The Anti 9 to 5 Guide

I actually wrote this review just before Christmas last year and am only posting it now. As you'll be able to tell, I've taken the author's advice on becoming a full-time freelancer to heart...

Does your job resemble Peter Gibbons’ in Office Space? Are you one step away from stapling the company policy to your boss’ forehead? Do you play bullsh*t bingo in meetings, marking your scorecard as managerial types bang on about being “customer centric,” using “best practice” or, God forbid, “value adding”?

If yes, you’ll definitely appreciate Michelle Goodman’s advice for fleeing the cubicle in The Anti 9 to 5 Guide. As a former corporate drone turned freelance writer, she quit the cubicle cold turkey several years back and now advocates a more nicotine patch-style approach to jumping to your dream job. She covers part-time and work-from-home arrangements, temping, and other stop gap measures to help you, as she puts it, “take a flying leap, but wear a helmet”.

Not sure of your dream job destination but break out in hives at the thought of “those self-helpy parachute books”? Goodman’s got you covered with her “Career quiz for women who can’t stand career quizzes”.

Feel free to snoop on my answers...

1. What’s on your nightstand?

It’s basically Magazine Mountain, with Madison, Shop Til You Drop, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, and Marie Claire all taking up real estate. Also putting in an appearance are Paris and New York travel guides and, of course, The Anti 9 to 5 Guide.

2. Out of all your friends’ jobs, which one are you most jealous of?

Although I’ve never met her, I am totally envious of the chick who won the Westfield shopping centres’ “Get Paid $100,000 to Shop and Tell” competition. It can’t get much better than a year of shopping and blogging for a hundred grand. Hell, I already do that for free, I’m just waiting for the salary to kick in. Any day now.

3. What’s the one thing you’ve been talking about doing forever that your friends are sick of hearing about?

Writing a book and freelancing for magazines.

4. What’s the one off-the-wall, pie-in-the-sky job you’ve always wanted to try that no one knows about?

A computer game or Lego model designer. I also fantasise about building the Big Banana’s and Big Pineapple’s stylish second cousin, the Big Stiletto, and selling shoes, chick flick DVDs, pink cupcakes and Sex and the City memorabilia from the gift shop, with part proceeds going to the RSPCA.

5. If you could start any business or organization, or sell any service or ware, what would it be?

My body. Just jokes – my writing and maybe shoes.

6. If you could work anywhere in the world, in any country or organization, where would it be? Doing what?

In Denmark for Legoland or writing on a deckchair in the Maldives with a chocolate-y cocktail.

7. If “debt,” “years,” and “practical” weren’t words in your vocabulary, what would you be doing now – besides sipping margaritas on your own tropical island?

Oh, besides getting sloshed on a gorgeous beach? I wouldn’t mind job hopping from one crazy role to another and getting paid to write about them at the same time.

The results are quite revealing – I’m nuts, have a shoe fetish, am a not-so-closeted nerd and am gagging to write for fashion mags. What would your answers say about you? Take the quiz and then check out the chapters to help you reach your dream, whether you want to work from home, be your own boss, do work that helps others, feed your wanderlust or crack open the door to a male-dominated field.

Whatever your Holy Grail of occupations, Michelle Goodman’s witty but invaluable advice and nifty action plans will have you on the right track – correction – your right track in no time. And once you’ve taken your cautiously optimistic flying leap out of the cubicle, read the sequel, My So-Called Freelance Life, to learn how to sell your wares once you’re no longer selling your soul. For more info on both books and living a freelance life, drop by Michelle's blog,

Rating: 9/10.

Are you itching to flee the corporate jungle? What's your dream?


  1. I love this post. I can't wait to leave office life! For now I'm okay with the 9-to-5, but eventually, I would love to be a freelance writer and stylist. I've tried it before and it seemed too insecure to actually make a living out of it. But that was a while ago, and now that I have more experience, I'd like to try it again.
    Something I'm mad about lately is the Location Independent lifestyle - check it out here:

  2. What a great post!! You'll get there I'm sure :)

  3. hiya – found ya via the girls weekend hop – been a follower for quite some time & love your blog!
    come by and say hi and follow back if ya like!
    misadventures of a chunky goddess

  4. Stopping by from Chasing Aphrodite...What a great book! And those questions really make you think! I love the idea of the Big Stiletto & it's profits going towards the RSPCA :)

  5. Thanks Sascha -- I checked out the location-independent lifestyle site. It reminds me very much of "The 4-Hour Workweek" book by Tim Ferriss ( If you haven't read it already, you absolutely *must*. It's all about emancipating yourself from 40-hour work weeks and choosing a lifestyle where you can work from anywhere and have fun at the same time. You'd love it!

    Cyn, thanks for posting your link. Love the title of your blog and the anti-muffin top blog hop. Awesome! I may need your advice to de-chunkify myself as well. : ) I'm now a keen follower.

    Hi Serena, thanks for stopping by. I'm still keen on my Big Stiletto idea. I'm such a tragic for Aussie Big Things like the Big Pineapple. There definitely needs to be a fashionable, pink, sexy version. ; )




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