Why working for your own is never full-time in the traditional sense!

I know much of “I quit the comfort of my “dream job” to pursue a career more meaningful” sounds clichéd, but it’s one of things that can never really be overrated.

I promise I will not “smartly” repeat the words of many as to why living your dream, although a road paved with thorns, is completely worth it or why its not easy to challenge tradition and venture out into the unknown that is so expected of working in start-ups unlike in secure government (or like) jobs.

It’s a common folly of many to think that when employed at a company and working a full-time job, one is “occupied” 9–5, 5/6 days a week. How much ever time you may loiter around taking one coffee break after the other, it’s still a “full time day at work”. Nobody judges you, for it’s often the company culture that allows for such “breaks”. For the outside world, you still work full-time and that’s often deceiving enough to keep working such jobs.

But when you are on your own, perhaps pursuing a career as a freelance writer, you’d be surprised if a day didn’t pass without someone whom you knew asking, “So what did you do today?” Now be warned that this is not small talk or harmless inquiry. It’s more of a “Are you sure you are occupied enough and not wasting your life, “ideating”?”

I remember many a days in my previous job as a research engineer when I just fast forwarded work time by checking countless emails, chit-chatting with coworkers and taking long coffee and lunch breaks. Obviously, I had my reasons — I was answering to work emails; I was at a meeting discussing the next big contraption and wondering how my current project would do in the market- sure! But the point is, only maybe 45%, or at most 60% of my work time was actually productive. The other times, it was debatable whether whatever we did at work was really going to add value or not. And this is not something I discovered or that only I did (you wish)!

Plenty of research data and statistics exist which tell you that the average productive work time is no more than 4–5 hours in an 8-hour workday.

This said, I’m probably putting in more effort and time into my “freelance” job. It’s true, I don’t hold a traditional 9–5 job, it is however not to say I’m not productive. Maybe I don’t have too many updates to share from my work life. I wish I could immediately be the talk of the town with my new company, but that’s not how it works. Deep down people know all this, but seldom do they think so deep.

So quit trying to be answerable to everyone out there; you’re better off focusing on what you are doing, so that maybe a day will come when they’ll say, “I really admire his/her courage to have pursued his/her dreams”!