Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Living With or Leaving the 9-to-5 Lifestyle?

Many of you are already familiar with the living-for-the-weekend mindset and with how fleeting weekends seem to be. As soon as another weekend creeps up, it’ll soon be over and you’ll be dreading Monday all over again. For those who experience an intense level of anxiety and stress on Sunday nights, the following tips and coping strategies may be worth trying:

To those suggestions, I’d add: Try to keep the situation in perspective. Indeed, there are worse life situations to be in, and there are plenty of people out there who have it much worse. However, the question of whether you should focus on accepting the situation or trying to break free and create a work-life that you have more control over is a personal one. Some questions you can ask yourself to clarify if making a break for freedom is for you:

  • Try to notice if you’re spending extra money for the sole purpose of trying to make it up to yourself for undergoing the 9-to-5 grind. If you can cut that portion of your spending out and live more cheaply, would the prospect of self-employment seem more viable?
  • Ask yourself, “Is the possibility of freedom from the ‘golden handcuffs’ important enough that I might kick myself later in life for not even trying?”

For those considering that journey towards more freedom and independence, here are a couple of books that will help you adopt a winning mindset as well as provide a great introduction to issues and problems to consider.

Making a Living Without a Job

Some warnings you’ll keep hearing from others include how difficult self-employment is and that more small businesses fail than succeed. However, who said that you have to put all your eggs in one basket? Diversify! The biggest takeaway from Barbara Winter’s Making a Living Without a Job: Continue generating ideas in order to sustain yourself with multiple streams of income. This is analogous to how a table top can stay supported if one leg disappears but other legs are still there to support it. Secondly, accept that you’ll make mistakes along the way and be prepared to learn from them. Keep educating yourself. Finally, the information in this book will help get you thinking about how to handle those who don’t support your life choice and, even worse, dealing with “crab mentality.”

Running a Side Business

Running a side business is also something to consider if you’re unsure about parting with the world of the regularly employed. Achieving this can help supplement future retirement income and lessen dependence on, and hasten departure from, your regular job. If you choose this route, take care that doing so won’t interfere with your employer’s interest – whether this puts you in competition with your employer or saps your energy so that you wind up contributing less on the job. Running a Side Business: How to Create a Second Income by Attorney Richard Stim and Lisa Guerin, J. D. is a great place to start for a concise synopsis of issues related to taxes, liability, and other legal matters (applicable in the United States).

I hope that the information and resources in this post prove to be empowering and useful. Please feel free to share your experiences on improving your own work-life!

3 responses to “Living With or Leaving the 9-to-5 Lifestyle?

  1. Five Quick Minutes August 5, 2013 at 4:31 am

    Great idea, Lynn! Very well done…again. It’s probably covered in your advice or references, but I would simply add that if one tries self-employment, it should be in a field they have some solid experience and knowledge of.

    “Go with what you know!” It helps the chances of success. I like the diversification idea too.

    Have a super day, young lady…

    • Lynn Patra August 5, 2013 at 5:39 am

      Thank you for your input Christian! Yes, utilizing current skills and knowledge is essential advice. I should mention that “Making a Living Without a Job” by Barbara Winter also has a workbook component to it, so readers are encouraged to write notes and take stock of what they are good at as well as what they love to do.

      You have a wonderful day also Christian! 🙂

      • Five Quick Minutes August 5, 2013 at 4:44 pm

        There, you see, I figured you would have that point covered somehow! Very good post, Lynn. You are an excellent “instructional” writer/adviser.

        Getting off on the right foot includes having the best of preparation and experience one can get. You take care and enjoy your day…


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