9 to 5 job

My colleague shared an article about an individual who left $95,000 job and went on to scoop ice-creams. My colleague pretty much sighed about doing something like that to get out of the stress. This article is triggered by what transpired from the conversation with my colleague.

I do not expect others to think or agree with my view (which may be limited in its reach) but here it is. Following may take the shape of rant but is not targeted towards any particular individual.

Let me start off by saying that I am happy for the lady who went from $95000 job to scooping ice-creams. If that is what makes her happy – kudos to her.

Just a few centuries ago, only jobs that would fit the definition of today’s desk job was working as an adviser in the king’s court, most other professions were in the scorching sun in the midst of dangers. Thanks to the technology, work is no longer confined to a place (like a desk) even though traditional office settings are still prevalent (for reasons like: control, better use of resources, privacy and confidentiality, etc.).

Many generations went through wars, plagues, holocausts, bombings and plethora of other life threats. If you ask any of these generations they would be elated and ecstatic to be at a desk job that doesn’t involve much risk to their or their loved ones life.

Let me ask you this: if everyone shies away from what is boring or what is hard work and went to scoop icecreams or something similar, would you have electricity, utilities, internet, good parks, etc?  All these facilities are made possible, even to this day, because there are people who are willing to work hard (in a 9 to 5 job).

If everyone works to earn just the bare minimum to get by – who will pay taxes? If no one earns enough to pay taxes, how will you have paved roads, good schools, great parks, protective services and 1000s of things that run the country?

Our parents, no matter how minimal their earnings were, never wanted us to aim for an ice cream scooping job (not demeaning the job itself). Why go that far, do you want your kids to be business men, professionals, artists, sports exemplary or do you want them to aim to be behind a counter?

If you have high aspirations for your kids why should you shy away from them?

I will speak from my own experience – India has over 10,000 year old history, over 1.3 billion people but we still do NOT have uninterrupted electricity or basic amenities like restrooms in some  homes. Contrast that with America which is less than 240 years old, has only 330 million individuals but reigns to be the world power. Let’s be clear, America has not evolved as world power because of leaders alone but due to its hard working middle class (and other classes to some extent) who show up at work every single day, whether they want to or not.

If you think 9 to 5 is a rut and you really want to get out of that rut, my view is, you should find ways to make more money for yourself and create opportunities for others so that you not only have time to do things you want to but also the power to do them.

If you just make barely enough to make ends meet, sure you may have lot of time on your hands but what will you do with that time if you cannot afford anything?

What if tomorrow you decide to be an entrepreneur and you cannot find talent to work with you because people skipped out of schools, colleges and from work because it is difficult?

What we define as ‘difficult’ is the ‘heaven’ that the builders of great nations worked (and working) toward. If you don’t like the current state, create a better vision of how you want your and your future generations lifestyle to look like and work for it. If you bail out from 9 to 5 because you have visions of a grandeur tomorrow then I will applaud your decision.

There are lot of people in the world that pray for a life that some in America call boring. Again, if scooping ice-cream makes you happy and gets you where you have to get to, go for it.  If you scoop ice cream because it’s easy then you are being a selfish person without regard to a bigger societal picture.

I know a lot of people (myself included) who enjoy the perks of being employed at a 9 to 5 job which include working with a team toward a common goal, networking, developing as a professional, weekends, holidays and vacation time to mention few. Whenever my friends and I take vacation, we time it and visit new places. In just last year, I have been to Alaska for 12 days and did a northeast trip for 13 days.

I have been trying to become an entrepreneur and my 9 to 5 job is helping me get by the losses that we made in those efforts. Still, I am going to continue to work at the job that is paying my bills and at my projects that I hope will soon take off. In both cases, there is LOT of hard work and I do not intend to shy away from it and will not preach others either.

If there is lot of stress at your 9 to 5 job – then find ways to cope with it. If you can create a change for others so that they don’t feel stressed, why not do that?  I strive to make everyone that works with me have an easy time. Learn to meditate or find a sport to blow some steam.

Finally, I am not a proponent of traditional desk jobs nor am I proposing that only way to make it in this world is a 9 to 5 job. No, there are 1000s of ways as long as you don’t choose the lazy way out.

Just remember, if you want good things in life for future generations, your decisions today will directly impact their tomorrow.

Don’t choose the lazy way out.

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