SHS #75: Why I Won’t Work a 9–5 Again (I Hope Not!)

Hi friend,

Obviously, I think of it sometimes.

What if the stuff I’m doing doesn’t work out?

How long will it work for?

Do creators create all their life?

And then I brush away these questions because I don’t want to deal with them. I’m also aware that the mind has a nasty habit of pulling you in negativity just for fun.

But here’s why I hope to god I don’t have to work in a corporate again.

First, please know that I’m not saying a 9–5 is better than another job.

My entire family does jobs, and nobody has a business. We’re all simple that way and hence they were shocked when I told them I want to quit.

I’m not anti-9–5.

I’m pro doing what works for you.

Depending on your interests and your strengths, maybe you’re meant to be a painter, a designer, an entrepreneur, or a data analyst, who knows?

The idea is to be aligned to who you are and not what looks like a ‘safe path’ to success.

My first job was a pretty terrible one.

The job was okay, the company was good, and my teammates were supportive. But my boss was the word that I’ll not use in this article so those under eighteen can read it too, haha.

Back then, I only disliked him because he compared me to others and because I was eventually laid off.

It’s only later on when I worked on being more self-aware did I realise his tactics lead me to

  1. Negative self-talk: I always told myself that I’m not good enough and I can’t even complete a single task properly.
  2. Low(er) self-esteem: I’d always slouch and wouldn’t take initiative because in my head I wasn’t capable enough.
  3. Negative belief systems: repetitions of not being good enough, capable, and worthy led me to internalise these beliefs. In my head, it’s how I defined myself.

And how you think of yourself defines how you behave, and everything around you.

In short, it really screwed with my head.

My second job was good.

But with the pandemic leaving us at home, I started facing big questions. I thought I’m coming close to a quarter-life crisis. I’d often ask myself,

What is the point of all this?
Why am I expected to work at odd hours?
So much work for such slow growth and tiny appraisals?
I don’t think I’ll ever get family time if I become a Vice President! Why are they working for 16 hours? How can everything be urgent?
If colleagues in U.S. won’t stay up late for us, why do we do it? Just because we’re a developing country and have to work extra hard?

Again, it really messed with my head.

So I side-hustled for 9 months before I became self-employed.

I quit on April 02, 2021, aged 24.

I was self-employed on July 02, 2021, aged 25.

A 3-month long notice period feels really, really long.

I quit to be a freelance writer, but little did I know the world of opportunities that writing online would open for me. But that’s a story I’ve written many times, so getting back to the 9–5…

The only thing I miss, even though I’m an introvert, is a bit of human interaction. That’s where you learn new things and ideate. That’s where you giggle and laugh.

Right now, that’s limited for me only by the content I consume and friends I hang out with.

Apart from that, the good outweighs the bad.

  • Money: I’ve always given a lot of importance to money. It doesn’t buy happiness, but it buys comfort and alleviates stress. As somebody who wasn’t born in wealth growing up, I know that worrying about it day in and out is no fun. Since I quit, I make a minimum of 5x my corporate salary and even made equivalent to my corporate annual package in January 2023. Surreal, I know. I have big goals!
  • Happiness: I’ve never been this much at peace because I’m truly aligned to my goals and my inner self. This has brought in contentment and happiness.
  • Family time: is my favourite bit. I went out on dates with my now husband at random times when we were dating because his work schedule is erratic too and doesn’t have ‘normal timings’. I type this on a Thursday and we went to eat street food today. From Monday till today, I was staying with my grandma. These are just two incidents from this week, but I’m grateful that my life has been full of it since I started.
  • Owning my time: because I decide what to do and where to go. I decide on my holidays and breaks. I decide to do nothing for 2 hours every day after lunch.
  • No Sunday slump: because Mondays are so exciting, we get to work on fresh goals!
  • Every day is… just a day: and I don’t live for the weekend or feel sad on Mondays and overworked on Wednesdays. Honestly, we don’t even know if we’ll be alive tomorrow, yet we’re so caught up in this matrix that it’s difficult to live joyfully each day.

It’s still a lot of hard work.

Your work is like your baby. And that’s not healthy in the beginning because you’re at it all the time, even when you’re not at work.

I work for fewer hours, but when I work, I go all in.

It takes up a decent portion of my headspace.

And getting here hasn’t been easy. But I’m excited to see what’s in store for me because last year, I never imagined how amazing today will be.

I never thought I’ll have a cohort-based course that people love and will grow so immensely on LinkedIn (and become verified!) and have a LinkedIn course too. All my digital products and online presence – I couldn’t even dream of it.

I’m excited to see where I’ll be next year.

Just kidding, I’m only living for today, with big dreams.

All the best!



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Niharikaa Kaur Sodhi

I write tips around side hustling, writing, and monetisation to 15,000+ superstars every Saturday.

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