Tumble outta bed and I stumble to the kitchen
 Pour myself a cup of ambition
 And yawn and stretch and try to come to life
 Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping
 Out on the street the traffic starts jumping
 With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5

Working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living
 Barely getting by, it’s all taking and no giving
 They just use your mind and they never give you credit
 It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it
 9 to 5, for service and devotion
 You would think that I would deserve a fat promotion
 Want to move ahead but the boss won’t seem to let me
 I swear sometimes that man is out to get me

~Dolly Parton, “9 to 5”

The movie of the same name starred Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton, and Lily Tomlin as female office workers harassed and perpetrated against by the character portrayed by Dabney Coleman. Eventually, the women get their revenge and turn the tables on their sexist boss.

When you look at the song lyrics, they reflect the life of hell. They reflect the life of the person who hates what they do and does it because it’s a job. They want to be treated fairly and life has and let them do that. These are the people who crave work-life balance. They crave a job where they are respected and feel as though they are treated fairly.

This movie was created in 1980 and’s the story of revenge against sexism.

Let’s go beyond the storyline and look at the choices you are making and whether you’re working 9 to 5 and doing it because of the coffee, the need for the money, and are tolerating behavior by your firm that no one should tolerate.


Don’t blame it on the pandemic. It was like that before the pandemic. Why are you putting up with that?

I had a long career in the field I loathed but talked a good game about. One day, I woke up and realized that most of my life was over and that wasn’t doing anything I particularly enjoyed.

If you’re in that boat, there are few reasons I see where you should put up with that. In my case, when I decide to try to get out, I had the great fortune of meeting my wife in graduate school. I put my ambitions on hold so that we could do the house, the family, and the other things that we both wanted to do. I made a conscious choice to sacrifice myself for a while but when that time ended I changed to something I enjoyed more.

At the time, I was in graduate school and completed my Masters. I did a little bit of part-time work in what I thought I might like doing what I made the transition but didn’t have the time to market myself for that kind of work. So I found the place with a nonprofit where I could do some things through them that made me happy until I could make the complete change to coaching after an additional 18 months of education.

Notice. I did training. Experimented by continuing to do it part-time. Decided it wasn’t quite right for me. Found something that I enjoyed that was close but not quite something I do every day. Found it. Got additional training and transition to the right time.

You can do that, too. You don’t have to leap into something. You can adapt on-the-fly if you need to.

The idea is to do something to get away from the grind of 9 to 5 and praying for the work-life balance that you only want because you don’t like what you’re doing from 9 to 5.

Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2020



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than Career Angles | Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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