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Can a 9 to 5 Still Be a Dream Job?

In a world of instant gratification, social media, and influencer paydays, the notion of a job in Corporate America being someone's "dream job" seems like a distant memory. But, this advice column's interviewee shares how starting her career in a corporate 9 to 5 has led her to the beginning of a highly successful career- oh, and she is only 25.

I was reading an article the other day- okay, let's be honest, I was watching a video on TikTok- about how the most desired job for kids today is to be an influencer. This statistic got me thinking when did having a corporate 9 to 5 gain a negative connotation? And by negative, I mean less aspirational than more unique career paths. As Kim Kardashian infamously once said, "It seems like nobody wants to work these days." Although this quote sparked a lot of outrage (and rightfully so), the sentiment of that interview has stuck with me.


I have many interviews on DD with influencers and all types of small business owners and 20-somethings with unique jobs, but only a few interviews with individuals with a quote on quote regular 9 to 5, which is interesting considering the majority of 20-somethings have "normal" jobs. How else are we supposed to pay our bills?


One of my best friends, Grace, spent most of her childhood and college years dreaming about what she thought was her "dream job." As she grew up, she realized that the dream job she was chasing no longer aligned with her reality (adulting things). Later in school, she switched majors, which was initially difficult for her to accept, and a few years later, she now has one of the most successful careers of any friend my age and even older. The cherry on top? She works what many would consider a 9 to 5 in Corporate America. So what has made her so successful? Let's find out.

I think a lot of people our age want to have the flexibility of being their own boss along with the “influencer lifestyle” on TikTok and Instagram. They don’t realize that working in the corporate world can give you a similar lifestyle of incredible dinners, trips, shopping, memories, and amazing benefits that set you up for a fruitful retirement.

Right off the bat, there is a huge lesson to take from this advice column: there are multiple paths to get to the same destination. As someone who has fallen into the toxic cycle of convincing myself that there is only one path to success- it's important to remember that you can achieve your definition of success through many different routes.

When I entered my current role, I had no idea it would be my dream position. All I knew was that it would change my trajectory, and I was exactly where I was supposed to be. What makes it my dream job is the entirety of the organization (I work for), my coworkers, and the life it’s given me at 25. This position “fell on my lap” - a recruiter contacted me after months of manifesting it. It’s really cool to say that I’m exactly where I hoped to be. The moral of the story is to keep manifesting your dreams (and) know you are exactly where you are supposed to be right now.

Another lesson to take away from Grace is to continue to say "yes." She took the interview- hell, she started by simply answering the email. As a 20-something or even 30, 40, or 50-something- there is always time to try something new because if not now, when? Especially if your current path no longer suits your goals and aspirations.

I absolutely love working in the corporate world. There is no better feeling than putting on your suit, bright and early and racing to Starbucks before getting to the office or a client-facing appointment. I think the trend of wanting to be an influencer is probably going to fade out at some point. I think the corporate world isn’t glamorized enough on social media.

The content and media you surround yourself with can change your perception of the world. Read that again. More often than not, if you work a corporate job but only follow influencers or celebrities that travel across the globe every other week, you may start thinking that lifestyle is normal. It's important to surround yourself with a variety of content, especially as social media continues to be a part of our personal and social lives.


I (Madi) do not subscribe to the idea that social media is the problem- social media can be the solution in many ways. That being said, you have to be mindful of what you are surrounding yourself with. Don't be afraid to hit the unfollow button.

I always thought I would be in medical school at this point in my life, and I’m so glad I’m not because I ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be. I think it’s so important to be open and really dig deep into why you want a certain career path. If you manifest what you want, put in the work, and trust the process - your dreams will follow. It’s so important to stay positive through it all.

Sometimes being positive feels like the last thing you want to do, especially on the days when your 9 to 5 feels more like the Dolly Parton song than the one described in this advice column, but if you continue to say yes, and work towards your goals and aspirations, believe that your dream job will find you. And guess what? It may be a 9 to 5.


XO

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