On the heels of my last post about not complaining, here is a fresh perspective on why you should love your day job, from the obvious to the not so obvious. (Okay, so “love” might be too strong a word.)
1. Regular Pay Check – Even if it’s not enough to live on, it’s probably more than unemployment pays.
2. Benefits – Along with #1, this is the reason most of us stay: paid sick days, paid vacation days, healthcare, 401K, etc.
3. Paid Jury Duty – Technically, part of #2 but I feel like it’s such a perk it deserves recognition. I recently got a jury summons and asked HR how many days (if any) would be covered. My company pays TEN days of Jury Duty. Granted, if I get chosen and the trial lasts for months, this will only cover two weeks, but that’s better than nothing!
4. Taxes – Sounds odd, but (if taxes are necessary) I actually appreciate that one third of my paycheck is taken out for me. Left to my own devices, I’m not sure I’d have the willpower to put that much aside.
5. Free Air Conditioning and Heat – I live in Los Angeles and it’s freakin’ hot here (this morning 87 degrees Farenheit at 8:30am). Better to sit in the cool air conditioning at work and not rack up my own electric bill.
6. Free Food – Someone’s always leaving something in the kitchen or conference room. Last week some execs left the conference room early and we assistants descended on the sandwich trays like a pack of hyenas. This morning there was a banana on the kitchen table (snagged it!). The other day there was an entire bag of Clementines (delicious!). I try to ignore the cakes, pretzels, caramel-covered popcorn, chocolates, bagels and other treats people leave.
7. Lifetime Supply of Girl Scout Cookies – If that’s your thing.
8. Free Condiments – Salt, pepper, sugar, fake sugar, oil & vinegar, ketchup, mustard, relish. Let’s not forget the free toothpicks.
9. Free Tea, Coffee and Filtered Water – Free water, people! Bring your jugs to work.
10. Free Stationary – Do you know how much paper costs? Me neither.
11. Free Office Supplies, Fax Machine, Scanner & Copier – The less said about this the better.
12. Free Toilet Paper – Okay, I’ll stop with the free stuff (but it does add up).
13. Mailing Address That Isn’t Your Home – Definitely has its advantages.
14. Phone Number That Isn’t Your Home or Cell Phone – Also has its advantages, especially if you have caller ID.
15. Free Internet Access – Not that you should be on the internet at work, but just in case you need to do some research… you know, for your boss.
16. Structure to Your Day – Let’s be honest, if you didn’t have a day job, would you get out of bed at the same hour, take a shower and dress up every day? Actually, I do know a journalist who wears a suit when he works from home, but that’s because he might have to rush out for an interview. Personally, I find the structure helpful. Sometimes it feels like cattle punching in, but at least I know where I need to be and when.
17. Personal Interaction – In this digital era, it’s nice to actually see real people every day. Plus, in my experience our co-workers are often super supportive of our creative pursuits. When one of us actually breaks free, everyone celebrates.
18. Holiday Party – The one day a year when we’re allowed to drink and dance at work. Yay! (More of these would be nice.)
19. Time Away From Spouses, Homes, Children & Pets – We all love our families and homes, but isn’t it nice to get away from them for several hours? I know I get a lot more done when I’m not with my dog, next to a refrigerator, couch, bed or television. In an ideal world (when I no longer need a day job), I would still work in an office away from home.
20. Motivation – Having a day job might
be feel soul-sucking, but that just gives you even more reason to pursue whatever does fulfill your soul. If your job makes you angry, use that to motivate yourself the hell out of there!
And as a bonus:
21. A Day Job Provides Stability So That You Can Take Risks – You might be stressed at work, but you’d be even more stressed if you were unable to pay your bills. As this Forbes.com article says, the best time to look for a new job or opportunity is when you have a job : “… You can take your time and if a great opportunity comes up you can take it if you want or you can wait for the next one.” You’re in control.
Do you have a day job?
What are some other aspects that you appreciate?
May 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm
Engaging my brain 🙂
May 15, 2014 at 11:22 pm
Good one. 🙂
May 16, 2014 at 10:52 am
Great thoughts. I enjoy working from home but the idea of a structure and external interaction (with real, live people!) still appeals to me and there are days I miss it.
May 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm
Thanks and great to see you here! Wouldn’t it be lovely to find an office space to share with other freelancers? I wonder if such a thing exists…
May 19, 2014 at 12:36 pm
They do! They’re called coworking spots, you can rent a desk in an office space to work from. I also just make work dates with freelancer friends to compare notes.
May 20, 2014 at 4:45 pm
Excellent list of positives! Glass half full (and it would be so easy to emphasize the negative)
May 20, 2014 at 6:36 pm
Thanks. Trying to steer away from the negatives. Easier said (and blogged) than done.