Same Thing, Different Day : My Comparison of Being a 9-to-5’er and an Entrepreneur

Are you a creative that finds the 9-5 a struggle?

Going to the same place, seeing the same people and doing the same thing, day after day?

Do you find that corporate offices can drain your creativity and leave you feeling frustrated, annoyed and just not yourself?

Is structure sometimes more demanding than the actual work itself? 

Once you sit and think and reflect on your career and quality of life, do you hear a whisper that says you can do more? You can have more?

There have been many times over the course of my career when I have thought about this and wondered why I keep going back to the same type of work.

Now, I love what I do as a technical designer.  The fittings, the construction, the process creating and constant improving, the collaboration with colleagues and the satisfaction of looking back at a finished style and smiling, even though it took a lot to get here and feeling proud of what was accomplished. 

I can only speak from my experience and perspective, but this just isn’t enough. 

There are so many decisions that are taken out of my hands and it makes me feel like I am just another cog in the wheel. 

That anyone could do my job. 

And I have never been one that likes being told what to do.  It creates resistance and tension within.

And I look at others and wonder how they find the joy and the will to stay at a company 5, 10, 15 years.

How do they keep their work interesting and how does it motivate them?

This is just one reason why I love working freelance and on my own brand.

In the world of freelance, I can pick and choose who I work with and the projects that I work on. 

Within my own business I am the one that calls all the shots and makes all the decisions, and in my mind there is just so much more ease.

I can take a couple of days mid week, to hang out with friends who visit from out of town, or I can do that lunchtime yoga class and not have to leave early in order to get back to work on time.

Oh, and did I mention the impromptu dance ‘parties’ that occur when a favorite song plays?!

I do tend to work more hours, more days and have less free time though.

Creating boundaries around work and where I work do help, and this is a constant work in progress and another blog post altogether! 

But there is freedom and flexibility in my schedule.  And my soul feels so much better for it.

It’s these days that I crave the structure and the decision making to be out of my hands. 

And yet there are days when I wonder, ‘Why can’t I be like everyone else and work a 9-5 and be happy?’

It can become exhausting when you do ALL the work and make ALL the decisions. 

There are days when I would like to look at my calendar and see that someone else has arranged my meetings and that I know what I have to do that day.

There are weeks when I would just like to turn up to the same place every day, greet the same people, have the same conversations and know that my work starts at 9am and finishes at 5pm (or thereabouts!).

There is comfort and ease in having a 9-5.

There is also a conformity and social pressure to have a job, that provides you with a paycheck every two weeks, to climb the corporate ladder and to ‘Do what everyone else does.’

But these get pushed aside as I remember that my freedom and flexibility out weight these and a whole lot more.

This wondering lasts for about half and hour and then I remember how I felt working in a 9-5 and instantly become appreciative of the opportunities I have, right now.

And maybe one day, I will go back to a 9-5.  But for now, this change is necessary and allows me more freedom while I do what I love.