How do I quit my 9 to 5 job? Maybe this is a question that you have asked yourself on a number of occasions. Maybe it’s something you’ve been wondering lately. Maybe you’ve been wondering whether you’ll actually ever be able to leave your 9 to 5 because you don’t know what else you would do in life. I’m with you on the last point, because I was at that very stage in 2019. I knew that the 9 to 5 life wasn’t for me, but I didn’t know what else I could, or wanted to do.
For many people, a 9 to 5 job is a necessary part of life. It pays the bills, puts food on the table, and allows for a comfortable lifestyle. However, life is much more than a job. A job is just one part, albeit a big one, of life. It is important for us to find balance between work and personal life, and to explore other aspects of life that bring us joy and fulfilment.
One of the biggest drawbacks of a 9 to 5 job is that it can be monotonous and repetitive. Doing the same thing day in and day out can be draining and uninspiring, which can inevitably leak into other areas of life. It can also lead to a lack of motivation and a feeling of being stuck in a rut, sometimes making it hard for us to even see how we can change our situation. It is important then to find ways to break up the monotony and add some variety to your life so that you don’t start to feel as if you are on a never-ending hamster wheel.
One way many people do this is to pursue hobbies and interests outside of work. Whether it is painting, hiking, cooking, or playing a musical instrument, having a passion outside of work can provide a sense of purpose and fulfilment. It can also be a great way to meet new people and learn new skills. Pursuing a hobby can also give you a sense of accomplishment and a feeling of being productive, even when you are not at work.
I’ve met many interesting people when I’ve been doing things not related to my job. And they’ve provided inspiration on other career avenues to explore. You never know who you are going to meet and making sure that you create connections that are unrelated to your work can help you to see and experience different ways of working and living.
Another way to break up the monotony of a 9 to 5 job is to take holidays and explore new places. Travelling can be a great way to recharge and gain a new perspective on your life. It can also be a way to experience new cultures and try new things which can be the catalyst to further change. Even if you cannot travel far, exploring your own city or town can be a fun way to discover new places and things to do. How many of us never really explore the area we live in? This can also give us a new appreciation for where we live. Try and be a tourist for a weekend in your own local area and see how that changes your perspective.
In addition to pursuing hobbies and interests and travelling, it is important to cultivate meaningful relationships with friends and family. Spending time with loved ones can be a source of joy and happiness. It can also provide support during difficult times and help you maintain a healthy work-life balance. This is sometimes the area hardest to commit yourself to. I’ve had many draining and exhausting weeks at work, and the last thing I wanted to do on my two precious days off was to sit and take part in family and social activities.
Granted not everyone feels this way and some welcome two days of immersing themselves in family and social engagements. However, those people are doing nothing but distracting themselves from the fact that their working life is not what they want it to be and are avoiding doing anything about it.
Finally, it is important to prioritise self-care. Taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, and mentally can help you feel more balanced and fulfilled in all areas of your life. This can include getting enough sleep, eating well, exercising regularly, and taking time for relaxation and self-reflection. But, if your 9 to 5 job is making it difficult to take care of yourself, then you may want to look at setting boundaries with yourself around your job. This was thing that I learned many years ago from seeing colleagues being made redundant. Despite having given their all to their job and their employers, the company found them easy to get rid of. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t show any loyalty to your employer, but be mindful of giving more of yourself when you are not seeing any benefit of this especially in your life outside of work.
If you know that you definitely want to leave that 9 to 5 job behind, how do you do it?
Getting out of a 9 to 5 job can be a challenging process, but it is possible with the right approach and mindset. I’ve listed some steps below that you can take to start moving towards a career or lifestyle that is more fulfilling, satisfying and true for you:
1. Identify your interests and passions
Start by taking some time to reflect on what you enjoy doing and what you are passionate about. Make a list of your hobbies, interests, and skills that you would like to develop further.
2. Research alternative careers or lifestyles
Once you have identified your interests and passions, start researching alternative careers or lifestyles that align with them. Look for industries or fields that interest you and explore different job titles or positions within those industries. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people you already know working in those areas and see if they can help.
3. Build your skills and experience
If you are interested in pursuing a new career, it may be necessary to build your skills and experience through education, training, or volunteering. Look for opportunities to gain experience in your chosen field or to develop new skills that will make you more competitive in the job market. The thought of going back into education or studying can be a barrier for some people especially if this is a faint distant memory. Try instead to think of it as an opportunity to springboard into a new life, rather than a cumbersome necessity.
4. Network and connect with others
Networking is an important part of finding a new career or lifestyle. Connect with people in your chosen field or industry through networking events, professional associations, or social media. You can also consider finding a mentor who can offer guidance and support as you navigate your career transition. You may already know someone in your family or social circles who could provide guidance.
5. Start small and be flexible
It is important to be realistic about your career goals and to start small. Consider taking on a part-time job or freelance work in your chosen field to gain experience and build your skills. You may also need to be flexible in your approach and be open to exploring different options until you find the right fit.
6. Stay positive and motivated
Transitioning out of a 9 to 5 job can be challenging, but it is important to stay positive and motivated throughout the process. Celebrate your successes and keep a positive attitude, even when things get tough. Remember why you are doing this in the first place. Remind yourself of the life you had in your 9 to 5 job. Chances are that you don’t want to go back there!
7. Seek support
Finally, don't be afraid to seek support from friends, family, or a professional career coach or counsellor. Talking to others about your goals and struggles can help you stay motivated and on track towards achieving your career or lifestyle aspirations.
Getting out of a 9 to 5 job requires a combination of self-reflection, research, skill-building, networking, flexibility, positivity, and support. Marc Anthony quoted:
‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’.
Who knows, your passions may turn into something more if you allow yourself to explore them.
If you are at a crossroads and would like support, you can book a free consultation call with me.