I’ve successfully completed my first four months in the 9-5 corporate hustle. You’re probably thinking, “Jo, you’re such a damn impostor, how can you possibly be shutting up and going if you’re shutting up and getting secretary’s butt?” Hold your tomatoes everyone, let me explain.
Back in the Summer, I was so broke after graduation that I was sleeping on a couch (shout out to you Paige) and working as a grocery delivery girl (because it was the ONLY job that I found with flexible day-to-day schedule to give me travel time). In the midst of my ever-so-glamorous summertime city life, I had an epiphany. My $75,000 of debt wouldn’t get paid off with crappy tips from housewives in Tribeca. I was doomed to get swallowed by my debt if I didn’t create an action plan.
I had avoided using my international management degree; in fact, I couldn’t even use it if I wanted to because my university took nine months to send it my way. Deep down, when it came to managing my future career I wanted to avoid the 9-5 all together because I 1) I have a disease called entrepreneurship and 2) because I know that all o’ dis can’t be tamed by corporate America.
Then the “Joanna, Friendly Reminder Your First Loan Payment is Due in a Few Months” email started haunting my inbox.
As if my nearly $100k debt wasn’t bad enough, I also had credit card debt from traveling and working unpaid internships for two years to “get ahead,” and although Paige’s couch was the perfect cozy bed for an entire month, I seriously needed to move into my first NYC apartment.
Things were gettin’ a lil crusty in my financial reservoirs.
So before I could even formulate this master plan to pay my loans off and still have the time and money to travel, I get a phone call about an interview with a travel company I had applied for six months before. After telling the interviewers about Shut Up and Go and how Damon and I had traveled all over the world while in college to film the show, they asked me a question that I’ll never forget; “We see you, we hear you, and most importantly, we feel you. What’s going to keep someone like you motivated in this job?”
Damn. Ya got me there.
I told them the truth, sort of.
I bluntly said that I had debt like every other desperate graduate, and rent to pay in the not-so-cheap NYC. Beyond that, I expressed that I live, breathe, and eat travel so everything I learn in the company would motivate me. This part was true.
Now, the problem was that the position was a 9-5, and even though I loved the people interviewing me, I couldn’t lie to my “Shut Up and Go” mission statement by accepting a full-time job. The silver lining came an entire month later when they told me they’d created a part-time position just for me. I would have 28 hour work-week (just shy of being full-time by 2 hours), but would still be working 9-5 three days out of the week.
I jumped up and down in excitement because I felt I had reached a win-win; that was until I realized there are so many things that I’ve started questioning about the traditional 9-5 that I just need to let out right here, right now.
Tradition is great, unless it sucks.
Who invented this concept of a 9-5? I understand we all have to get sh*t done, I get it. Eight hours a day is a fair amount of time to accomplish all of your “to-dos,” “must sees,” and “follow ups.” As an entrepreneur, I never once doubted the fact that working eight hours is not only necessary, but almost way too short. My question is though, why in the MIDDLE of the day? I’m a night owl who posts up in the corner of a late-night coffee shop cranking out work until 12am. Am I the only weirdo?
And forget my personal preferences, what about the fact that human beings need sunshine to thrive and be happy because serotonin levels are crucial to feeling good about oneself. Can’t we just say “f” the day-time work sessions and explore the world during the day so we can get to our workspaces at night? I swear, society barely lives because when you’re cooped up in an office during the day you’re missing life happening outside.
Good design makes the brain go round’
When you’re in pretty workspace, your head is clearer and therefore you work better. Just because it’s not something that immediately “turns profits” does not mean it should be overlooked.
Why is “work” currently measured by time?
Another thing that just rubs me the wrong way is having to wait for that dreadful minute until the clock says 5:00PM on the dot so you can clock out. It’s obvious that you weren’t even working, but rather counting down the minutes to leave! There has to be a better way to measure work and to do it effectively.
Why am I looked at as lazy if I wake up at 10 but still get the same amount of work done?
I guess what this is all boiling down to is that ya girl is NOT a morning person. If you ask Damon, he knows that the only way to get me excited about the morning is by putting a spoon full of Nutella in front of my face. Sure, the “early bird gets the worm…” but we ain’t birds though. I’m a big believer that if you don’t feel energized, working just isn’t gonna work. Companies need to start recognizing this and giving employees the privilege to sleep in every now and then!
Since when did smiling become so difficult?
You may work in the crappiest environment in the world, all it takes are positive attitudes from yourself and your coworkers and I swear you’ll enjoy life a little bit more. Unbutton your pants and let your hair down corporate America! PS: I promise your face will not fall off if you crack a smile.
So what should you do about it?
The point is, question these things, and if you’re like me and NEED to pay off debt, make sure you’re questioning the culture and environment of the company you’re committing. Try to stick to places that match your personal brand and style.
In the meantime, I’m going to start drafting blueprints of the Shut Up and Go headquarters, where we’ll have night time hours, booze carts, and one month sabbaticals every six months.
Applications for #shutupandgoers coming soon ;)!
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