Always thought to myself what life after university would be like, never thought I’d be working for myself. Okay I knew the normal jobs my parents expected of me was never going to happen, wanted something exciting rather than sitting on a desk with a resounding yes sir/ma echoing in the background, knew I wanted to be around fashion or create (which was an escape from me in high school during those boring physics/chemistry classes oops! couldn’t try it for further maths, it was a you snooze you lose situation *LOL
Fast forward to living & loving the life of a creative without a 9-5. For me it gets confusing you need a strong sense of discipline, you need to constantly think of ways to stay relevant and make money because there’s no comfort of paycheck coming in every month end.
Founder TTCF & TheBloggersWorkshop
In light of May being “Mental Awareness Month” I decided to ask a few creatives and through the question out there needed to know I wasn’t alone and I hope it helps you too.
TUTU ADETUMBI (@Tuziade)
Not having a 9-5 is not as easy as it looks. Yes, you now have control over your time but that is exactly why it is not easy. You are in control of your own salary, your time, your mood, how effective you are and at the end, the results of your work. It can be quite daunting at the beginning when you are trying to balance it all and still find success in your chosen field, you will have days of doubt and days of complete confidence in your abilities but don’t worry, it comes with the territory. Being a freelancer is like tasting completely new food everyday, you don’t know what you are going to get.
My advice, surround yourself with friends and acquaintances that are also freelancing and have a 9-5 (hey, it’s good to know how it’s going in that world), keep your mind busy and never stop learning and remember that now, you are your own teacher, judge and executioner of your affairs, so don’t be too hard on yourself. It’ll all come together in due time.
Keep your mind busy and never stop learning– CLICK TO TWEET
You will have days of doubt and days of complete confidence in your abilities but don’t worry, it comes with the territory.– CLICK TO TWEET
Since I graduated from uni, I’ve never worked a 9-5 because I knew what I wanted to do right away. I knew I was going to be an entrepreneur . I will be writing from someone that has never had a 9-5 but have lived with people that have and know their experiences and I will also be writing from the perspective of a business owner.
One of the things I love as an entrepreneur, is having the freedom to do whatever I please at whatever time. I love going to the gym during weekdays( this means more than you might think it is) and staying off work when I feel like I’m getting burnt out. I get to reboot and be in a clean mental space to start again. I also get full time to run and grow my business.
But like everything, there is always a dark side. When I first started, I had no employee and did everything by myself. I had the worst burnout and I still didn’t take time out for myself because I didn’t want to be “lazy”. I equated taking time off for myself to being lazy, which was totally wrong. Another negative is working overtime and not know when to stop. Some days I work till 2 am in the morning getting barely any sleep in and my days is already messed up. Things like this grew my anxiety to a higher level than it was before
There is also the pressure of not giving up and the fear of being part of the 50% that fail in 5years so you are pressured to put on a brave face and keep on going even when you feel like giving up. You bottle all these up and it messes with you. The months I’m not doing as great I think I should be doing are the worst. I get so down( I don’t want to use the word depressed loosely) that I don’t even want to get out of bed. There are thousand of voices in your head telling you how much of a failure you are and how you should be doing so much better. I still struggle with this part sometimes.
Over the years, I’ve learned to navigate these problems and I’m still learning every day. I like the stability of a 9-5 and I think it is extremely underrated. People like to see entrepreneur like it’s the only way to be a “mogul”. I think that is false.
Entrepreneurship is not for everyone, Entrepreneurship is hard work. You have to be sure you can go through a lot of phases mentally. Although I have been doing this for almost four years, I still get surprised by a lot of things. It’s not an easy road to travel but I won’t change it for anything.
People like to see entrepreneur like it’s the only way to be a “mogul”.
I think that is false.– CLICK TO TWEET
I had four jobs in 18 months because i kept looking to see why i was so unhappy with the first three jobs. During this period, I met fashion and i started reading, watching and came to the realization that this was what i needed to do, I started selling thrifted backpacks and sunglasses initially while still going to my 9-5. My last 9-5 was a publishing firm and it was extremely demanding, Mentally and physically. Out of frustration, I walked in to my boss’s office and quit. I had zero idea of what i was going to do next, And this took a huge toll on me because i went into depression. What i did next was to cut back and start saving money, I knew i wanted to be in the fashion business but did not know which part exactly, So i drafted a list to see what parts of fashion i could shine in And that was when I discovered I could be a stylist and personal shopper.
SHOPENKAY was birthed (my main source of livelihood) I also decided to be a plus size model because as at when i started, there weren’t a lot, And apart from the need for media representation, I wanted to also have that extra source of income. So if you ask me,
Do I regret quitting my 9-5? Absolutely not! I would have been miserable if i kept at it, It made me insane and my mental health was much more important, All my creativity would have been limited and boxed and that would have really made me unhappy, + I wear whatever the hell i want lol, I especially love this because this is where my creativity shines.
I wear whatever the hell I want– CLICK TO TWEET
Having a 9-5 comes with a lot of benefits contrary to what people think. There’s assurance of a steady income, job security, job discipline, community and network it provides. The year started with me as a freelancer. Having worked in a 9-5 and enjoyed these benefits, I was afraid terribly. Self doubt came in. Can I do this? Can I attract clients? Will they respect me? On days where I had no Clients I would feel so down. Income wasn’t as steady as I wanted it to be. Things started to pick up a little bit and eventually I became comfortable with it. Eventually I went back to a 9-5 not because I didn’t believe in myself anymore, but because I found that I had not disciplined myself well enough to be on my own. Sometimes protecting your mental health also means doing what’s right for you.
Now that I’m in the 9-5 I crave being a freelancer. I miss the creative freedom that came with it. Thankfully, my work place gives me the room to express myself.
Sometimes protecting your mental health also means doing what’s right for you.– CLICK TO TWEET
THOUGHTS SHARED FROM OTHER AMAZING CREATIVES VIA IG
Thank you to everyone who made this post possible, Please share your thoughts and experiences 🙂