Yay, it's the weekend! No more bosses and no more office politics, just sweet, sweet freedom. You've ground it out all week long, being wrenched out of bed by your blaring alarm and fighting traffic only to do it again the next day. But now, during the weekend, you can finally take the time to be you. You can indulge your hobbies and catch up with your friends and family and sleep as long as your little heart desires.
Do you feel this way or know lots of people that do? According to JT O'Donnell, the founder and chief executive of careers website WorkItDaily.com, over 70 per cent of people dislike their jobs and cannot wait to get through the daily grind to reach the weekend. Odds are, you fall into this category and experience it as normal. To me, this is a terrifying idea.
The Pursuit of Wonder YouTube channel crunched the numbers on what living for the weekend means, in terms of how much life we actually enjoy if that's our case. If the only enjoyment we get is on the weekend, instead of living for a decent 85 years, we end up only enjoying and being awake for 11 years of our adult lives. That's it. Would you only want to live for 11 years after finishing university? That's like dying at the age of 32.
I want more than 11 good years of life; I want to grab back as much of my time as possible. I want to live with maximum passion, maximum engagement and maximum fulfilment. Doesn't that sound better than being miserable five days out of seven?
There are ways out of this though. You don't have to become grist to the mill of a miserable nine to five job. You can reclaim a huge chunk of your life. Here are three solutions that I've either done, or am working towards accomplishing.
Find passions outside work you can do during the week
Develop your curiosities into skills. Find other people who love the same things you do and put your smartphone down to have real conversations with them instead of the cheap replica of interaction that social media offers us. Be present with your family, your friends, your hobbies or religion or whatever community you can get great face-to-face interactions with. For me, that's music, chess, cooking and helping people with their personal finance issues. You don't have to make money from this stuff, but it's a bonus if you do.
Find a new job
If you really loathe your working week, start talking to recruiters in your field. Contact old co-workers who are happy in their new gigs and see what they have at their company. Let them know to keep you in mind when the next opening comes around. Be flexible about where you work and your career path, because maybe you need to change those things too. You never know if you will like a job until you try it. Let "the grass is always greener on the other side" philosophy help you for once by overcoming your natural fears and inertia.
Pursue financial independence
Buy enough income-producing assets like stocks, bonds and real estate and lower your expenses enough and you could just quit your job because you will no longer need the monthly pay cheque. Or, you could take a lower paying job that you enjoy more, because your assets would fill in the gap in income. Alternatively, with your newfound financial confidence, tell your boss you will no longer do the parts of your job you hate, instead zoning in on the areas you really care about. I've heard a number of stories from those who are financially independent and actually became better at their jobs by doing this. Some even ended up securing promotions due to their focus and enjoyment of their redefined roles.
Don't let hatred for your job rob you of 40 years of life. And don't be miserable for the vast majority of your waking hours. We only get one life. Don't waste it.