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Age of 9-5 office job is dwindling

Aftab Ali Khan Musa

In the tranquil commune of Chitral, nestled amidst nature’s grandeur, a subtle but significant transformation is underway in the collective mindset of its residents. The once-prevailing belief that success is contingent upon a 9-to-5 office job (preferably a government job) is gradually giving way to a more nuanced perspective. This shift reflects the evolving dynamics of our world, where we must strike a balance between the traditional notion of employment and the burgeoning world of entrepreneurship.

For decades, our society has been conditioned to view securing a government job or a corporate position as the pinnacle of success. This perspective traces its roots back to an archaic educational system (Muhammadan-Anglo-Oriental System [MAO] introduced by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan in 18th CE United India) initially designed to cultivate loyalty to colonial masters to enable Muslims to attain political relevance in the long run. Regrettably, this mentality has lingered, perpetuating the notion that traditional employment is the only viable path to prosperity.

Prominent historian K.K. Aziz, in his influential work, The Murder of History, aptly likened Pakistan’s educational system to a tool for state-sponsored indoctrination. His critical assessment underscores the pressing need to overhaul our education system. We must pivot from the goal of producing compliant employees toward nurturing independent thinkers, innovators, and entrepreneurs.

One must realize, education should not be reduced to a mere conduit for job acquisition; it should be a journey of enlightenment, cultivating intellectual curiosity, and fostering creativity. The contemporary world is in a state of perpetual flux, offering opportunities that extend well beyond the confines of a conventional office job. Our educational institutions must adapt, encouraging students to explore their passions, identify opportunities, and create employment for themselves and others.

Yet, this transformation is not the sole responsibility of our educational institutions. Parents, too, have a crucial role to play in guiding their children’s aspirations. It is crucial that they recognize the 9-to-5 office routine can, at times, become a form of modern-day servitude, where individuals trade their time and creativity for financial stability, often at the cost of their own dreams and aspirations. Parents should inspire their offspring to pursue their ambitions with vigor, transcending the limitations of the office cubicle and seizing the diverse opportunities presented by the globalized world.

In conclusion, Chitral’s gradual realization of the limitations of the 9-to-5 office culture reflects a mature understanding of the complexities of success in our contemporary world. Success should no longer be a monolithic concept tied exclusively to traditional employment. Our education system must adapt, emphasizing knowledge acquisition over job placement and instilling a sense of purpose and ambition in students.

This transformation is a collective endeavor, requiring the commitment of educators, parents, and society as a whole. We must welcome this evolving perspective, where entrepreneurship and self-employment are acknowledged as credible avenues to success, and where the boundless opportunities of our dynamic world are embraced with open arms.


(The writer is Lecturer IR/English and expert in European History).

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