Do You Have to Quit Your Day Job to Be Happy?

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New officeOne of the common career themes these days is the idea that you might be much happier if you are working for yourself, rather than for “the man.”

The dream is to start a side hustle, cultivate it, and then quit your day job so that you can have the freedom that comes with working from home. For some people, this makes sense. It makes sense for me. I love the flexibility that comes with working from home. I give up a little bit in terms of stability and regular income, but working from home suits me.

Even though I love working from home, I know that there are those who aren’t as interested in quitting their day jobs to work for themselves. The reality is that you don’t have to quit your day job in order to be happy. For many, the benefits of a day job outweigh the risks associated with quitting to become self-employed.

Keep Work at Work

My husband has never been one to enjoy staying at home all day. In fact, he likes having some sort of a job because he likes to keep work at work, rather than having his work at home.

I know many others who feel that way as well. Not everyone likes the idea of quitting a day job just to have to turn a home into a workplace. Those who do want to work for themselves, but keep their homes out of the equation, often get offices so that they have a place to leave their work at the end of the day.


There’s nothing wrong with valuing stability, and having a paycheck you can look forward to. And, of course, having a day job and starting a side hustle aren’t mutually exclusive. You can monetize a hobby or look for other ways to earn extra income while you still work a “regular” job.

The day job provides a certain level of stability, and for some, that stability is worth more than the ability to work from home. Maintaining that stability can be important — especially for those with families.

What If You Like Your Job?

Another possibility is that you could like your job. If you find your job challenging and rewarding, it might no be worth it to stick around. If you aren’t sure about what you will do with your time if you leave your job and work from home, that is usually an indication that you shouldn’t quit. Don’t forget the social aspects of a regular job as well. You don’t have coworkers to befriend when you work from home.

Bottom Line

Every person is different. There’s nothing wrong with being someone who prefers to keep his or her day job. Whether it’s for retirement or whether you just want to reduce your workload, ditching the day job isn’t  always what it’s cracked up to be. If you are happy with your position, it doesn’t make sense to try to force the issue by quitting and working from home.

What do you think? Do you think quitting the day job and becoming self-employed is the only way to financial happiness?

(Photo: Phil Whitehouse)

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Do You Have to Quit Your Day Job to Be Happy?”

  1. As someone who works from home himself, I don’t think you have to quit your day job to be happy or have financial happiness. At the end of the day, working for yourself is not for everyone and can be a lot of work. I love doing it and have probably be ruined for corporate America, but that doesn’t mean everyone would love it. There are a lot of benefits to working a 9-5 job that you can almost certainly find something worthwhile.

  2. Michelle says:

    I don’t think being self-employed is for everyone. However, for me it is! 🙂

  3. Aaron says:

    Thank you for this. I am pretty well good and tired with all the “quit your job now and live” stuff out there right now. There are folks who actually like working for “the man” and are doing well at it, adding value and are content. Life is more than “doing whatever you want / whenever you want to”.

  4. Catheema says:

    The perfect solution: working a few days at the “office” and a few days at home during the week….best of both worlds. A number of companies have adopted that option and have happy employees.

  5. admiral58 says:

    do what makes you happy

  6. ActiveInVT says:

    There is nothing wrong with working for the “man”. I love having a stable paycheck to help achieve my goal of becoming financially independent. However, my goal is to have an “out” within the next 10 years just in case I’m tired of working for the man or he/she does not want/need me anymore. I definitely want more flexibility in the next 10 years and working for myself and not needing a lot of money from saving over the years should allow me to achieve that goal.

  7. Shirley says:

    I agree with Aaron. I enjoyed my job while I was working and was happy to let them have the ownership headaches while I took home a steady paycheck and raised my family.

    Now retired (and thoroughly enjoying that too) I can say that it was all worth it for me.

  8. I don’t think being self employed is the only way to happiness in work. For me it definitely is though as I hated office politics and tiresome decision making processes as well as an overload of work on my desk each day. But for lots of other people I know, they seem to be happy in their jobs and careers.

  9. bloodbath says:

    Short answer is ‘YES’.
    I loved the work I did but hated my boss, co-workers and the corporate environment so after 25 years of pain I walked off and have never been happier working from home at something that I do not love as much but I like a lot. I earn less than 1/4 of my previous salary but I feel a whole helluva lot better!!!

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