One of the most heralded accomplishments in today’s world of urban culture is securing the coveted position of the 9 to 5 office job. And why not? With the acquisition of full benefits, steady pay, and a loving community of fellow office workers striving towards a similar goal as laid out by a board of directors, you have entered the ranks of doing what the world believes is the best thing for you to do. Pat yourself on the back, your college degree and all of your hard work has finally paid off, and you have made it to the big leagues.
Truly, my attitude and position is only for those people who absolutely believe they are not meant to work in a full-time office job, for those who know that they can attain the greatest levels of happiness and income outside of the 9 to 5 job slot. If you are ultra passionate and look forward every week to spending 40-60 hours realizing the goal of someone else (unless, of course, you are self-employed or own a business), then while I am happy for you, you should know you are a rare bird in a frenzy of hundreds of thousands of people who are unhappy with their current job situation.
However, for those attempting to justify to themselves why they should quit their job, or how to make money for themselves outside of traditional employment, you have finally found the article that is completely sympathetic to your needs. Here are my top ten reasons you personally should never, ever, not even for a second, get a job.
10. Exchange Your Time, Or You Will Have No Place to Live
Most people who work a 9 to 5 job, especially those in their 20s and 30s, likely have no other source of income outside of their current job. So what happens if you choose to take a couple “personal days” off outside of your allowed vacation days, or if you happen to be late a couple mornings in a row due to bad traffic, personal health, and sickness? Well, according to Business Insider magazine, tardiness and being bad with your time is the 4th most common reason people are fired from their jobs. In essence, you have to be outstandingly perfect, super-human, and willing to put the needs of other people above your own for nearly ⅓ of your entire week, or you have absolutely no place to live, since your only source of income will be cut off.
9. You Will Be Someone’s Servant
No matter how much smarter you are than your bosses, they have hired you primarily for one reason: to carry out their wishes. If you are an administrative assistant, then your duty is to perform clerical work (like photocopying, faxing, and typing 90,000 wpm) at the behest of a superior. If you are an agent in global licensing, then your job is secure deals with your products with other companies…at the behest of a superior. If you are even a junior attorney or paralegal, those partners will be dishing to you all the work they don’t feel like doing, but will still bill their clients for their time anyway.
Essentially, in today’s world of traditional 9-5 employment, you have little option but to be the simple servant of another power until you are in your 50s. At that point, you might be given a break and put into an alpha role, but don’t count on it – most “higher-ups” in a business are still the servants of other higher ups.
8. Your Social Life Will Become Work-Centered and Bizarre
Your entire social life becomes intensely bizarre when you work full-time, because your entire social life becomes the people you see every single week, 50 hours a week! How frequently do people go out for drinks with their co-workers, spend their weekends going out with their co-workers, and then complain about how poor their adult social life is? If you are in college and reading this, you will probably not understand this lifestyle yet. But trust me, if you choose to go into the path of the “real world,” your social life will primarily become your co-workers, which means that your love life, personal life, and extracurricular interests life always relates back to the same people who tell you to photocopy 60 hours a week.
7. The Only Way to Make More Money Is to Work More Hours
Haven’t you always dreamed of taking an incredible vacation, buying an ultra fancy car, raising a family in a big house, or having your very own apartment in a big, beautiful city? As a human being who seeks exceptional happiness in life, you are entitled to these incredible materials, feelings, and the ability to feed other lives. But there’s only one way to make more money when you are employed 50 hours a week: work 60 hours a week.
And honestly, that strategy is probably not actually very viable. The reality of the situation is most employed full-time workers don’t get paid overtime when their salary reaches a certain threshold, which is typically somewhere in the high-20,000 to low-30,000 range. Does this actually feel good to you? You see your bosses making anywhere from twice your pay to $200,000 or more per year, and even though you work just as hard and are able to provide an incredible amount of individual value to your company, your only option to make more money is to fork over even more of your precious time? You only are on this earth for so much longer, dear.
6. You Become the Jealous Spectator of People Living Free Lives
Do you know a dancer who has started her own company, a musician who has made it big, a freelance writer who has made it onto Oprah, an artist who is having residencies and exhibitions at big-time galleries, or bloggers who are sitting in their pajamas making money while they sleep? Likely, you are the jealous spectator to a band of “free” people who have figured out how to monetize their passions in a manner better than you have.
So you have two options, then: join the ranks of incredibly talented geniuses who have freed themselves from the tyranny of full-time employment, or join the ranks of incredibly jealous near-geniuses who have tied themselves to the freedom of not needing to work too hard to pursue their dreams.
Those are 10 compelling reasons you should never get a job that I understand well. It’s great to read an article that is completely sympathetic to my needs. I’ve always thought that the best way I can fulfill my life is to be all that I am. To be all that I am is certainly not through a 9 to 5 job (however interesting) answering the call of a superior somehow. I quit that rat race in 2007. It’s been a pretty eclectic journey to find my way…
However difficult the road is, I have a passion that’s keeping me on drive mode and I am getting just where I want to, slowly but surely. I find that The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss is a great tool to help me get that right tip of the hat in mindset and thrive on that untraveled road yet of mine.
All these things are going to 100% true. Source: 15 years in mainstream workforce suffering all this BS first hand. 6 years as profitable small business owner. I would NEVER work for someone else again…. for every last reason cited by the author. Great work on this article. Keep preaching the anti-corporate revolution.
I can especially relate to #10 on the list. Managing my time right is very hard, and I’m very bad. Surprisingly, though, I’ve never struggled to make on time to past jobs I’ve had. But with school, social activities, church, and medical appointments, it’s chronic. I’ve been bad at getting places on time all my life.
However, I find this to be very poor advice. Work is far from desirable, but we have to face the reality that in this world, we need to work in order to receive a good income and to truly be financially independent. It puts food on the table. It’s another avenue for social interaction. It can build character. It is an act of selflessness.
What may help with your concerns for working may be having the right kind of mindset. Instead of just thinking about the grievances work can have, consider what you can do to positively contribute to those at your job. Instead of only thinking of personal gain from the job, also consider the other person. Rather than a conflict theory approach where you view jobs as a battle between employees and employers or each other, it may be healthier to take a more functionalist approach, where you view all the members of the company as a team working together to get the job done for the good of everyone at the company (including yourself) and for the common good.
This goes for anybody discouraged about working. I’d recommend you pass it on.