“Choose a job you love,” Confucius allegedly said, “and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Maybe there was a surplus of jobs for Pinterest pinners in ancient China, but it’s not so easy now.
The reality is, many women (and men) work to live rather than live to work. Chatelaine revealed that 54 percent of women fantasize about quitting their jobs. Sixteen percent fantasize about walking out every single day. (I’ll wager the other 38 percent fantasize about walking out with the recently listed Brad Pitt but that’s not important right now.)
Life is long, work it out
The good news is, lives are longer and healthier than ever. On average, women in Canada retire at age 62 and live until 84. That’s at least 22 years of paying for theatre tickets, Alaskan cruises and comfortable shoes.
The bad news is, someone has to pick up the tab for those golden years. As the bulging demographic of baby boomers shifts from producing and spending to being economic dependents, the country’s support systems must adjust. The Financial Post described Canada’s Old Age Security benefit as “melting away like a Polar ice cap.”
No surprise then, that the employment rate of women over 55, currently 30 percent, is on the rise. Longer lives require longer careers. Perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate our relationship with work.
Who says you can have only one job at a time? According to Stats Canada, multiple jobholding is increasingly common, especially for women.
Side gigs could be a way to sample a different industry or gain experience prior to a career shift. Nearly 40 percent of female multi-jobbers hold a primary part-time job, with smaller jobs on the side. The biggest upside is schedule flexibility. The biggest downside is lack of healthcare and retirement benefits.
Success can be so bittersweet. It is not uncommon for talented souls such as yourself to keep getting promoted to higher levels of responsibility, until your day-to-day work is entirely comprised of strategy meetings and staff management. You feel bored and no longer inspired by the creative work that drew you into the industry in the first place.
You might consider demoting yourself. Whether that means moving to a smaller firm where you can be more hands-on, freelancing, or requesting a less managerial role at your current workplace, there can be great joy in climbing down that ladder and getting your hands dirty again.
Stats Canada opines, “Owning one’s own business is either seen as the ultimate coup in the world of work, as it enables individuals to set their own hours and pursue projects of self‑interest, or as a last resort, particularly in a slack labour market.” Let’s go with coup.
The self-employed population in Canada is 60/40 men to women. Only 34 percent of those women have an incorporated business versus 53 percent of men. Women are also less likely than men to employ others.
A radical idea
You ought to sit for this one. You could… spend less money. Dial down the take-out. Switch from barolo to chianti. Stop losing your sunglasses. By limiting your outflow, you could be at liberty to reduce your income and (drumroll) work less. I know, right? It’s so crazy though, it just might work.
You know what else Confucius said? Never give a sword to a man who can’t dance. But that’s not important right now.