Stop Underestimating 9-to-5 Job; It’s the Best Option for Most

And stop glorifying entrepreneurship; it’s not for everyone.

Photo by Marten Bjork on Unsplash

No one ever got rich by working from 9 to 5. Sure, but no one has ever gone bankrupt or has been in huge debt by working 9-to-5.

Most startups fail. To be precise, 90% of them fail. Although entrepreneurship does not necessarily mean founding a startup, you get the gist that not everyone is destined to do it.

It’s mind-boggling that society regards entrepreneurship as the “ultimate goal of life.” Working on your own time and for yourselves is mouthwatering. You thought that it’s the life you want. Sure, everyone wants that kind of flexibility, but what you see is the result of years of perseverance — and luck.

What is even more ridiculous is how 9-to-5 jobs are considered as a rat race. It’s a labyrinth that you have to escape unless you want to live a worthless, sad, boring life.

Such a concept distorts real life, especially that of young people, myself included. In high school, I was a big proponent of starting my own business. Now? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I started my own business, but COVID closed it down.

It’s actually incredible that more and more people are interested in starting their own business, but they have not considered the sacrifices and the consequences. And the worse part, not everyone can deal with them.

Some people need safety nets more than others.

Some of us need stability much more than others. Some don’t have any inheritance. Some have ailing parents. Some don’t have rich parents who can temporarily feed and provide shelters. Some carry more intrinsic risk than others.

Hence, some of us should prioritize having proper safety nets first before starting a business. This is not one of many considerations people make when starting a business. They expect everything to be flowery. The truth is, your first try is much more likely to fail.

Let’s say it fails, then what happens? If you have nobody, no one is going to feed you. If you can’t afford rent, you will be living on the street. If your parents need money for healthcare, you either let them die or borrow from some loan shark because the bank doesn't want to loan you money.

These are just some of the many awful repercussions when you don't set up a proper safety net should your business fails.

One of the safety nets is a university degree.

A University degree is a safety net. Whatever happens afterward is your decision.

We bash older people for telling us what to do. The truth is, they have valuable insights and experiences that we must reckon. One of them is going to college for your own sake.

More and more people think that a college degree is useless. They say you don't need a degree to be successful. And even if you have a degree, it doesn't guarantee it will give you a job. True. Well said. But having a university degree is a good safety net to have.

If you don't have a university degree and need to apply for a job, what will you put on your resume?

A university degree doesn't guarantee that you are competent or skillful in a particular topic, but it indicates that you are trying.

Once you get a degree, it’s easier to apply for OK-paying jobs. And those jobs might be better than you think.

9-to-5 jobs aren't that terrible.

People will argue that you can’t fulfill your true potential by working 9-to-5. You will forever be under the huge chain of commands. You will be a slave to big corporations. Those are all true. You will work for someone else, building their dream, helping them achieve their goals.

But if those dreams shatter, you can flee from that sinking boat. You are not attached to one thing. You are much more flexible compared to people in business.

You don't like what you are doing now? Find another job. You don't like your current business? You can’t simply close the business and yell I quit; you are responsible for your employees' lives; you are responsible for the service you provide to customers.

Working 9-to-5 also has many benefits: healthcare, stock option, paid leave, sick leave, maternity leave. You won't have these benefits as a business owner. If you don't work, you don't get paid.

Your cash flow will be predictable, at least most of the time. You will get a certain sum of money every month on the same day. Such predictability puts a lot of weight off of your shoulder.

Some people only need a good amount of money on the same date each month. Some people feel this is enough.

Not everyone wants a Lambo or working at the beach.

Well, I’d be lying if I say I don't want that, but I don't really need that kind of reward in my life; it is superfluous. Some people agree; we just want an average life.

If it’s your desire, good for you. If it’s not, good for you as well. If you want an average life with an average car and average house, who am I to judge?

Just because your life goals differ from mine, it does not mean that mine is better than yours, or yours mine. It’s a life goal, and it’s your own life. Please do what you can to achieve it; however you achieve it, it’s your life.

Even if you have those fancy things, it doesn't guarantee that you will be happy. Money can't buy happiness. Cliche, I know, but it’s true. If you reach a certain financial stage, your happiness will plateau.

And reaching that financial stage doesn't require you to start a business and be a billionaire. Working 9 to 5 allows you to achieve that.

You never work for yourself. That is a lie.

I was once a photographer. I had my own brand. I was a businessman. I could say that I worked for myself. LIE.

Business needs money, and guess who comes with money? Customers. Eventually, customers are the reason why you start a business. In other words, they are your boss. You have heard the term customer is king. It’s true; they are your boss.

Whether you work 9 to 5 or having your own business, customers are king. It’s just the chain of command that is different.

In your business, the customers directly get back to you.

In working a 9-to-5 job, it will go from customer service to the manager, then the branch manager, then you. It’s just a longer chain of command. Eventually, you are serving customers.

I have been in both worlds; they have their own plus and minus

As a former business person, I can say that it is not that easy to start a business. You need hard work, intelligence, perseverance, strong guts, and thick skin. Business is scary, so the world gives better rewards to those who can stay in the game.

As a current 9-to-5 employee, I can say that this rate race is not that bad. I have a good income; I have more flexibility, such as writing this at night; I can spend my weekend lazily in peace.

The truth is, one option is not better than the other. It’s just irritating that society looks down to the 9-to-5 job and looks up to entrepreneurship. I hope my perspective might give some idea on both sides.

Know your goal, then achieve that goal. As long as it is legal, the outcome justifies the means, and the mean is up to you.

A simple person who loves philosophy, good food, and dogs. I write articles on communication, self-help, and occasional coding stuff. A HUGE F.R.I.E.N.D.S fans.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store