Is the 9-5 corporate grind getting you down? Ok yes, I totally hear ya at times. But, it’s important to remember that before you go making it onto the Top 10 List of “Greatest I Quits Of All Time,” the corporate company you work for DOES in fact pay all of your bills, your medical benefits, and likely provides a much needed service to you or at least someone you know (ahem, Starbucks, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon). So the fact of the matter is, unless you’re swimming in money, you probably need your 9 to 5.
NOW ON THE FLIP SIDE, as long as you wake up, work your 9 to 5 each day, and then come home, go to sleep, and do it all over again tomorrow, well, that is in fact what you’ve set your life up to be, and ALL that you’ve set your life up to be. If you want your circumstances to change, then what you put into each day better change. So rather than flat out quit, perhaps it's time to consider how you can start adding some of the following options instead.
Set up your own company
One way to evade the constraints of a 9-5 corporate job is to step out and set up your own company as an entrepreneur. Then you can have total control over your business's culture and make it as relaxed and as creative as you want. Ha, well that’s obvious. BUT, statistically is it realistic for everyone? Probably not. While this is a VERY oversimplified piece of advice, if there is something that’s been nagging at you that you’re truly passionate about, and you’ve got the drive, then guess what, you CAN in fact make it be just that simple.
Why, how, and what do you mean Kristin? Here’s one thing I’ve learned over the last couple years. You see that last sentence in the paragraph above? Do what you love to do, KEEP DOING what you love to do, and do it BECAUSE you love to do it. Repeat, repeat, repeat. If you are creating something that truly represents you, everyone will admire it and nobody can match it. Repeat, repeat, repeat some more. Do it you because you LOVE to do it, and eventually you’ll start to figure out how and where you can really bring value to others.
Become an artisan
On that note, and also a real departure from the traditional suited and booted 9-5 corporate role (or sneaks in our case, folks), is to become an artisan, someone that makes an elite product usually by hand.
Of course, this can take a significant amount of time to get to a point where you can even earn enough money to live on, let alone match the salary you can expect to see in the corporate world. But like I said above, if it’s a talent of yours, and you really love it, you can set aside say 5-10 hours a week working on this while you keep your day job. Learn how to earn extra money online at the same time while you practice your art. This can help keep you afloat while you establish your businesses and customer base.
And seriously, if you were born and blessed with artistic talent, the world deserves to see it!
Learn a trade
A smart alternative to artisan work is to learn a more traditional hands-on trade such as plumbing, being an electrician, or even a painter. You know, things that every day people need, EVERY DAY! The advantage of these sort of careers is that they tend to pay a lot more than artisan roles, and are in constant demand as well, ensuring that you will get enough business to make a decent profit.
Of course, they are entirely different from the corporate world because you will travel to client locations, and deal with specific and various issues there, most of which will require hands-on work and lateral thinking.
It's also much easier to train in these types of areas as opposed to artisanal pursuits because there are plenty of schools or online resources that offer short courses, allowing you to get up and running quickly.
It's not that people in the corporate world don't help others. In fact, some roles focus on this, such as human resources and recruitment. Woohoo! (that’s MY 9 to 5). However, how awesome would it be to help others for YOUR cause?
If you are tired of showing up to a job everyday that you don’t feel a tangible connection to, choosing a job where you get to help people for more altruistic reasons can be a much better choice. Start by making a list of everything you love and are passionate about. For example, animals, nutrition, keeping our earth clean, certain vitamins, etc. etc. How could you help contribute to these companies, whether through your time or something else unique your skills and talents could offer them? Start by doing this on a volunteer basis, keep doing it consistently and you’ll get really good at it, and sure enough after a solid, consistent amount of time, I guarantee you someone from these organizations will want to include you on their team in a more formalized manner.
It all starts by you identifying what really makes you happy, and then you getting creative with the skills, talents, and passion that you’ve already got. You will do your best work when you are in love with it. So if that means doing it for a couple hours at night after you’ve already worked a 10 hour day, then it’s still a win-win for you right? Do what can support you, and do what makes you happy. If you can do both of those in one job, then great! If you can do both of those in two jobs, then that’s still great! As long as that happy part is in there, then you’re living a life worth living.