Hard Truths: The 9 to 5 American Hustle

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The daily grind for most people today is working eight-to-twelve-hour shifts. Subsistence living or more commonly known living referred to as “paycheck to paycheck.” The wait until pay day can feel like forever and even like all that labor wasn’t worth it. The pay and the cost of living these days just isn’t adding up. No matter how much money we make the costs of everything just continues to increase. Minimum wage has not yet caught up to the price of gas or rent.

As a recent college graduate these truths have never felt so real. Living in a decent space for rent under a thousand dollars by yourself was more feasible four years ago. Now there is really not many places that are considered decent being priced at anywhere from twelve hundred to fifteen hundred dollars in California.

The economical trap of working a nine to five has been stifling because I know we are all worth so much more. Most nine to five options aren’t done out of passion, but survival. Thus, doing something you love or even happen the opportunity is rare.

Fortunately, it’s been so inspiring to see many people creating their own opportunities towards financial freedom since the pandemic. Entrepreneurship has been at an all-time high with many leaning into their passions and creating small businesses. I can identify personally with feeling more self-aware of my own potential to be much more than a nine to five since the pandemic started.

My self-worth is much more than a nine to five can ever be. Working for the someone other than yourself in this capitalism world can have you feeling powerless. You are at the whim of a work schedule or on call and it gives you no time to really do anything else. Yes, you are making money, but it has you stunted to living paycheck to paycheck while you make a bulk of the money for someone else.

Working for yourself is a dream. I aspire to change this at some point by following my passion to write. I want to work on my own schedule and not have to worry about a job where I am disposable at any moment. I want to offer my writing services to help others find their voice while writing, as well as continuing to work on my own writing projects.

We must not allow ourselves to stay in the trap but use it as our seed money to invest in ourselves for the moment. Our parents and generations before us often did not get to chase their dreams because of their circumstances, but that doesn’t have to be us now. The innovations we have in front of us with technology and opportunity gives is far from accessibility to reach our dreams more than ever.

Following your dreams is logical don’t let anyone tell you it’s not practical or to settle for the nine to five. It’s a new time where nine to five can now be a stepping stone and not the end all be all.

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