Is Being a Standard 9-5’er All That Horrible?

Many Millennials consider getting a passionless 9-5 job to be the fastest way to lose one’s soul.

This viewpoint is so immature that it beggars belief.  It’s something that a high school kid would believe. If you’re in your 20’s and you still think like this, consider a few things.

First, not everybody can be a famous actor or even work in a field they like. Some people try and fail. They get jobs as actuaries or analysts or what have you. As long as they still try to pursue some goal outside of work, why should anyone have cause to insult them?

Second, some people just want a job that’s stable or makes good money. Perilous careers that are extremely difficult to succeed in aren’t for everyone. Being a starving artist is only cool if you have rich parents.

Third, 9-5’ers don’t have to struggle anywhere nears as much as the artistic types. I can’t imagine having a steady job with an average salary—something that’s the holy grail in the Internet writing/content creation business and many other businesses.  Think about it, 9-5’ers get up, go to work for eight hours, come home, and then get free time with which they can pursuit whatever they want. They can also do this on weekends. The ones that complain, I find, usually blow their free time and excess cash on clubbing and other fruitless activities.

And fourth, 9-5’ers get to look down their noses at people who try to achieve their dreams. This is grim but it’s true. The corporate “drones” don’t have to worry about the pitfalls of [insert highly coveted career here]. They don’t have to deal with rejection on a day-to-day basis. Yeah, some people might say that the suits might have to deal with the existential malaise and psychological baggage that comes with shattered dreams, but these problems isn’t unique to that group. The “dream chasers” suffer from such ailments too. What are hundreds of published articles worth if they don’t lead to anything? How do a few bit parts in small-time shows and movies stack up against a real job that pays $45,000 per year with benefits? What if I never “make it” in the industry?

9-5’ers get to have a smug sense of superiority over some people, in that sense. For every actor/author/musician/etc. that you’ve heard of, there are millions that you haven’t heard of. They struggle, they toil on, and they quit. The 9-5’ers know this, and sometimes bask in it. They’ll use the failures of others to justify the path they chose—and I don’t blame them. I know someone who was a business major.  Their expression becomes eerily gleeful when they hear that someone with an English degree has a worse job than they do. When I look at that person at that moment, I know that they’re beaming with a mixture of schadenfreude and pride. In that instant, they have no doubts about the path they chose. “Someone tried and failed, so it was better that I didn’t try at all. I made the right choice.” This person’s cautiousness earned them success. The temerity of artists earned them ramen noodles and debt.

Never in my life will I be able to be as self-assured and haughty as the people with “real” jobs and “real” majors. I’ll never be able to say “don’t bother, there’s no money in that” to people. I made the worse choice, the 9-5’ers made the (financially) better one.

So, ultimately, is it really that bad to be a desk jockey or work a “menial” job for eight hours a day? Depends on the job. If you want to cut your throat, it’s bad. If you can tolerate it and are making OK money, it’s a wonderful thing.

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