Not A Corporate Monkey: 3 Ways 9-To-5 Jobs Don't Work For Creatives
It's no surprise corporate America can be a confusing place for a creative person.
In college, we were free to explore, learn and create.
But post-graduation, we're suddenly faced with the harsh reality that society favors a certain kind of structure and logic to which we simply can't adhere.
Our brains just aren't wired for it.
And unfortunately, many of us end up having to take these types of positions for financial reasons.
But, after a while, this type of job can start to wear on a person with a creative mindset.
We feel out of place, and we crave a setting where our creativity is understood and appreciated.
Here are the three main reasons why:
1. Routines can drive us crazy.
There are plenty of people who are completely content to settle into one routine and stay there.
As someone who used to commute through Penn Station every day, I witnessed men and women traveling to the same job, on the same train, at the same time for so many years.
I was doing it right along with them, but the thought of continuing that for the rest of my life was enough to make me want to scream.
Still, on some level, I do understand the draw to this type of lifestyle; it allows for a certain sense of security and safety.
Uncertainty can definitely be unnerving at times, especially when you don't know where your next paycheck will come from and the rent is due next week.
But, after a while, a creative person may come to feel caged by routine rather than comforted by it.
Any sense of security gained from a stable yet unfulfilling job will eventually be upstaged by a hunger for variation and exploration.
2. We can't separate work from life, and we don't want to.
Creative people's work isn't the thing that allows them to have lives; it is their lives.
They do what they do because they love it, not because it's how they pay the bills.
The idea of clocking in and out just doesn't make sense to us because there is no set schedule for creative work. Moments of inspiration can happen anywhere and at anytime.
We are used to working until a project is complete, not just because it's 5 pm and time to go home.
3. We're always thinking about the bigger picture.
Creative people tend to think about their lives in a broader sense rather than focus on the small details.
Questions like "Am I doing enough?" and "Am I working to my full creative potential?" are constantly clogging our brains.
Certain day-to-day tasks can sometimes seem a bit trivial in comparison to the grander scheme of things.
It doesn't mean these details are unimportant or they don't have to be taken care of, but the bigger picture is always in the back of our brains and diverting our focus.
Ultimately, creative people want to stand out. They have specific voices and things to say, and adhering to the same routine day in and day out can make them feel like they're just ones in the herd.
Don't get me wrong; the world needs logical, routine-obsessed, corporate people just as much as it needs creative types.
But, it seems to me like the world is currently structured to favor the former, leaving the latter out to dry.
This, I think, is one of the reasons why our generation is so often criticized for being lazy, unmotivated or dispassionate.
In reality, our financial constraints are just so much different than those of our parents, and unfortunately, they often overshadow our creative pursuits.