Just recently, I celebrated my second year at my current job, I recalled feeling frustrated when I accepted this post at the brink of searching for a different industry to work for. I deliberately hated the field I was in. Thus, I submitted multiples of applications to different non-banking institutions from here and abroad. I despised banking. I had high hopes. I wanted to use my resignation wisely to transition to a new, high earning and more fulfilling career, launching a shared travel business, trying my luck in travel writing, web developing, full-time virtual assisting or something else that would allow me to work remotely, wherever I am.
I was ready to bid farewell to my regular 8-hour kind of job. I was about to escape the corners of my cubicle job, especially when I could already hear my own vices shouting, “how being in a regular 8-hour kind of job sucks,” which has become the constant mantra of the travel blogging world. I find myself foolish for coming back to the regular 8-hour kind of job with only a different post to fill in for a different institution.
But, here’s the thing, a regular 8-hour kind of job don’t suck at all. You don’t have to feel locked away into a seemingly dead end corporate job, decomposing in a cubicle. Life doesn’t have to be about choosing between a corporate career and freedom as a nomad. There is a lot in between. I believe that the fact that you seem not happy in your current job only mean that you haven’t found the right job for you yet.
I spent nearly five years in the accounting department before accepting freelance online project-based jobs on the side. By the time I set my mind and prepared for transition, I felt good and enthusiastic about what lies ahead of me. But, after numerous attempts of tossing applications from here and there, I only ended up working for the same industry. But, despite the fact that my current job is almost identical to the one I left behind, I eventually come to realize how it’s really much better. I can say that despite the difficulties I come across with, I enjoy what I do. I think it matters that I believe in the organization I work for, liking the people I work with, feeling constantly challenged, and very much inclined to continuously learn new things. I feel that, somehow, I am making a difference. It might not be the one I envisioned when I intended to change my paths, but it’s satisfying to know that at my current job post, I can feel that I can make an impact within or outside the organization.
So, here is another thing, is working remotely and living a nomadic lifestyle, supposedly “working for yourself” serve anyone better?
I’m pretty sure it will for some people. There are lots of accomplished freelancers and digital nomads out there and I personally look up to them. However, it’s simply not for everyone and certainly not for me. Believe it or not, I considered it for myself. I might even re-consider it in the future. It’s just that when I transferred to another institution, I came to finally decide that being an individual that uses technology in order to work remotely and living a nomadic lifestyle isn’t for me. It wasn’t for me for tons of reasons summarized as follows:
- I believe that the phrase “working for yourself” is a misconception.
I don’t think there is such a thing. You are always working for someone else. You still have to please your clients. You only have the luxury to decide on which clients to work for, the kind of work you want to offer, and how much you are willing to take on.
- Stability is unwarranted.
Coming from a poor family has taught me to strive and aim for security. I don’t like coming everywhere empty handed. I’m racing to my 30s now, the pressure of being financially independent and being constantly depended upon, regardless of the season, is much heightened than I was in my early 20s. I bet that’s the case for everyone else my age. A nomadic lifestyle simply does not assure steadiness. The bigger problem I see right there is the actual generation of money while constantly changing locations. You can’t predict your expenses in the future. You can research fervently, do some forecast, and plan thoroughly. However, there could be lots of information gaps or unprecedented changes that are inherent in between. Thus, however you tend to be frugal; the huge costs it entails by frequently transferring from one place to another may still not be justified by one’s unstable means of earning. Not unless if you’re an accomplished virtual entrepreneur.
- Wherever you are, you still have to pay bills.
The chance of accepting jobs you may not enjoy is high. You may be forced to take on these jobs because of desperation to earn money to pay your growing bills. As someone who values financial security, I would hate being uncertain on when my next paycheck will arrive. It’s more unrewarding to hurry look for work and be constantly stressed over the idea that if I don’t work I won’t get paid. I think that the beauty of appreciating the place you are visiting can be lost in the process because you’re too busy to earn, the same way you would still have if you stay in one place and still travel.
- Missing out a lot.
I didn’t want to get to that point when I’d say “I wish I have spent more quality time with the people I love.” People in our lives may just come and go. A person grows and then dies. That’s how life is. It’s the truth about life that we can only accept. However, because life on earth is only temporary, might as well spend it wisely with the people that matters in your life. They won’t always be there. Thus, it’s a conscious effort to make time for them and be around as often.
- Separation anxiety
I don’t have problems with people leaving, losing material things or if a job is taken away from me. I am for life, for nurturing, and for growing relationships. I simply find it hard to detach myself from anyone or something especially if I invested too much of myself. For a traveler, I know that attachments are very negative since they stop anyone from moving. Thus, for some who wanted to live a nomadic lifestyle, understand that an amazing relationship, a great home, and the right job normally can’t be earned in a few months stay to any place. Also, because you have to keep on moving, you might only find yourselves forced to eventually give them up if you want to continue in your traveling way of life.
- Not finding the perfect career for you.
When it comes to profession, a continuous traveling lifestyle can be disadvantageous for the best career. You are hopping from one place to another, thus, not making any nomadic traveler gain a meaningful experience in any job posts. It is to be noted that having a meaningful experience, apart from exemplary skill sets, is a number one requirement to most high paying and high ranking jobs.
- The chances of meeting your perfect match is slim.
Since you’re traveling and most other people aren’t, it melodramatically reduces your chance of finding your significant other, and it’s something to be taken into consideration. The best and lasting relationship seldom happens in an instant. It takes time and a lot of effort. However, if you do find someone to share the journey with, they’re probably wonderful and great candidates with whom to share your life. Sometimes finding the right person and settling down in a life full of love is much better than staying on the road. But then again, the road is always exciting and fun! Isn’t it?
So there, Yes! I love that I have 15 days’ vacation leave, 10 days sick leave, and a week long mandatory leave in a year, plus a lot of breaks and time off between Christmas and New Year’s – all days that I don’t have to work but still get paid for. I love having an employer-paid health insurance and matching contributions to my retirement plan the same way my immediate family members has. I love having co-workers with whom I can work together and a boss who guides me and challenges me to learn and become better at what I do.
And I still get to travel and do the things I want as my way of living this life to the fullest! My boss hired me fresh off my previous employer and with a declaration that I prefer going out of the office from time to time, I guess she knew what she was getting into – and really, I wouldn’t have gone somewhere that wasn’t open to me consuming every single second of my holiday time every year.
Conclusively, at the end of the day, you have to do what you believe is right for you. Discern, decide, and take a stand. But just as you shouldn’t follow a certain career path or try to climb the corporate ladder solely because your family and friends (the norms and the culture!) expect you to, you shouldn’t ditch the regular 8-hour kind of job altogether either just because you read too many blogs telling you that quitting is a better choice. Remember that the grass will always seem greener on the other side, but sometimes it’s better to stop, appreciate, and learn to cultivate the grass already in front of you.