Four Ways My 9 to 5 Increases My Entrepreneurial Ambition

I’m currently working the first 9 to 5 job of my life (not counting 4 or 5 summer internships I’ve had).  Surprise, surprise: I’m not really loving it, at least not in a “I want to do this for the rest of my life” kind of way.  But I have noticed one thing about my time outside of work: I’m a lot more ambitious and a lot more productive. For now, I’m convinced it’s not such a bad thing for me, other than the fact that I do earn a (small) paycheck and I find my job somewhat rewarding.  Here are the upsides:

1. I’m excited for personal productivity when I leave work.  After doing mundane tasks at my job all day, I find a great sense of accomplishment in doing things for myself.  Lately, writing is something that I’ve found to be fun and rewarding after a long day of busywork.  While I see many of the things I do at work as unimportant, a lot of the things that I do at home are productive and a more beneficial use of my time.

(note: Money Spruce does not endorse bottled water)

2.  I have less time to waste.  Devoting 8 or more hours a day to a job creates a much greater sense of urgency to get what I need to done.  For now, my job creates a great structure for doing that.  I come home, briefly think about what I have to do, and I do it. I rarely feel the sense that if I put something off, I can get it done later, which might be the case if my time was more open-ended.  I even find that I’m more productive on nights after a day of work than I am on weekend days when I don’t go into the office at all.

3. I’m motivated to get out of this cycle of “work.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a lazy person, and my goal isn’t to “never work again.”  I consider myself a hard worker and plan to continue to put in hard work for the rest of my life.  But I don’t want to work (and live) with a traditional job in a 9 to 5 cycle for the rest of my life.  This is probably my biggest motivator for starting my own business and working for myself.

My main problem with the 9 to 5 is that I don’t like the schedule that I’m forced to sit in an office and work.  I dislike the limited days off (one of my biggest phobias is running out of vacation days), and I have a nearly impossible time of taking any sort of spontaneous adventures.

I’m nearly 100% convinced that I could never enjoy working a full time job.  It’s hard for me to imagine having to show up to something for 8+ hours on 5 days a week and enjoying it.  I know this isn’t the case for everyone, it’s just a personal belief of mine.

I’m too stubborn of a person to simply accept that having a job is a part of life.  From my even limited experience so far, I’m convinced there has to be a better way to live.

4. I get to be creative outside of my job.  My job doesn’t allow for a whole lot of creativity where I can really put my skills to use and let my personality and talent show.  A lot of the work at my job involves formal communication, following rules, and avoiding stepping on anyone’s toes. I feel like there’s a lot there that confines me.  Being able to write in this blog gives me a voice and allows me to express myself in a way that my job never can.  I can say just about anything I want, and I like challenging myself to think in lots of different ways.  I make the rules here.

I should note that an important part to making all of this work is that I limit my time in the office to 40 hours a week.  If it were more, the whole system would quickly fall apart.  I’d be more tired at the end of the day and have even less time to myself.

While my main goal is to run my own business and not rely on any sort of job, I’m not sure I’m ready to take that leap yet.  After my full time position ends in August 2011, I’m thinking I’ll take on part-time work.  This will still constrain my time enough so that principles #1 and #2 will stick, and I’m sure #3 will still be there, too.  With enough time (and enough detestation for whatever job I end up with) I’ll eventually be organized and motivation enough to work solely on my own business ventures.

Photo by Yos Wiranata

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