I mean, when I was at school it was the only option presented to us. Every careers session was a repetition of the same old ‘choose the best uni you can get into, do an academic degree that will be broad enough for any career path then settle into a traditional career path at a well-known company’.
The only options outside of the traditional 9-5 were more creative careers, like becoming an Artist (DEFINITELY not happening with my terrible drawing stills) or an Actress – something which, let’s be honest, seemed like a total pipe dream even for those who were genuinely talented.
Then, social media happened. Suddenly that blogging hobby of mine was making quite a few people a pretty impressive income and anyone with a flair for videography and photography was quickly building a huge following for themselves. I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel any form of temptation to give it a go myself, and seeing so many people achieve their dreams as influencers made it all seem far more tangible than becoming the next pop superstar or Hollywood muse.
But…as dreamy as a career as being an influencer does seem, it’s a pretty intense career path full of pressure to ‘keep up with the Joneses’ and land ever more amazing brand deals. So, the more reflection I’ve done the more I’ve become relieved that my career is ‘influencer adjacent’ and a traditional 9-5.
More and more I feel like modern society puts pressure on us to be ‘more’. We’re regularly exposed to news articles and documentaries about people who have spun millions, even billions, out of seemingly thin air through clever business ideas or amassing a huge, loyal social media following. These stories make us believe that masses of wealth, fame and success are within our grasp, and that anyone can achieve it. But…do we really all want that? What sacrifices are really made to achieve such wild career heights? And, is there really anything wrong with colouring within the lines when it comes to our jobs?
Personally, I like having a more traditional career, set hours in the office and real head space on the weekends and evenings. I do what I am paid to do, I enjoy my work hours and once they’re over I have the time to maintain a healthy social life, work out and write the occasional post for my blog.
As much as I love the fantasy of working for myself and being an influencer, I think the reality would be far more intense and stressful than my current situation and I can see myself falling into bad habits of working until late in the evening, constantly checking my emails and skipping meals when my schedule is really full.
So, if you also are feeling the pressure to be ‘bigger than’ a traditional 9-5 career, I suggest re-focusing on the positives of a job that allows you more headspace. Here’s the positives that I focus on when I feel myself daydreaming about a more freelance lifestyle:
I hope hearing some of my positives to working a 9-5 are helpful, social media makes the ‘celebrity lifestyle’ seem far more tangible to us average Joes but it doesn’t mean we have to lust after it. There’s nothing wrong with being happy with what you’ve got, and we don’t all have to desire the highest levels of success and fame!