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Matador Nights Editor Kristin Conard reviews “The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life” by Dr. Kristin Cardinale.

The cover of The 9-to-5 Cure: Work on Your Own Terms and Reinvent Your Life features an image of an open birdcage. The idea is that you are the bird, the 9-to-5 job is your cage, and once you’ve read this book, you’ll be able to fly free.

I flipped through my review copy; it seemed too good a promise to make to people.

Dr. Kristin Cardinale writes in a conversational, almost conspiratorial tone, letting you in on her secret to getting the life that you want. At this point, it’s assumed that the life you want is one that isn’t a 9-to-5 job.

It’s not a book for those who just want to fantasize about the lifestyle, it’s designed to make you actually think about whether you want to do this and how you’d go about doing it.

The lifestyle you’re exchanging your 9-to-5 life for is what Cardinale calls the “Patchwork”, which is just what it sounds like: putting together freelance and consulting positions into a sustainable and more fulfilling way of life.

The book traces thought-processes necessary for achieving a freer lifestyle, including fill-in-the-blank sections for things like goals in terms of work, relationships, finances, and education; what type of colleagues you want to work with; and your ideal work week and year.

She fully acknowledges that this lifestyle may not be for everyone and that it will take a lot of personal effort. She stays optimistic, almost overtly cheery for my cynical taste (too many exclamation points), but her suggestions and advice seem sound and she includes pros and cons of different aspects of the “Patchwork” lifestyle.

As someone who’s toying between what’s commonly considered a more secure job (the full-time 9-to-5) and sticking with the “Patchwork” lifestyle, this book has had some helpful practicalities like sections on determining your expertise, branding yourself, setting up a website, finding work, negotiating payments, and saving for retirement.

She ends with advice that applies to everyone in every job: go easy on yourself, be willing to apologize, and stay positive. 

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Looking for more inspiration on how to ditch the cubicle? Check out these articles:

Escape the Cubicle: 5 Steps To Convincing Your Boss To Let You Telecommute

How To Ditch The Cubicle And Plan Your Escape

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