Working a 9-5: How I Barely Escaped With My Life

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Looking back on my life now, I see the working world as evil temptations that nearly kept me from living the lifestyle I do now. I worked for a plastic packaging plant in Calgary, Canada. I was making a comfortable living and I was able to buy things that I wanted. I moved in with Dariece and we shared the mortgage on a nice downtown condo.

Escaping 9-5
The Printing Press: Machine Of Torture

But there was always something missing. There was a feeling I had that I was somehow being hypnotized by this façade of a good lifestyle.

My boss had offered me a big promotion into sales and marketing for the company, which would have got me out of the plant and into commissions on large, multinational orders. When he gave me the offer, I didn’t feel what one would expect to feel when offered a promotion. I felt weary and suspicious. Even though I knew that he was an honest, genuine guy, I felt like he was the devil. He was offering me money in exchange for my freedom and my future.

He sent me to a training program and a personal self-help assessment program, to ensure that I was right for the job. All I had to do was answer a bunch of questions like “would you rather be a salesman or an artist”. The obvious answers would ensure me the job, but I simply couldn’t lie. I looked down at the form and all I saw was a contract. I couldn’t sign away my soul. I decided to answer the questions honestly and as a result, I was the first person he had sent to the program who didn’t get the job.

From that point on I was really looking at my life in a new view. I had taken jobs for money. I had worked countless hours on oil rigs in Canada which pay more and make you work more.

I slowly started to realize that this life was a trap.

Escaping 9-5
The Rigs: Funding The Finish Of Your Future (Image by: Wikimedia Commons)

Although some people have good jobs that they enjoy, the  working life of the average citizen is terrible. We go to jobs that we hate 50 weeks a year, so that we can have 2 weeks off on a “vacation”. These 2 weeks can rarely be taken together and god forbid you ask for an extra couple of days.

I honestly look back on my job then and I feel like I barely escaped with my life… literally.

Escaping 9-5
It Only Takes 1 Dose

9-5 is like heroin, and if I had injected just one more 12 hour shift I may have been hooked for life. My boss was my drug dealer and he gave me just enough to keep me up. I lived out my days in a plant with other junkies just like me, but who had been using for 20-30 years. Their bodies were worn and there spirits were down. They spent their days complaining, and telling me to get out while I still could.

Today I am extremely grateful that I met Dariece and together we deciphered the code of the working stiff’s matrix. We’ve unplugged from a world of overwork and underpay and graduated to a life of underwork and overplay.

We see the older generations now, preparing for retirement, and although we are happy for them, we have seen the cycle. They have worked so much over the past 40 years, that they may not be able to accept their new lifestyle. They may just go through withdrawals from the methamphetamine high (or low) of the day-to-day grind. They might be antsy to complete tasks on someone elses behalf and they may even pick up part-time jobs to keep them “busy”.

Escaping 9-5
(Comic By: Kevin Spears)

People are like that. We are all creatures of habit and if we are stuck in the same routine for too long (good or bad), we begin to crave it. It happens when people are kidnapped and they experience Stockholm Syndrome. It also happens in prison when detainees become institutionalized. The walls that once kept us from the real world, become our home and we drown in a sea of familiarity and conformity.

Escape 9-5
The Bars Of 9-5

If we can look at our life from an outside view, and see that we are sinking, it only takes a few strokes to get our heads above water and see the world for what it is.

Anyone can do what we do. We are not geniuses, we’re not over-qualified and we aren’t rich. We’ve found something we love and we’ve followed it 100%. While people at home still question our retirement plans and stability, we know that everything will work out. If you do what you love, and you eliminate what you hate, then everything always lines up, and if you’re already doing what you love (be it your job or your hobbies) then you’re on the right track and you don’t need this post.

This article is for people who are looking for a change.

It is possible to escape your life (if you don’t enjoy it), and really free yourself from 9-5. You don’t need a lot of money to start travelling or doing what makes you happy (so long as gold doesn’t make you happy).

Escaping 9-5
Do What Makes You Happy

There are plenty of ways to travel for free and there are just as many ways to make money both on the road and location independent.

A year ago, I had never taught English, and now I’m an English teacherA year ago, I didn’t even know what a blog was, and now I’m making money from this website. (I’m no Zuckerberg)

The code isn’t that hard to crack, and if you have questions, contact us and we’ll try to help you with the answers. If you have answers, leave them below and we can learn from you!

There is no one in this world who can unplug you. You just need to find the way yourself. If you don’t like your job then just quit or take a sabbatical. If you do like your job but wish you worked less, ask your boss for alternatives. Think of ways that you can better your lifestyle. Write down your dreams, and things that make you happy and then start making a plan of how to achieve them. Trust us, their more attainable than you think.

Escape 9-5

We escaped the 9-5 lifestyle because it wasn’t for us. If it’s not for you then you can escape it too! Don’t just peer over the edge, take a running start and just jump, there will be something to break your fall and it’s called freedom.

Have you escaped 9-5? Tell us your story!

Do you want to escape 9-5 but don’t know where to start? Leave a comment below… maybe we can help.



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Working a 9-5- How I Barely Escaped With My Life

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Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship. Nick's advice has been featured on the Lonely Planet, CNN Money, Business Insider,  WiseBread and Forbes and he spoke at the World Tourism Forum in Istanbul about the business of travel blogging. Learn more about Nick Wharton on the Goats On The Road About Us Page.

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