Leaving your "creative" job for a more practical 9-5?

posted 7 months ago in Career
Post # 2
185 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2017 - City, State

I actually just did this over the summer. I left my dream job (I worked my butt off to get my promotion and I was heading in a great direction) because of the schedule. I was in the food industry and working every night and weekend was becoming increasingly difficult to imagine when we have children especially because I was on my feet for 12 hours a day sometimes so being pregnant would be harder than necessary. I’m currently pregnant with my first andbgoing on my fourth month at my new 9-5. I don’t regret it at all – it’s amazing having the same schedule as my husband and enjoying our weekends together before the baby comes. It’s also super nice not having to stress about getting time off for all the events that always happen on weekends or making plans hesitantly because you’re not always sure what your schedule will look like. I’m not gonna lie, I’m bored at my current position and do miss this creativity and business my old career provided but I know that this is best for my family and the better work/life balance is unmatched. It’s a hard decision but ultimately, if you’re really looking for more stability and to enjoy time with those you love, it will be a good option. I’m also fortunate enough because I can still do what I love at home whenever I choose so that helps as well to still be able to be creative when I want to. Good luck!

Post # 3
244 posts
Helper bee

I am kind of in the middle of a career change. I am going from being visual design to front end development to software development. I was completely burnt out creatively so I looked for positions that would allow me to utilize some of the experience I already have. The way I am going about it allows me to continue bring in money whole working towards a complete title change. 

Most creative fields have other more stable and lucrative fields they branch into atleast that what I find for fine art and design. What kind of artist are you?

Post # 4
1069 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve done it back and forth, and both at once, dependent  on current circumstances. Sometimes a more practical job is in order as finances or family situation requires, sometime I can focus more on the creative work when things are smooth sailing. Life is pretty plastic, I don’t ever feel I have to stay in one path. 


I also go through periods of self-employment, and nearly always also hold an additional, practical job. 


A simple 9 to 5 can sometimes be a relief, stable, simple, expexted. 


Post # 5
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I haven’t done what you described, but could you find a job somewhere in the middle? I have an arts degree in fashion design, but I still work a traditional 9-5 office job and make more than twice what you say you are making. I get to have somewhat of a creative outlet since I still work in a creative industry, but still have the security of a higher salary and the benefits of a full time position. Maybe there is something inbetween a full on creative role vs administrative job?

Edit: Sorry, just wanted to clarify that my 9-5 office job is still in the fashion industry rather than a generic role.

Post # 6
203 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

I did this just over a year ago, although i didn’t quite put as much into my education beforehand. I paid about $5,000 over a year to train in my dream job and for about a year was working in the field, but it paid £14,000PA and was 5am starts, 11pm finishes, weekends, you name it. It was draining and i really lost the love for it, plus i wanted to be able to move forward in my life and that wasnt gonna happen on that wage. 

I got a 9-5, almost double wage, and ive been here 14 months now. I dont like it i cant lie, but the money and time it gives me is great. The things i dislike are more particular to my role and situation (its 1.5hr commute each way, work with all men or on my own so its very lonely) but i dont particularly regret leaving the “dream” job, because at this moment in time i value the routine it gives me and the higher wage, and the life this means i can live. 

Ultimately no one can decide for you, but know that you are not a tree, and you can move whenever you feel the need to. You dont have to stick it out in a job or situation you dislike, just do whats right for you <3 

Post # 7
335 posts
Helper bee

This is so interesting because I was feeling really down about my 9-5 job yesterday. I see all these who are traveling all the time and running business from Bali and I’m sitting in a room with not even windows. My job is stable though and I make decent money . I guess grass is always greener on the other side. 

Post # 8
2913 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I strongly suggest finding a happy medium. Have you considered administrative or related positions that are still in your current field? With multiple are degrees there are endless possibilities for more convenient hours. Some positions that I looked into while exploring employment with my graphic design degree were Curriculum Developer (fine arts) at a local university, assistant designer for a small design firm, entry level interior designer, and art gallery administrator. Each of these positions offered standard 8-4 / 9-5 hours with rotating weekends and only occasional evening hours. 

Post # 9
884 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Have you looked into graphic design? UI/UX design is still artistic but pays very well. Front end software design is another option. 

Post # 10
1337 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2019

Is liking what you do important? You know that better than us. If so, I think I’d try to find a position in or related to your field first that has a better schedule for you. Creative positions are available in all sizes—including ones that are regular. Not to mention, already having relevant experience in your field will make you much more viable as a good job candidate. I recommend this before leaving your field altogether.

I actually did what you mentioned here—left freelancing for a ‘normal’ office job. I thought the steady hours and pay would make me happier and feel more secure. Nope. So wrong. Granted, the environment wasn’t very good, but I was still miserable with having to sit in the same spot all day and having no time to take care of me or my life. My socia life tanked, and all of that ‘extra’ money I made was quickly spent on ways to distract me from the job that I’d taken to get the extra money in the first place.

I made it a year and some change before I quit, and now I’m back to doing freelance again. Unless if I get an offer on the table that is absolutely too good to refuse (and meets my demands), I won’t be working a traditional office job again.

Post # 11
738 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

pianoplayingbee :  Sorry I’m responding so late but to answer your question: yes I left a “creative” job as a performer where I worked many side jobs just to make ends meet for a full-time office job with a decent salary and benefits. TBH, I’m not super happy at my office job at the moment and am looking for a new job, but I still don’t regret “quitting” the “creative” life for something more stable. For me, I always told myself I would stop pursuing my creative career when it stopped being fun, and it stopped being fun for me, just really stressful, so I finally made that transition. Feel free to PM if you have any questions. 

Post # 12
2860 posts
Sugar bee


I used to do freelance graphic design and illustration, but honestly it was often MORE work and more stressful than a regular 9-5 – but with less or similar pay. 

I found a career path that combines the creative with the practical (for me, it’s communication design & marketing) and the structure and stability is a godsend. Sure it’s sometimes boring or a pain in the ass, but generally I feel like I’m more efficient and less stressed out with a stable, strucutred job. 

Could you try to find a role that combines your current strengths with something more traditional? Even getting an admin job in a gallery or graphic design studio or something along those lines might help get you on a path that gives you a happy medium. 

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