go on check it out, it could change your life.
If your still not convinced that blogging is for you then have a read of my post on why I started blogging and 10 reasons you should too.
Once you have done those three steps it’s a case of working smart (not necessary hard though remember) and patience.
I believe you can do it, but if you have any questions of concerns feel free to leave a comment or email me directly on firstname.lastname@example.org.