The not-so-safe 9-5 office job

June 8, 2009


There’s about a 95% chance I’ll be losing my steady office job at the end of August.

Don’t worry, I’ve already taken many deep breaths and clamped down on the muttered curses.

This isn’t an elephant-sized surprise.  I was hired on a 1-year contract with the potential for continuing employment.  And although my bosses have said they’d like to keep me on, budget costs are being cut and the company I work for can only afford to upkeep the tech guys.  The general research staff (aka…me) are being considered disposable unless things change between now and then.  They won’t really have the work available to keep me busy nor the money necessary to feed my wallet.

When I was presented with this tidbit of information, I didn’t freak.  Surprise!  Actually…I kind of breathed a sigh of relief.  Okay, well first I laughed about my assumption that my 9-5 grind was such a safe and secure bet.  And that there was no way I was disposable with such a solid education beneath my belt.  Shows me.

I’ll tell you why this wasn’t such a bad revealing though.

  1. I hate the job anyways. I’m getting paid laugh-worthy wages to do stuff I didn’t sign up for.  Most of the time, I have nothing to do.  So I spend my time staring at a blank computer screen.  I even contemplate stabbing my eyeballs out with two straws and blowing them like spitballs at office mates on occasion.  Yes, it really is that boring.  This job fulfills me about as much as that week I tried a coffee diet.  Think I’m joking?  I actually filled out an application to be an elephant groom at African Lion Safari just to escape its clutches.
  2. I have a back-up plan. My previous employer (whom I absolutely adore) has reminded me on more than one occasion that her door is always open.  Sure, it’s still in the research field, not completely in the direction I’d like to be heading.  But it’s something.  Whether I can get part-time or full-time work with her, at least I’m promised some sense of security with a paycheck for the time being.
  3. I have an excuse to aggressively pursue my true dreams and career aspirations. I can finally devote more of my focus and time to getting my freelance business off the ground.  When I gave the news to my dad about my potential job loss, even he said: “It’s probably the best thing that could happen to you.”  And he’s right.  Because I’m not happy where I am or with what I’m doing.  I’m not stimulated, I have no sense of self-progression, and all I’ve gotten out of the deal is a wallop of frustration.

Ed Gandia’s post at The Wealthy Freelancer made a great evaluation of the current economic climate and increasing lay-offs when he said:

That’s why I’m confident that a large percentage of these “funemployed” will come back (when their severance and savings run out!) as freelancers and solo professionals – not as corporate execs. They want the high pay, but they’re not willing to compromise too much to get it. Which means that in many cases they’ll have to settle for less until they build their solo careers.

But I think most of them will be OK with that. The freedom to design the life they want and live by their own rules will be the biggest reward. And it won’t be long before many of them are earning more (and doing more of what they want) than they did in their corporate jobs.

So for the rest of you facing a similar situation, here’s to working twice as hard for twice the rewards!  We’re all going to be just fine.




  1. Wish you the best in the new adventure that lies before you. I just want to say that whatever you do, do it with calm thought

  2. Thanks Miguel! I wish the same for you. I hope your game design is going well.

  3. Change is the one constant, right? Best of luck on your search for a new work home. This might be a good opportunity to ask, what would my ideal workplace be like? Then go for it, one step at a time. You can do it! Have faith!

    P.S. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll too!

  4. Thanks Stacy!

    You’re definitely right. Being adaptable is such an important quality to have in today’s work climate. I think by keeping a positive and open mind, and taking one step at a time, I’ll be able to successfully re-vision my path.

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