Monday, January 13, 2014

13 things that happens when you don't work a 9 to 5 job!

I saw this great article posted on facebook here that talks about the 13 things that happens when you don't work a 9 to 5 job (while others do). I found it totally relevant to me. For those looking to be self-liberated and join the ranks of the self employed, do check them out!

1. You learn that having the workday open is a solid foundation upon which to build friendships. You have a group of “day” friends who you might not have been close with were it not for your shared schedules.

True. I probably have less colleagues and friends than other people who are working in normal jobs. Multiply that by the number of companies that they worked for plus the number of external vendors and clients they meet along the way, I think their contact list probably runs in hundreds. Not all of them are true friends, but they have a bigger pool of people to which good friendships can be formed, ya?

2. Every day tasks feel like a luxury because stores and gyms are empty. Sales people cater to you because you’re the first person they’ve seen in an hour, and you always get the best machines at the gym to yourself. Plus, no one cares if you take a two hour lunch to read magazines at the table at your neighborhood cafe.

So totally true. I go shopping when everyone is working. If you love to mingle with the crowds, you'll probably go into depression. But I don't like to queue, wait or hustle and bustle with other people, so this is something that I find that is truly blessing for people like me.

3. There’s at least one thing in your life you can always count on– you always get enough sleep because you don’t have to get out of bed at 7am like everyone else.

Partly true. I think it depends more on the kind of work that you do. I wake up early when I have to, but usually it's around 930 to 10am. It's much later than normal people because I also work late into the night too, long after others have stopped and started relaxing.

4. Time means less to you than it does to other people. People place a premium on like, 6pm and dread Sunday nights. You may have similar ups and downs but you’ll also wonder why asking someone to meet for a drink at 2pm is “weird.”

Not true. Rather, the timing and days that I dread are completely opposite to people who work 9 to 5. TGIF "Thank God It's Friday"? Not for me - it's TGIM "Thank God It's Monday!" I dread sat and sun because it's my busiest day. So, all of us still have days we love and days that we dread, it's just staggered.

5. Dating becomes more difficult because you don’t have the same availability to go out as most people. Plus despite whatever your individual situation is, 9-5 is still some kind of milestone of having “made it” (ironic, right?) so it comes across as immature when you have any other schedule.

No idea about that. Wife works in the same kind of hours as me so we go gym and shopping in the weirdest hours when everyone else is busy. A great thing, seriously.

6. When you’re out on a weeknight with your friends there’s a moment where you remember they have to get up early the next day that makes you eternally grateful for your schedule.

Yes! They looked so drained and sian on Sunday nights. Reminded me of the times I've to book in on Sunday before 2359. I, on the other hand, can't wait to start my Monday for a well deserved rest.

7. On the other hand, usual invitations to things like dinners are complicated for you, but easy for everyone else. It’s hard to explain to people that you do, actually, have to be working at 7pm.

Yes, totally! I always explain that I'm like a vampire. My works starts late, around mid-afternoon and ends late night. And that's normal for me. Meeting for breakfast and lunch is way more convenient for me than meeting for dinners. Except weekends, of course, where every meal is out of bounds because of work.

8. You’re closer with your co-workers than most people are, since they’re the only ones that understand your bizarre schedule.

Don't have co-workers, perhaps if you include wife, then yes. We always complain to each other about stuff that only people who had done such work hours will understand. Just like people who work 9 to 5 complain about having bosses or KPI or meetings....I won't be able to empathize.

9. You never worry about commuter traffic.

Mostly true. Since I arrange my own time, I'll try not to meet with peak hour traffic. So mostly, I'll not so bothered by traffic conditions, whether it's private transport or public transport.

10. Even if you still have to leave your apartment to go to an actual job, pants are more option than they’ve ever been before. Blame it on the fact that your roommate’s already gone for the day by the time you wake up, or the fact that you don’t actually have to go anywhere for hours, but pants-free is your default setting.

True! I don't actually own a work pants. My standard wear are cargo pants and jeans. Used to wear bermudas to work but realised it's not professional enough, LOL! Long sleeves shirts? No way, I'm not going to wear it for work unless I've a function to attend after. It's mostly T-shirts or short sleeves.

11. Suddenly having to be home for a 4 hour chunk of time in the middle of the day for the cable repair guy to show up isn’t the worst thing in the world, so you make sure to store up some karma by being nice about it and not complaining.

True! I never have to take sudden leave just to accommodate someone servicing something in my home, but I can really appreciate how angry I'll be if the person come in late or worse - not come in without giving me a call. It's like I've to stay at home waiting for nothing while work piles up. Seriously sucky.

12. You’ve discovered how great eating lunch alone can be… or going to a movie alone… or shopping alone.

Yes! I really don't mind eating alone or watching movies alone, but it's better with good company of course. My wife usually accompanies me these days, so we go lunch, watch weekday movies and shop alone, together, LOL

13. You’ve finally been able to kick your coffee addiction.

Never have a coffee addiction, but I think this point is trying to say that because you have to reach office at the appointed time rain or shine, you'll have to have some external help to tide through the day. I tide through the day by taking an afternoon siesta, LOL! If it's too tight to take a nap, I'll have some tidbits and brew some tea while working, but it's super rare for me to do that.

So, who is still interested to be a self-employed? Haha!


My 15HWW said...

Hi LP,

The article seems fairly balanced and includes both the good and the bad.

Points 2,6 and 9-12 seems pretty irresistable to me and worth the other trade-offs? So perhaps it's time for a career switch sooner rather than later. LOL

Agree on point 4 though. People will always "dread" certain days. During my days as a busy part-time tutor in my Uni days, I always looked forward to Monday! It helps that it's likely a sch-free day too. =p

la papillion said...

Hi 15HWW,

Haha, I'm glad you liked the article :) I think there's tradeoff in being self-employed, and I've said a lot about the tradeoffs in other posts. I think if we can't have what we love, we got to love what we got :)

Singapore Man of Leisure said...


Cons of self-employment:

1. No CPF from employer side

2. No medical and dental benefits

3. No annual leave

4. Hand stop; mouth stop

5. The biggest drawback of them all is: taking MC to skive has no kick anymore :(

la papillion said...


Indeed :) I can add in a few more:

1. No bonuses
2. No company dinners
3. Less socializing with colleagues
4. No prestige (no fancy titles, no employee of MNC, no people under you)
5. Hard to get credit/loans

B said...


Thanks for the article. Enjoyed it.

I agree with SMOL drawback more than yours, especially on the MC part irregardless of whether its real sick or fake sick.

I guess we are more cheapskate thinking of the cheapo skiving type ;)


My 15HWW said...

For the MC part, I am more on the other side.

If I am self-employed and don't feel like working for the day, there is no need for both me and the doc to "put up a show". =p

Anonymous said...

Hi LP,

I think the fact that your wife is having the same timing as u is really a wonderful thing.

I really like those points about avoiding crowd, as I am quite anti-social. However one big pull factor from leaving my job is really my family life as I will have an opposite schedule with my family. That is the single biggest pull.

la papillion said...

Hi B and 15HWW,

I understand! That's why I never bothered to go to a doc when I'm sick. I haven't seen a doctor for years. Usually I self medicate by either drinking more water/fruit juices and just sleeping more, or if it's quite bad, I'll just pop a panadol. Popping a pill is only if I'm in pain but I still have a lesson coming up. Helps me to focus on the work at hand :)

I don't cancel work just because I'm ill. But interestingly, if I think hard enough, students will just cancel. It happened a lot of times to make me think that the power of the mind is more than meets the eye. Likewise, I only fall sick when my work load drops because I always 'remind' my body that I can only fall ill when I'm not needed.

la papillion said...

Hi sillyinvestor,

Yes! Imagine if I'm working on weekends and free on weekdays, but my wife is working the normal monday to fri but weekends are free. I think we'll have a lot less opportunity to be together. Even simple activities like a weekend shopping trip will be difficult. So, I totally empathize with you when you say that family is your biggest pull factor from leaving your job. As a couple, me and my wife probably spend a lot more time doing activities together than the norm.

Anonymous said...


Haha, wait till you don't need to work when you have sufficient passive income. It would even be better. Ask SMOL.


Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Hey! Don't look at me...

The butterfly man knows the Jedi mind trick in making his student cancel their appointment.

Hmm... Maybe I should apply to take up his Jedi lessons?

I'll use it on the girls - go out with me, go out with me, go out with me.


SGYI said...

Hi LP,

Sounds so free. There's one thing the article missed out. These days we don't see much 9-5 jobs anymore. Its 9-6 the earliest. Or worse still 8-6 for me.

la papillion said...

Hi Matt,

Oh, can't wait! But I guess it'll be years down the road. Instead of retiring at the retirement age, I choose to hedge it by enjoying now and then...sometimes I think that my life don't have a good work-life balance. Too little work too much life! LOL

la papillion said...


Haha! I read a book recently about how to make the universe do what you intend just by the power of thoughts alone. There are 9 experiments inside, and you are to give the universe a time frame to do what you wish to be done. I've done a few of the experiments (some are still on-going), and I must say it really does work.

I might be self delusional but who cares because it works for me :) No need to know how it works, just that it works - haha, sounds like the practical engineer in me

la papillion said...


Yes! I guess we all have to exchange something in return for another thing. Your long hours at work is exchanged for stable pay and prospects :)

CreateWealth8888 said...

Average employee after offsetting Annual Leaves, Public Holidays, MC, tea breaks, TGIF lunches,seminars, trade shows, team building events, corporate events, actual working hours at workplace is less than 70%.

Those Snake Kings probably less than 60%

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

Here I am wondering sometimes what do people do in office from 9 to 5 e everyday...cannot be always doing work right? haha!

For me, my hours are defined clearly. When I'm not working, i'm really not working. Anything that is outside my work hours are my own projects, though they might seem like work, I actually want to them them voluntarily.

I guess there's good and bad in being employed and being self employed :)

WealthBuch said...

High 5 LP!

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