What is the 9 to 5? That’s a good question. The way I see it, by definition a 9 to 5 job is any employment that is routine, boring, and/or unfulfilling, that we engage in just to pay the bills.
“A normal and routine job”Your dictionary .com
Let me guess- you spend time wondering how to escape the 9 to 5, how to quit the rat race, right? Well, in order to do that, we first have to understand what it is we’re talking about. Let’s see if we can come up with a 9 to 5 definition. Then let’s look at some alternatives to the 9 to 5. After that we’ll see if you’re cut out for the 9 to 5 grind. Last, but not least, maybe brainstorm how to get you out of the 9 to 5.
It seems we have a bit to cover so let’s get to it.
9 To 5 Definition
Alright, let’s start this one with a 9 to 5 definition from Mirriam Webster, then one from Your Dictionary.com. Next some 9 to 5 slang terms, and what definition would be complete without a couple of examples.
According to Webster, 9 to 5, noun: a job with regular hours. I find Your Dictionary’s definition more informative, “a normal and routine job”. The term is often used to describe boring or unfulfilling jobs.
Though technically steady daytime employment (nothing wrong with that), a 9 to 5 is often referred to as the daily grind, the rat race, or the JOB, all of which are kinda derisive terms. I think much of the reason for this is the lack of freedom involved.
If we use Your Dictionary’s definition here are just a few examples, fast food work, warehouse work, low level office work.
Alternatives To The 9 To 5
There are a lot of different alternatives to the 9 to 5 out there. Here’s 3 right off the top of my head.
The possibilities are endless.
Let’s start this with the “gig”, that would be temporary work. You could work 2 or 3 gigs in a day. For instance, if you like to drive, you could drive for Uber and Lyft, and deliver food for GrubHub or the like. Maybe you’re musically inclined, playing at different venues might be a great gig for you. Scheduling freedom is one of the biggest draws here. The gig economy is big right now.
Next on the list is “freelancing”. Freelancers by definition are self-employed. They will often work on multiple projects for several clients at one time. Some examples here would be artists, architects, and graphic designers, etc. This is by nature a very independently minded group. If that describes you then take a look at what you really enjoy and see if you can turn it into a living.
Last, on this not so exhaustive list, is the “digital nomad“. This one is definitely about freedom, and if you’re savvy’ about the money. These are folks that use the internet to make a living remotely while traveling to foreign countries and out-of-the-way places. When you work this way the world is your office. Here’s some examples, website developer, seo specialist, customer rep, I could go on and on the list is huge.
In short, alternatives to the 9 to 5 are endless. Your mindset is your only road block. Some people are comfortable in a routine job. Most people can do anything for 8 hours. If that’s no longer you, then you have to ask the next question.
Is The 9 To 5 Grind Right For You?
According to Dolly Parton in her working nine to five lyrics, “it’s enough to drive you crazy”. That begs the question is the nine to five grind right for you? If you’ve already answered NO, then see I want out of the 9 to 5 below. If you’re still on the fence then here’s 4 signs it might not be right for you, if none of this sounds like you then you’re good.
Here’s a quick question. When you were a kid and your momma told you to eat your pea, what did you do? Did you hold your breath till you turned blue, try to hide them in your mashed potatoes, or feed them to the dog? If you did any of those, authority might be an issue for you. That’s the 1st sign. Personal, I like peas. I put them in my potatoes and cover them with gravy.
This may sound familiar to you. Every morning you get up, get dressed and go to work. You start your day, then get a 15-min break, then back to work, then a 30-min lunch, then back work until your day ends. There’s no time to tend to sick kids, if your aging mom needs help- too bad. Your hours are set, there’s nothing you can do, and it drives you absolutely crazy. Guess what sign #2 a 9 to 5 might not be for you.
Paperwork sucks. If that’s you then a 9 to 5 is not your gig. Bad news- you will still probably have to do some, but may be able to delegate most of it.
Here’s the last one. You’d rather suck on an old cigarette butt you picked up off the sidewalk than go into the office, then dump your 9 to 5.
For some folks a “normal” routine job is a comfort, like a warm blanket. For others, it’s what seems like a “necessary” curse. Much like when your dog tries to wiggle out of his collar when he doesn’t want to be led to his crate. You might be in the latter group, if so see below.
I Want Out Of The 9 To 5
Ok, so you say to yourself, self, I want out of the 9 to 5, I want to get out of the rat race, but I don’t know how. Well, then let’s just see if we can’t help you out, give you some action steps.
These 3 steps are pretty basic but it’s a good place to start.
- Truly UNDERSTAND why you want out. Is it more money, more freedom, more time? While you’re at it figure out what you’re good at.
- Spend time daily moving toward your goal. It doesn’t matter how much time, just be focused and consistent.
- No matter what your goals find the resources to help you achieve them.
Leaving the 9 to 5 isn’t always easy. It requires a bit of soul searching, time spent to achieve your goal, and the resources and training to make it possible.
Let’s Wrap This Up
As we’ve seen there’s more to the question, what is the 9 to 5 than meets the eye. By definition a 9 to 5 job is a routine job with regular hours that is sometimes described as boring or unfulfing. There’s a lot of different alternatives to a 9 to 5 job: your imagination and desire to learn are your only limits. The daily grind is fine for some folks, but for others, not so much. If you don’t like set hours, authority, paperwork, or office time, just to name a few. Then you might want to consider something different. If you do decide that something different IS for you, then just under that the transition will most likely take some time and effort, so just keep at it and find the best resources possible.
Leave a comment below if you have suggestions for my next blog post or any questions regarding online income. I’ve got many more interesting articles coming out soon and I love to help!
One last thing, if you really want to know how to quit the rat race here is a good place to start
Find Your Freedom