Imagine working incredibly hard at school, only to get to a decent uni. Only to find a job, not your dream job, but good enough for it to be considered a career. A couple of years later, you find the love of your life, and settle down in a nice commuter town. Soon after you have children, and if you are the female in the household, the you’re at least grateful you can afford childcare, so you can soon return to work. Yet you find yourself stuck in the same old position at work, because balancing life as it is, is simply draining. Although it is nice at weekends, when you are able to spend some quality time with your children, however you do notice that your husband is becoming increasingly distant. Five years on, you two finally divorce, and while your husband says he is willing to take equal care of the children, you soon learn that by that he means have them round say once a month ffor a sleepover…
So I am guessing this may not be the life you want, but least it offers some kind of stability. But come on, we all know it is far away from the dream.
Some Background info
For a start, the 9-5 job can absorb so much of our time and energy. Nevertheless the 8 hour day was actually a reform made by the US government, which was regulated under the Fair Labor Standards Act which still stands today. Only after years of campaigning for, while the idea initially stemmed from British socialist, Robert Owen, who argued about the importance of protecting the worker’s well being.
Yet we have moved on from this time period. Perhaps it would be nice if every worker actually felt valued as an important member of a team. But sadly this is rare. So instead the only real thing you can do to acquire more freedom would be to start from scratch on your own. Maybe as a freelancer, or as a creator of something bigger. Thinking you would be better off as you no longer have to work pointlessly long hours. But in reality, most entrepreneurs have to put in far more hours, just to keep the business ticking along.
Feminism and Entrepreneurship
Is working super hard, acquiring success and balancing 101 things at once the strongest force of feminism out there? One of this year’s Superbowl commercials featured uninspired people at an uninspiring office job, but then just as the clock turned 5pm, all came to life. The glum offices, turned into a rush of colour, movement and glam. Yet while I may be reading too much into this, it does suggest too much of the focus on mainstream feminism is on output.
“But it’s Boring”
Most would agree that working hard on repetitive tasks, in a stuffy office for the largest chunk of our lives, is pretty boring. Because then what happens to any kinds of dreams of travelling, creating, or just having a little bit of freedom to actually find or create yourself. This way, the only way to enable us to potentially have these dreams is by working in a job that we really want to be doing, and if this means creating it yourself, then so be it. But from reading comments from forums (again), I got the impression that those knocking the 9-5 job, didn’t necessarily realise the obstacles which come with this.
But What’s the Alternative?
I also noticed a common pattern in that while those who did work a 9-5 job wished they didn’t, those who didn’t work 9-5 jobs, wish they did. And it is not surprising, considering the funny hours which come with other jobs. Once again, when someone runs their own business, they would usually have to be putting 9-5 hours anyway, not to mention any other hours they may be having to do.
So is it Worth it
There are always going to be creatives out there, while the classic office hours are likely to become less common place, partly thanks to technology and partly thanks to covid… But it is important to be more resistant to the pressure out there that encourages people to be entrepreneurs for the sake of it, not to mention that workers, in what ever industry, really ought to be valued more than what they are currently.