I’ve had this post on my “topics” list for a while, and it seems fitting to post it on a Monday morning as we all go back to our jobs. I was inspired to write it by Live Love Work’s post a while back called Stop taking work so seriously!
Being a blogger who writes about happiness, some of my blogger friends are passionate members of the lifestyle design movement…particularly, the people who believe that traditional jobs are evil and the only way to be happy is to strike out on your own.
Don’t get me wrong, I love these people, and I am so inspired by the things they’re doing in their own lives. My friend “Cordelia” over at Cordelia Calls It Quits, for instance, just left the day job she’d been at for 12 years to be a writer and blogger full-time. I’ve been following her journey to do this for the past two and a half years, as she slowly built up her side business until it was big enough to do full-time. And I could not be more happy for her. (PS – stay tuned for an upcoming guest post from her, which I can’t wait to feature!)
But for me personally, I just don’t feel that way about work. For me, a job is just a job. Does that make me a bad happiness blogger, or just a different kind of happiness blogger?
To each his own
While I get where these bloggers are coming from, I don’t have any dreams of becoming an internet tycoon or a digital nomad or whatever. I’m perfectly happy doing my job from 9 to 5, then coming home and having my nights and weekends all to myself and my little family, no work involved. I like the structure. I like being able to leave my work behind when 5:00 comes.
I don’t “love” my job, but I don’t hate it, either. It’s got its ups and its downs, but I like my coworkers, I feel good at what I do, and I just don’t have that drive to stay up all night or work on the weekends to build some side business of my own. (I don’t even know what that side business would be.)
And I think a lot of people are like that.
Again, I don’t mean to criticize other bloggers at all. It’s more of a “to each his own” thing. The last thing I’d want to do is judge someone else’s lifestyle, because the whole point of B&B is to encourage living a balanced life…whatever that means for you. My balance just happens to include having a regular old job and then unplugging in my “me” time.
A job is what you make of it
I think what it ultimately comes down to is how you approach your work. If you’re the kind of person who hates the idea of a 9 to 5 job, no matter what it is, then you won’t be happy unless you are doing your own thing. You need to know yourself and go after what will make you happy.
But if you like the predictability and set hours of a regular job, that’s cool, too. Then it’s up to you to learn how to be happy at that job, even when things sometimes get crazy and stressful.
There is no right or wrong way…there’s just what’s right for you.
What is your job to you? Is it a passion, or just a paycheck?
photo credit: Michael J Mandeville
Well I’m sure it’s no surprise to you that I love this post!
When I first started blogging I, too, felt many bloggers were offering a very one-sided view of happiness- that you must be an entrepreneur to be happy- it’s just not so! Some people just don’t want that level of personal responsibility and the risks involved in being self-employed- which can be as challenging as it is rewarding.
Then there’s other people that may truly want to pursue their dream job and hey- go for it!- but the reality is not everyone is going to be able to do so. My husband is a musician and sound engineer and would love to do it full time but there just are just fewer opportunities for this type of work.
I try to live a life where I find happiness exactly where I’m at. Of course I challenge myself personally and professionally, and I am pursuing my dreams, but wherever I’m at in my journey, I look for ways to be happy being right where I am today. I truly believe happiness doesn’t come from the outside (job, status, relationship, etc.), happiness comes from within. I can be happy here or there, or anywhere!
So you have “just a job”- so what? If you’re happy that’s really all that matters!
Have a grateful day!
“I try to live a life where I find happiness exactly where I’m at.” -a perfect summary of the balanced life!
It amazes me that so many people dread going to work. I LOVE my job. Perhaps it is because I have only been teaching for 6 years, but most days I am excited to interact with my students. I often tell my students that they should stive to find a job they love and are passionate about, not something their parents think is right for them, or for a big paycheck.
Having something that is “just a job” hopefully means you can follow your passions during your off time.
You’re very lucky to have a job you love so much! For me, my “just a job” allows me to spend time with my family and do the hobbies I love without the pressure of being on call all the time or having to worry about how I’m going to bring in money this week. As long as you’ve got a job that allows you the balance to pursue whatever makes you happy (whether it’s the job itself, your life outside it, or both), then I say you’re on the right track!
If you’re thinking of following a passion, I’d definitely recommend checking out that link to Cordelia’s blog. She worked on her writing on the side for a few years to make sure that when she quit her job, she’d be secure enough that she wouldn’t have to freak out over things. I’ve seen lots of other bloggers do that. I think “side hustles,” as they call them, are a great way for people to explore their interests but not have to be worried about a paycheck in the meantime.
I left my job on the 31st of May. I say “left” because “quit” sounds so dramatic and confrontational but in reality I explained to the boss and boss boss that if I did not leave, I would regret it many years from now. After two weeks of lounging around my apartment, and not being completely exhausted by 5pm, I know I made the right decision.
I am slowly reverting back to a much more pleasant person, a nice change from the raving lunatic work made me. I wonder if my friends will even recognize me if I bump into them on the street?
Good for you! It sounds like you got out of a really horrible situation, and I’m so happy to hear that you’re already feeling better because of it.
It’s all about where your happiness lies. No one deserves to feel awful because of a job. Best wishes for you in whatever you’re going after next! 🙂
My job right now is just a job to me. I don’t enjoy the work that I do, and that is why I want to change things up! 🙂
Then do it! You deserve to be happy in your day to day life, and you can totally make that happen. What are your plans for changing things up?
I’m gonna say it’s both. I know that one day, years from now, I don’t want to be here. But right now, my job is actually pretty fun sometimes and the things I’m learning are things that will definitely help me in any of my future endeavors. AND I get paid for good experience and to be around some pretty cool people.
Then that’s all that matters! When the day comes that you no longer feel you’re happy where you are, then you can change things. As long as you’re getting more pros than cons right now and feel overall “balanced,” I’d say you’re doing pretty good. 🙂
I’m on the fence. I like what I do and I make a decent paycheck. I am in a lot of debt so I’m working on “side hustles” so I can do home improvements and pay off debts. So quitting wouldn’t even be an option right now. However, if the scenario were different, I’m not sure I like my job enough to stay if I didn’t HAVE to. My kids are little (4 and 7) and I wish that I could spend more time with them than I do now. I guess I’m in pursuit of a balanced happiness. 🙂
The best pursuit to be in! I’m wishing you all the best…things will pay off in the end!
I completely agree with you! I LOVE the predictability of having my paycheck every two weeks and knowing exactly what it’s going to be. I would not be cut out for the craziness of being out on my own. I don’t LOVE my job, but I don’t hate it either.
That’s the same boat I’m in. I don’t even know what I’d do to make money if I didn’t have a regular job. (Although starting a doggie daycare at home does sound like the best thing ever, if I had to choose.) 🙂
I’m not going to argue because I understand that you are right, to each his own. You can condemn the people who are okay with the system and also, I like the idea that you can leave your work at the office after 5 o’clock. Then you can just focus on more important stuff like your family and bonding with them. A lot also enjoy cooking dinner and doing household chores and working at home sometimes doesn’t allow you to do that. So it’s definitely a personal choice.
It really is. I don’t judge people who choose to go either way…if working for yourself works for you, that’s great! If you’re happy in a “normal” job, that’s great too! The main thing is that you’re happy, period. 🙂
Definitely something to think about. I think it’s hard for people not to take their jobs too seriously since we spend so much of our time there. It can be frustrating to be spending so many hours of your life doing something that doesn’t fulfill you! I know it’s easier said than done, but I think people shouldn’t settle on a job that doesn’t make them happy. It will always end up affecting the rest of their life!
Absolutely. If I didn’t like the job I have right now, I’d definitely be looking for something else. Just because I like the structure of a regular schedule doesn’t mean I’d just go for any old job…it’s all about what makes you happiest!