Escape the 9 to 5
The majority of my life I have been a 9 to 5 er.
There's been a few periods of breaking this, working in bars, or other odd jobs but on the most part it's been start at 9, finish at 5, Monday to Friday, job done.
I've never enjoyed this, mind you. Anyone who knows me will no doubt have heard me rant about my lack of understanding for why society settled upon such a rigid, 5 day working week. It has never made any sense to me. Why do we allocate 5 out of 7 of our days as working ones? Shouldn't it be the other way around? We surely did not go through 3.8 billion years of evolution just to work all the time? That would be about the dumbest....sorry I'm ranting again.
So as I was saying, I've never really been the biggest advocate for 9 to 5. I looked at the working hours of the rest of nature and saw no-one clocking a 9 to 5 day. All other animals and plants adapt to the seasons. Humans are the only ones who plough on regardless. 9 to 5 come rain, shine, winter or summer. It all just seems very unnatural.
But despite my complaints I have, up until now, put up with this broken system. But this year I have finally attempted to look for an alternative to this lifestyle. I am pleased to say I am no longer a 9 to 5 er.
It was surprisingly much easier than I thought. I had avoided asking my employer about reducing my work load and working freelance for ages. In my mind there was no way they would allow me to do it, but when I asked and explained why I wanted to, they said yes. It was that simple. With the new found freedom I was able to look for new opportunities which led me to organise my own night at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival and I'm now helping to organise another Mountain Festival later in the summer. It's work that I enjoy and that is more inline with my values, encouraging and inspiring people to spend time outside enjoying nature.
The main benefit to this is not the work, however, it is the time I have won back. The freedom of owning your own time is invaluable. It is the one thing no-one can make more of. The ability to look out of the window in the morning and decide what I want to do with my day is really all I have ever wanted to achieve. I have got confused in the past and thought that making lots of money would provide this freedom but in reality it is all about owning your time. Sure, we need money to provide a certain level of security, but once that is achieved, then it should all be about earning more time.
It's early days still and there's still things I'm adjusting too. There are days of self doubt where I question if I will have enough money, or if it would be more sensible to take holiday pay, pensions and security. But for now I am going to enjoy the journey a little more and worry about the destination a little less.
The reason I am telling you this isn't to brag, it is to say that even though I had been thinking of doing this for a few years I always thought it would be too difficult to achieve. One thing I had never done however was taken action on it. This post is purely to emphasise that if you don't ask you don't get. If it is something you would like to try to, why not just ask your employer today, whats the worst that could happen?