My name is Jess and I work in an office.
Since the rise of the ‘girlboss’, it feels like social media equates working in an office to working in hell. People who work in offices are unhappy, miserable, have no motivation or drive and are slaves to the 9-5 grind/the man.
But that just isn’t true.
Sure working for yourself sounds pretty incredible – You don’t think I get jealous when my husband (who has his own business) rolls out of bed at 9am and is home for 3pm? That he gets to keep everything he makes? (apart from the tax man’s cut – obvs). That he feels totally fulfilled in the job he has chosen? Because I do, I really do. I think of an alternative universe where I had a career that I could do from home, where I could make my own hours and didn’t have to answer to anyone…But unfortunately that is not my reality and my qualifications and skills wouldn’t allow that.
Every now and again I think of how nice it would be to work from home but the reality is, working for myself and running my own business just wouldn’t suit me or my lifestyle.
I wouldn’t want the responsibility for a start. It’s nice knowing that when I receive my pay slip at the end of every month, my tax, national insurance and pension have already been deducted and I don’t have to worry about them. I don’t have to worry about insurance, staff, technical issues, legalities…Things that you have to keep in mind when you work for yourself.
The stability is pretty nice aswell as I don’t have to worry about how I’m going to pay my bills – My money is there by dinnertime on the 23rd of every month like clockwork. I don’t have to worry about chasing anyone for payment, I don’t have to worry about the work drying up (to an extent anyway, redundancy is a thing of course), I don’t have to worry about holiday or sickness pay…I get my wage every month regardless.
On top of this, working Monday-Friday, 9-5 isn’t actually a bad thing. I see so many freelancers who have stayed up all night working to meet deadlines, who have been on social media (in the name of work) when they are on holiday with their loved ones, who have worked their arses off over the weekend when they should have been relaxing. At least having set hours means that I get two full days off where I don’t have to worry about work – I know that if I worked for myself, the temptation to open up my MacBook to check emails on a Sunday night would be far too great and I would probably end up working every hour that I was awake.
I’ve seen first hand how time consuming running your own business is. My Mum will get texts and calls from clients wanting to book appointments when she’s at home. Jody will have to go out on an evening to do quotes for new customers. Photographers stay up editing photos so they can send them to their clients in a decent time. It’s great if you have the skills to be your own boss but man, unless you have some serious self control, it’s a 24/7 job.
I guess all I’m trying to say is that whether you work in an office or at home (or a salon or on a construction site – WHATEVER), whether your work for someone else or for yourself, your job, your career – it’s still valid and it’s still important.
Working in an office has it’s perks, it also has it’s downfalls.
Working for yourself has it’s perks, working for yourself has it’s downfalls.
Do whatever you feel comfortable doing but more importantly, find something that doesn’t make you want to bang your head off a brick wall/cry in the staff toilets.
Did I see myself doing the admin and basic accounts for a local construction company? No, no I didn’t but I’m happy here. The role is varied, the people are nice and the wage is pretty sexy. It’s round the corner from my house so I get home in approx. 2.5 minutes. I can also squeeze in a dog walk or a gym session on my lunch break which is pretty sweet.
It has it’s perks, unlike a previous accounts role I held where it took 40 minutes to get there (thanks to the horrendous traffic), the job was boring, the people were weird and I got ZERO mobile phone reception so I couldn’t even connect with the people who I love, making the job a million times more lonely than it already was.
That job was so bad it made me realise that I didn’t care what I did, aslong as I was happy doing so. Doesn’t matter if that meant working in a shop, an office or at home, I just didn’t want to do something where I cried because of how much I hated it or how lonely I felt
So to summarise, don’t assume that just because I work for somebody else in an office role that I’m miserable or uncreative (or, as I saw on Twitter once, ‘rotting away’).
Working in an office might not be for you, but it works for me.
And I’m happy here.