• Working for The Man Makes Me Happy

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    I love cubicles

    Home Sweet Home

    image: Tim Patterson

    I’ve been working at an office job for the past seven years. I’ve been commuting to the same place, day after day, to complete tasks given to me by my superiors. Sucks, right?

    HELL NO. I love it.

    (what now?)

    Sometime in the past few years of personal finance blogging, it has become de riguer to extol the virtues of entrepreneurship as the BEST. THING. EVER. Because going to the office is for suckers. And people with no ambition. And people who have a lot of cats.

    Entrepreneurship, while commendable, isn’t a panacea. Working for yourself comprises many activities that are assigned to many people in larger businesses: accountant, marketer, worker, janitor, buyer, seller, secretary administrative assistant etc. Sure, your money isn’t coming directly from “the man,” but who do you think is paying you? CLIENTS. Now you’re not working for one of “the man” but many of “the man” (men?). Just as I can get canned if the company I work for downsizes, your freelance clients can decide that they don’t need you anymore.

    There are whole fields in which it is close to impossible to be self-employed. When was the last time you ran into a freelance molecular biologist? Pharmacist? Aeronautical engineer? Those in highly specialized fields generally have to work for someone else in order to pursue their passions.

    Entrepreneurs like to brag about how they’re more likely to become a millionaire or about how their schedules allowed them to travel to awesome places. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have a chance of becoming a millionaire because I’m working for someone else. Also, between Her and I, we’ve traveled to almost every major American city and over 10 countries.

    Let me tell you a few reasons why I love my AMBITIOUSLESS, SOUL-SUCKING, 9-TO-5, WORKING FOR THE MAN job:

    • Everyday Routine - Predictability is a good thing in my life, especially since we have another little mouth to feed. The everyday routine helps me to stay focused and look forward to
    • Welcoming Camaraderie - My coworkers are some of the most intelligent people I know. Most of them have interesting backgrounds and hobbies that help give the workplace a welcoming, quirky feel.
    • Focused Workload – I don’t have to go out and get new clients, balance the books, or mop the floors. I use almost daily the skills that I obtained in graduate school.
    • Near-term Stability – Our company is increasing its revenue and we barely can keep with the workload that we have. Knowing where my paychecks are coming from for at least the next few months is greatly comforting considering that we have a new baby around the house.
    • Fantastic Location – It is an awesome privilege to work in the middle of downtown Chicago. I have access to a plethora of cultural activities that I often enjoy during my lunch break.
    • Lacking Self-Discipline – I’m like a magpie and everything in my life is a shiny object. My office at my job has stuff that is related to work only. I’m able to keep focused and not head over to a TV and blow a few hours catching up on Battlestar Galactica.

    This all said, I do have a job in which I can eventually freelance. And maybe it’ll be in my future. But for right now, I’m as happy as a clam. (they’re happy, right?)


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