Every now and then I get a real bee in my bonnet about something and need to just go off on a bit of a tangent away from posts about Newcastle or travel. This one’s been brewing for a while, and is basically just my opinion on why the typical 9-5 office job doesn’t always need to be seen in such a bad light. I’ve worked in an office since I graduated, in different jobs but fundamentally they were all office based, and I don’t actually hate it.
So often these days I see bloggers sharing their stories of how they became successful, self employed business people or bloggers, and for many that really is the dream. When I see people I’ve followed for ages finally be able to hand in their notice to jobs they’ve hated and had no real passion for, I always think well bloody done. It’s nearly always taken them years of hard work, blood sweat and tears, sleepless nights and an unwavering passion for something other than the desk job they’ve been chained to.
There is no denying that in this day and age blogging and being an online presence can deliver you a sustainable income, and most good honest bloggers in this position will be the first to tell you it’s nowhere near as glamorous as the perfect instagram photo, sat on a Greek coastline in the perfect outfit might have you believe. It’s bloody hard work.
You’re a creator, a writer, a photographer, an accountant, a PR person, an admin person, a web editor, a promoter and a lot of the time, you’re defending your own corner and fighting fires to prove that it’s actually a real job. With so much talk currently about the integrity of online personalities and bloggers, it’s always refreshing to see when the ones you know share the real reality of it. See Dannielle of While I’m Young for a couple of great posts on how she managed to do it, and the realities of working from home.
Blogging wasn’t even a job you could aspire to do when I was choosing my uni course and sitting my A levels. A lot of bloggers I know have some sort of creative past, and got into it through other online or content creation type jobs. I constantly change my mind on whether I would want to do it full time or not, and the answer at the moment in my life is that I don’t, despite some of the amazing opportunities I’ve been given through it…
I’m not here to say that anybody shouldn’t aim to be a self employed anything, including blogging if that is really what you want to do. I may very well change my mind in future when circumstances change. But in a world where I think there are big misconceptions about living the online life, and a tendency to really fear the mundane and the average 9-5 job working for ‘someone else’, I can tell you as someone who does both it really does have its benefits.
While there are people shouting about not being stuck in an office job, working their own hours and not having to answer to anyone, I’m one of those who actually doesn’t mind it. And look I blog too (albeit not full time). Here’s some of my reasons that office life working for someone else has worked for me in both current and past jobs.
- Structure. Some people just need it. While there are some days I wish I had the freedom to stay in bed all day, or sit out in the sun (recently) I’m not sure I’d always be disciplined with myself if I had the freedom to, especially in winter. Routine isn’t always bad.
- A steady reliable income. Pay day may always seem forever away, but it always comes round again every month, and to not have the worry of where the next job might come from is actually quite nice. Bills will always get paid, and you can plan a lot further ahead when you know exactly what your pay is going to be.
- Access to professional training and development opportunities that would cost a fortune personally. Most decent companies invest in their staff, and that’s only going to benefit everyone. To get where I am now I funded my own additional qualification after uni, which I could only do because I was working a full time job.
- Travel opportunities. So many people get to see places all over the world, live in new places for long periods of time, and are given unique opportunities through a business that you could never get on your own (or at your own cost). Travel is one of my favourite bits of my job.
- The ability to switch off. After 5pm, at weekends, and on your holidays if you aren’t the boss it’s not your problem and it’s not your livelihood down the drain if something goes wrong (in most cases). Your bills will still be paid. In the first few years of working after uni I didn’t like my job, but I liked the things it bought me and the holidays it paid for.
- The people you work with. There is nothing like office banter, and I’ve met some of my best mates through work. I’d be lonely if I spent all day every day on my own. Not to mention work nights out and Christmas parties. The people you spend nearly all day with 5 days a week become pretty close to you.
- How many people meet their future spouse at work too? Or via work friends? I met Kieran through my last job, and know loads of couples that got together through work. As long as its appropriate of course.
- You can still have personal achievements that you’re proud of through a career path working for someone else. You can still ‘make it’.
- With the developments in technology and attitude to work life balance, office jobs with flexi time, flexible working, remote working and distance working are on the rise. These give the flexibility that many think just doesn’t exist with office jobs.
- Unlimited supply of coffee. And the cake table.
Basically in a world where there’s a lot of social media perception and pressure, I’m just saying you aren’t boring or bland if you want a job like that. You aren’t wasting your time lining someone else’s pockets or chasing someone else’s dream if you get what you need from it to make you happy.
And that’s the point isn’t it? What’s going to make you happy?
With so many students across the country gearing up to head to uni, some with a focus and a career path at the end of it, and others with no clue what they’re going to do (like I was), it really annoys me when I see how much pressure is put on it. You might remember my post on things you realise about life at 30, and if I could give that to my 18 year old self I still would.
Just like office jobs there’s those that scoff at people who do go to uni. I’ve seen it on twitter the past few days after results day. While it absolutely isn’t for everyone, and some of my friends are hugely successful for not going to uni, it’s also OK to be those who do. I remember working in a bar as a student when the bosses brother came in before opening. He was ranting away about how it would be full of students, and how much he hates education and thinks it’s a waste of time.
What I’d love to say to him looking back is, it was the educated lawyer who went on to get you a lighter sentence mate, and will be the educated doctor who might save your life one day, or the educated vet who saves your family pet on the operating table.
There is so much focus these days on embracing those who are different, and I’m really conscious not to use the word ‘normal’ here, but at times it seems that are we so focussed on celebrating the alternative that we are borderline saying its not ok to be the uni going, one day office worker with 2.4 children and a Ford focus. It is ok, and the world needs both.
Whatever makes you happy.
Other posts you might like: