How to Stop Working Full Time

Nobody wants to work eight hours straight, and many people would move to Sweden just to be able to work for six hours. Better yet, they would love to decide their own work schedule and just show up at the office three days a week. But since that would probably never work, you better come up with a better plan.

Working full-time has both its benefits and disadvantages. On the one hand, full-time work keeps you busy and engaged in whatever you are doing and brings you in contact with people on a daily basis. On the other hand, some might say a full-time job takes up too much of your time. Just as Bill Watterson once said, "there’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want" which implies that life is too short for a full-time job, and as such you can never do all the things that you want to when you spend 1/3 of your time every day working.

See Also: 5 Reasons Why Sometimes You Should Work For Free

There are many reasons why someone would consider stopping working full-time. For example, once you quit your day job you will have:

  • A better work-life balance.
  • More quality time to spend with your family.
  • More time to work on your passion project.
  • Less job stress and worries.
  • Opportunity to work in multiple jobs/industries.

As time is money, you never get enough time to spend with your family or work productively on your passion project. Not to mention, the work-life balance can get pretty messy for working parents who have no other choice than work for the maximum amount of hours to provide for their family.

So what do you do?

There are many great career choices you can explore to help you discover alternative ways of working. Freelancing, getting a part-time job or even becoming an entrepreneur are some of the options you might want to consider.

Check out the following ways to break down your full-time job and take your career into your own hands:

1. Reduce Your Work Hours

If money isn’t the reason you work full-time, perhaps you could work for a lower wage that also allows you to work for fewer hours every day. This would be ideal for you especially if you enjoy what you are doing in your current job. However doing so might not be possible unless you get the green light from your boss.

The challenge to reducing your work hours is to be able to survive on a lower wage. But this is doable with a bit of effort. Considering that the more you earn, the more you spend, if you were to earn less, then you would need to adjust your lifestyle to a simpler way of living. I guess this is one of those compromises everybody has to make in life and learning to live on less is something that many people have experienced.

Some people have actually done it by choice. Joshua Becker, who follows a minimalistic lifestyle, argues that there are many areas of life where living on less can be achieved. Even though, becoming a minimalist is a big commitment, Becker’s lifestyle choices can give you an idea of how to make the most out of only the essential things you need in life.

2. Break it Down to Part-Time Jobs

Anya Strzemien, an editor at The Huffington Post, suggested that everybody work part-time as this is “basically the solution to everything.” After she had her own part-time leave while working just five hours a day, she discovered that she had “cracked the code on work-life balance.”  She had finally managed to balance the hours of work and play, an option that very few full-time jobs can offer today.  

The real trick to getting part time jobs is not forcing yourself into two or three activities or ‘gigs’ as you might call them, and effectively end up working “full-time” again or even worse, for more than ten hours a day. If all you want from your career is to allow yourself enough time to do something on the side and give attention to what matters to you, this probably isn’t the right approach.

So, here are some tips when freelancing or getting multiple part-time jobs:

  • Keep track of your work.
  • Keep track of time.
  • Choose jobs strategically (jobs from the same or different field if you get bored easily)
  • Set your own limitations.
  • Stay local (instead of having to travel).

If you can find jobs that allow you to work for 5 hours a day or just a few days in a week, this should leave you enough time to work on what you find important. Consider going into photography, writing, consulting, tutoring or any part-time work that you enjoy and that gives you enough money to get by.

3. Become Your Own Boss

Of course, there is always the choice of opening your own business. If you’d enjoy a more flexible type of work and you think you have what it takes to become an entrepreneur in terms of skills and qualities you should go for it. There are many signs that can tell you whether you are born to be an entrepreneur as well as whether this would make you a happier worker than being an employee.

One of the many reasons someone would rather try something on their own is to be able to break free from the typical 9 to 5 work schedule. But while opening your own business means you won’t be working for anyone else except yourself, it also means you will have greater responsibilities on your plate. Consider this option if you are confident that you can work it out, that you have a strong support network, and that are also comfortable with big risks and failure. The good thing about owning a business is that you can tailor it to your own needs.

Perhaps you will never get to work 5 hours per day like Anya Strzemien did, but that is okay because you have many options. If you find that you can’t work in the corporate culture or working full-time isn’t your thing, you can make the big change and create a job that fits your own definition of what ‘work’ is.

Do you want to stop working full-time? Which approach will you take? Let me know in the comments section below…