May 17, 2015

How To Escape The 9 to 5 Grind

The alarm is going off. If you don’t wake up right now, you’re going to be late and you’re boss will be mad. We all know this feeling and I don’t know anyone that looks forward to it. Maybe it’s time to escape the 9 to 5 and start enjoying your life.

For millions of people around the globe, daily life revolves around the drudgery of the morning commute, the groundhog day effect of office life, the endless hours of staring at a computer screen, living for the weekends, and missing out on the things they enjoy. That’s no way to go through life. Don’t get stuck in a job you hate. Life is short. You need to enjoy every second of it.

Man Looking Skyward PhotoToo many people get stuck in the 9 to 5 grind. It’s scary to escape the safety of office life, but in today’s tech-savvy world it’s becoming more and more common. If you really truly want a remote, flexible, location-independent lifestyle, you can do it. And it’s surprisingly not as hard to do as you might think.

The first step is to make a plan. Determine what your dream really is. Remember it needs to be realistic – you can’t become a king and never work again. Your plan must include income replacement. Then you need to determine if you would rather work three hours a day to spend more time with your family, work in the evenings so you can ski or surf all day, or work from your laptop while sitting in a hammock on a Caribbean island. This isn’t retirement, but this can be your reality.

Make your plan and then design your own lifestyle. You still have to work, but find a career path where you can set your own rules. Here are a few popular escape routes to consider:

  • Start your own business. – Entrepreneurship is a big task. Can you provide a service or sell a product? Do something that you enjoy. Often you’ll work more than 40 hours per week to get your business off the ground, but your time is spent on you.
  • Choose a unique job or outdoor job. – There are plenty of non-desk jobs to choose from. Find a job that keeps you out of the office and on the move. It’ll make you a happier and healthier person.
  • Flip seasons. – At JobMonkey, we love seasonal jobs. Not only do you get to work cool jobs during the summer and winter, but you get to enjoy your off seasons. Most seasonal jobs involve being outside and having fun.
  • Seek out freelance opportunities. – Freelancers have to find their own work (which is easier than ever online). You can also set your own schedule and work where you want to work.
  • Telecommute. – Telecommuting saves everybody time and money. Many employers are open to the idea of letting you work remotely. Ask your boss to let you telecommute.
  • Compress your work week. – Instead of working five 8-hour days, try to work four 10-hour days. You’ll have an extra day to play.
  • Switch to part time. – Instead of working full time, try part time. You’ll have lots of extra time to explore your alternative job options, while still making a regular paycheck.
  • Make money online. – Sell things on eBay or Etsy. Start an online store. Become a blogger. Thousands of people make a healthy living online and reap the rewards of a “virtual office.”
  • Move abroad. – Some countries are obsessed with maximizing work hours, while other countries are a bit more laid back. Find a country where you can embrace the culture and work ethic.

It’s a daunting task to start something new.  It’s unlikely that you will be an instant success overnight. Determination is the key to escaping the 9 to 5 rat race. Make a plan and stick with it. Remember the wise saying, it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert.

If you truly want to escape the 9 to 5, you should read Timothy Ferris’ book, The Four Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join The New Rich. It’s a good read with many useful tips, productivity hacks, and proven ideas.

So what’s holding you back from escaping the 9 to 5 grind? Is it the money? The fear of the uncertainty? The desire to remain unhappy? They say money can’t buy happiness, so what can buy happiness? The time and the ability to do what you want. Go out and make that time. It will be the best thing you ever do.

About this Author 

Derek Lennon is a skier and writer who lives, works, and plays in the mountains. He travels the globe in search of snow and adventure. Life has allowed him to live and work all over the world doing cool jobs and loving every minute of it.

Sign up for our newsletter!