The Struggle of a Millennial Working a 9–5

Hello my friends,

I find myself going down a long journey with numerous ups and downs. The first year out of college has been a test of will, filled many “bosses,” and environments that have not necessarily yielded the resulting promises I had expected.

I write this now because I have found myself at a point I never thought I would be…

Let me back up, and give you one big piece of ‘food for thought.’ For those who don’t know, I am now working for my second startup up since graduating. And this job is from 9am to 5 pm.

For me, having never really worked a 9–5 before, it has been a real struggle. Like I mean, a REAL struggle.

For example — I am, by nature, really creative and have over the past few years excelled because of the level of freedom and control that I have had over my environment. Being able to float from coffeeshop to coffeeshop, or co-working space to library, was an underrated part of my development. All of these changes in scenery helped to keep my mind alert, and actively engaged.

Those are no longer options.

I can’t go where I want on a whim and constantly have to ask for permission to do things and attend events that have helped me grow into the creative spirit that I am today. I have now been relegated to a windowless cubicle, which I try my best not to use every day.

Now, I do not want to sound like I am complaining but I know far too many people my age, millennials, who really struggle with the fact that 9–5s still exist.

Part of what helps me get through the long days are the vast, inspiring TED talks. I happen to stumble on one that summed up most of my thoughts in a well put-together talk:

Being a young, driven, and creative millennial in this day and age means that we want to be and do different things to affect and change the world. We don’t necessarily need to sit at a desk for 40 hours a week, half of which might actually be wasted thinking about how we can truly make the world a better place.

A lot of us are tired of building up the dreams of someone else, and believe that we have the talent and capability to do things ourselves.

We are confident, not arrogant. We are dreamers not careless. And we are inquisitive, not defiant.

Unfortunately, my “vibe” has been mistaken as the ‘negative’ of a two-sided coin.

My greatest struggle stems from my individualistic entrepreneurial nature. Having started my own company, as well as worked with and for other startups where my thoughts/opinions were rarely questioned or thrown to the side, it has been slightly perturbing to have the opposite happen now.

It’s been a challenge not being able to question everything. Having to hold in concerns or questions about their vision is something I have had to learn on the fly. I love to question and challenge because it is through that that ideas are refined.

Through collaboration and community creativity is a blossoming fruit. So far, there has been little to no collaboration and as time progresses I feel a growing detachment from the creative network that I tried so hard to build up.

Over the past few months, prior to my job, I was able to meet so many new and cool people who, in more ways than they realized, helped me push the limits of my imagination. I now have to pick and choose when I can go, often times losing out on cool events and gigs because of work.

The biggest struggle of all stems from the knowledge that I was built for more and, right now, I am not living up to it. In a weird way, I am thankful for the disconnect in my life though. It is the constant reminder that continues to drive me to work on my own vision for how I can make the world a better place.

I will never forget these trials because when the time comes. It is through these challenges, struggles, and failures that will make the triumph that much sweeter.

I am proud to be a millennial and I am not ashamed that I struggle with this 9–5s. I am only struggling with the fact that I am not helping the world the way I want, but I am confident it will happen in due time.

Thanks for reading and feel free to share if you enjoyed this and comment what has helped you if you find yourself in similar position!

Lastly, keep pushing, keep fighting, and more importantly, keep dreaming.

P.S. follow along in my personal journey on Instagram & Twitter!