Why the 8-to-5 is Good For You
In a world that promotes creative jobs and being your own boss, there are still some career advantages to the 8-to-5 corporate job.
If you are like most millennials, the idea of an 8-to-5, windowless desk job is dead last on your list of dream jobs. Today, young professionals place more value on their time than anything else, including money. And while the thought of creating your own schedule and working when and where you want sounds appealing, there are some advantages to working for a company. Whether you’re nearing the end of your college days or you’re just looking for a career change, here are some reasons you may want to reconsider shying away from the corporate world.
1. Benefits (from your night retainer to your retirement)
This includes health insurance, life insurance, and retirement plans among many other employee perks. Studies show that millennials are less focused on future savings and spend more than any other generation.
Working for most corporations often means you can participate in these types of benefits. It may not be your main concern today, especially if you are under 26 and on your parent’s insurance, but not planning for your future can be one of the biggest mistakes you could make. Retirement may seem far away today, but I can promise you that by investing in your future now, you will be better off than most of your peers when nearing retirement age. By partaking in these benefits, you will also learn budgeting and investing skills, which ultimately will lead to more financial freedom.
2. People Skills (because we all have to deal with each other sometime)
This sounds easy enough and by mid-20s most of us have a pretty good sense of how to deal with people, at least in a social setting. But working in an office environment exposes you to many different personalities and forces you to learn to work with them. All good? No. But, there is a thing or two you can learn from those awkward elevator rides and late-night meetings.
But working in an office environment exposes you to many different personalities and forces you to learn to work with them.
Being in close quarters in an office setting forces you to step out of your comfort zone and interact with all types of people. It teaches you to deal with those that may have opposing perspectives and stretches your way of thinking. Interacting and meeting new people may lead to other opportunities in the future.
3. Time Management (because being held accountable is more helpful than you think)
Yes, it sounds great to sleep in until 10am and enjoy a yoga class and a cup of coffee before starting your day. Who wouldn’t choose that over rushing out the door at 7:30am to sit at a desk for hours? But what you don’t get by hitting snooze is a lesson in how to hold yourself accountable—and what it means to be accountable to others as well.
Working the 8-to-5 teaches you to manage your time. People rely on you and you have responsibilities, so hitting snooze five times simply won’t cut it. Getting up early and heading to the office forces you to manage your time effectively, which in turn will give you more time to enjoy the things you do outside of the office. That post-workday glass of wine or weekend Netflix binge will feel much more enjoyable knowing you worked hard and deserve it.
4. Experience and future career success (because corporate culture can give you some cool battle scars)
Along the same lines of financial planning for your future, you also need to set yourself up for a successful career path. Even if you plan on starting your own business, working from home, or being a stay-at-home parent, it is important to be prepared for any possible career change life may bring. Having office or corporate experience teaches you a lot about how businesses work, how colleagues interact, what is and is not effective in a work environment, and how you can best position yourself for success, regardless of where you end up. You'll also make a lot of contacts (whether you like it or not) that can potentially help you in the future. You never know where life might take you, and having a solid and diverse skill set will help in almost any career situation you may find yourself in.
Have any of you learned an invaluable lesion from working in the corporate world? Share with us below, we would love to hear!