Jan 17, 2008

Found My Dream Job... But Why Must it Require 60 Hours Per Week?

My contract gig is going very well. In fact, it's going better than expected. In the past two months, my 30-hour-a-week gig has already expanded from that of "writer" to that of marketing assistant and community manager. In a meeting with my boss yesterday, we briefly discussed the possibility of my staying on past the end of my contract in mid-Feb, and he seemed to want me to stick around. Great. Here's the catch -- to be considered "full time" I'd have to work about 60 hours per week.

Yes, that's how life is out here in Silicon Valley. 60 hours a week is the norm for a full-time salaried position. Maybe I don't need to be "full time." I can be "part time" at 40 hours per week. Basically that just means that I'd be sans benefits and I'd get paid a bit less. And I might end up working 60 hours per week, but I won't be required to do so.

I'm not sure that's the end of the world. I'd rather have flexibility compared to having to be a slave (albeit a paid one) to a job (albeit a job I really like.) I want to have a life outside of work... even if that life is working other freelance gigs... I like the diversity of freelancing, so I think I'll stick with that. Or maybe I should actually find myself a job that's salaried at 40 hours per week.

But I tried that and I was miserable. I've been so happy lately, and it's all because of my flexible schedule. I'm making a bit less money, but in time I can fix that. I'm marketing myself and getting new freelance writing gigs. An article here, a marketing newsletter there, and pretty soon I'm making $50k a year, all with time to keep enjoying my "hobby" of directing theater in the evenings and on weekends. I just don't sleep.

I just wonder if I need to suck it up and take on a 60 hour per week job in order to advance in my career. I know that's the norm here, and it seems like I've got one of those generation Y sense's of self entitlement if I don't just agree to that kind of life. But I'm worried if I do that I'll quickly slip back into depression. And that I don't want at all.



3 comments:

Julie the Graduate said...

Benefits are really important, but so is your sanity. 60 hours a week sounds like a LOT. I just started working 40 a week and I feel like I don't have any time to do anything else... I guess everyone gets used to it after a while though.

Kacie said...

Ugh, I can't imagine working 60 hours per week. Add on your commute and getting ready for work, and yikes! There goes your week.

I don't think it's unreasonable to expect to work a 40-hour week and still get benefits.

Look at France. They work less, have more vacation time, and seem much better off.

jana said...

i believe 60 hours is too much-and i know what i am talking about. i have a full time writing/editing job+dod freelance gigs all the time for the exact same reasons you stated - variety etc. benefits sound good but maybe they are more important if you are 50 or so (i believe you are young.
working normal hours plus doing freelance things DOES work big time, and it also helps to build contacts should your company fail, or should you dislike your curent employer

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