Friday has come! You are at last free from work and have the entire weekend to rest and catch up with friends! However, after a weekend of fun and free of work-related stress, Sunday night rolls around and you remember what the rest of the week entails. With disappointment, you roll out from under your sheets on Monday morning thinking: “Only 5 more days until Friday.”
If this sounds like you, you’re not alone. We are beginning a paradigm shift that is allowing more millennials to reevaluate the ways we perceive work-life satisfaction, and as our culture is shifting, so is the job market. Currently, there are more freelancing opportunities and short-term contract jobs than ever before, and the numbers just continue to grow. In fact, a recent study by Upwork suggests that freelancers will take up most of the entire workforce in a decade, transforming the labor market into what experts call a “gig economy.”
Adults of previous generations relied on consistent full-time jobs in order to ensure financial success. You may have heard your parents or grandparents stress the importance of finding a long-term job with benefits and retirement. However, today’s young adults are choosing non-conforming routes due to an increased desire for entrepreneurship and independence, multiple income streams, flexibility in schedule, and pursuit of passions.
This doesn’t mean regular office jobs are becoming obsolete. It just means that our generation is being presented with opportunities that weren’t available before, thanks in large part to technological advances in the past two decades.
Thinking of joining this new emerging workforce? Here are some signs that a regular full-time job may actually not be for you:
- You are not satisfied with your job, but you find yourself saying, “I have to do this.”
If your work lifestyle feels forced, that may be an indication that you are stuck living a life you do not want or need. If you feel like you have no other option, ask yourself, “Where did I learn that this was the only route for me? Is this true?”
- You dread the work week. Every week.
It’s okay to feel disconnected from work sometimes. However, you may want to reconsider your chosen lifestyle if you are feeling this way every week. Considering a full-time work life from ages 18 – 67, an average working person will spend about 92,000 hours working. Approximately 20% of your waking life may be spent in dread!
- You have passions that feel like “secrets”.
When I worked a 9 -5 job, I looked forward to my after-work yoga classes. During work, I even tried to sneak in ways to stretch and meditate, so much that it felt like I was having an affair with another career. But now I’m a yoga teacher! And that means no more cheating!
Pursuing a non-traditional work lifestyle can come with it’s own challenges. 401K and benefits may not be available, and income may take some time to grow. You’ll need to work hard to develop your desired lifestyle, ensuring that you have the proper plans and goals in place. Either way, you have the choice as to which lifestyle to pursue!
Maybe the 9-5 lifestyle isn’t for you and that’s okay! The world is waiting for your gifts anyway, whether that’s throughout a 40 hour week or not. Choose what is right for you, and everything will fall into place!
“Follow your own passion—not your parents’, not your teachers’—yours.” —Robert Ballard
by Monica Larrea