I left you all hanging for TWO WHOLE MONTHS! I’d apologize but I don’t feel like I need to, it has been a BUSY two months: painting our house, Thanksgiving, family visits, work trips, etc.etc. I’m happy everything has slowed down a bit and I can get back to my writing.
Today’s post is going to discuss some common myths about the 9-5. What is a 9-5 you ask? A 9-5 is what most people consider a salaried position where you go in to work at 9:00a and leave at 5:00p. The jobs have benefits, vacation time, sick days, and ~usually~ a cubical.
A lot of people aspire to have a 9-5 jobs when they’re in college because it means stability and more money. But there are also people out there who scoff at those who have a 9-5 because they think salaried people don’t work as hard. Whichever mindset you have, I’m here to debunk 3 myths about the 9-5 job.
1. There is little to no flexibility
In some jobs, this might be the case. But let me tell you, as the years move by, the “typical” 9-5 workday is changing. It might be changing slowly, but it IS changing. I am very lucky to have a boss that understands my needs and commitment to my company. If I come in 30 minutes late one day, he trusts that I will make up that work by either staying late or coming in early a different day that week.
The key part about having flexibility at your job is TRUST. If your boss trusts you and you get your work done every week, you are going to have an easier time coming in a little late or leaving a little early for a doctor’s appointment or your kid’s soccer game.
A lot of companies today are also open to having people work from home a couple days a week. At my job it isn’t as common, but if I desperately needed to be home, my boss would allow me. Once again, on the pretense that I will get all my work done and I’d be available all day.
The key is to ask about flexibility when interviewing for a job. If you know you need flexibility because you have to be home Mondays for a recurring appointment or Thursdays to pick your kid up from school, make sure you ask up front and learn what the expectation is. If you have a great resume and the company needs your expertise, they should be willing to work with you to fulfill your needs as an employee.
2. The job is not as intense
I envy anyone who has a relaxing job (if that even exists). Just because I sit at my desk all day does not mean I am not working a hard as someone in a labor job or a job that requires 10 meetings a day. Don’t get me wrong, there are moments when I’m monitoring Facebook for post engagement and I slide lightly off-track and check my own notifications, but I think everybody who has social media can be caught checking it a few times a day. It just happens to be a part of my job so it gets misconstrued as me being distracted or not working hard.
Additionally, most salaried positions do not stop work when they go home. They are typically on call 24/7 with emails coming through their phones and expectations to put in extra hours to get projects done. All, mind you, without getting paid overtime. However, I would gladly work a few extra hours a month if it means I still have some flexibility in my job. To me, it is a fair trade-off.
That said, there are people who work 70 hour work weeks on a 40 hour salary and THAT, my friends, is not fair.
3. The routine is boring
AS IF! I am a person who loves routine. I love knowing when I’m going to work and when I’ll be done. I enjoy having free weekends and knowing my weekends are free. I feel like I am able to plan my life around work and it makes it much less stressful when I have a set routine and schedule every day.
The routine has allowed me to become healthier and more fit because I’m able to plan time to make nutritious meals and go to the gym. I’m able to clean my house every weekend and work on my blog/reading/writing too. With my vacation time, I’m able to plan trips with my boyfriend and visit my family.
Sometimes a routine can seem boring, but the key is to switch it up every so often. But, having the structure of a 9-5 still allows for planning, even if it is planning different tasks or events every weekend. There is still the guarantee that there will be no work on the weekends (or whichever days you have off).
I get it, the traditional 9-5 does not work for most people. It doesn’t work for me either! But the structure and concept of the 9-5 is still very much alive and well. Companies need to learn to adapt their 9-5 expectations to match those of their employees. If they don’t, they’ll lose some really great people to another company that offers flexibility, better vacation, and the ability to feel comfortable coming in late or asking to work from home.