Realities of working 9-5

Have you just finished university and now you’re about to join the adulting world of 9-5? Maybe you’ve always worked shifts and now you’re starting an office job or maybe you work 9-5 and want to see if other people feel the exact same as you do…. if that’s the case, then read this blog.

I am a typical office worker, a 9-5 conformed crazy career lady and in the words of Matthew McConaughey “I was raised on ‘you go get a nine-to-five job, earn your pay and work your way up”.

First things first – there is nothing wrong with working 9-5. Like I said, I have been doing this for five years now but there are a few things that stress me out on the bad days….

  1. Commuting – IF YOU DON’T NEED TO TRAVEL IN THE HOURS OF 8-9 AND 5-6, THEN GET OFF THE ROAD. The travel will start your day and end it, so you don’t want to get a job that’s too far away from home if you have the option. What you think may take 20 minutes in the car, could actually take an hour. ‘I’ve found the perfect job, 20 miles away!!’ – sounds like nothing, but trust me on this one. You might get the train to work and think great – I have some spare time to read – think again, on super hot days on a packed train, that’s the last thing I’d want to be doing… but commuting is not all bad, use this time to reflect on your day and use it as time to separate yourself from work before you get home, so you’re able to relax.
  2. Missing out and Struggling to fit it all in – Close your eyes and put yourself in my shoes. You’re 18, just starting your first ‘real’ job, and all of your mates are off to uni. It’s now summer holidays, your friends are out bbq’ing and sunbathing at the local park, they ask you to join but you have to say no because you’re stuck in the office, whilst looking at all of the pictures they are posting and how much of a good time they are having. Gone are the days of the six week holidays and half terms, hello are the 20 days annual leave. You may get asked to do things in the evenings, and at the weekends but this time is so precious – how do you fit it all in? how do you manage? Cleaning the house, managing your relationship, seeing all of your friends. How do people stay on top of it all? My weekends are sacred and I hate to be sat at home doing nothing all weekend. This is a balancing act and one you’ll get used to. It’s hard at first, but slowly becomes the norm.
  3. Milk gate – You may be wondering what this one is but trust me I hope you never have to experience it. Picture this, it’s 3pm on a Monday afternoon, you’re all ready for some coffees and Susan has gone to make a round of drinks… she opens the fridge and much to her dismay THERE IS NO MILK. The office is in a state of panic – what are we going to do?? what are we going to drink now? You could go to the shop and get some more, BUT this isn’t what happens in the office! The milk fairy appears in the morning, why should we fetch our own milk???? This will disrupt the office for probably an hour. This is known as Milk Gate.
  4. The Office Politics – Have you ever seen the Office? Did you think most of the stuff that happens is a joke? Well, actually no some of those things do happen. There are unwritten rules to working in a 9-5 job and it takes years to perfect them. For example, want to make a drink for just yourself? Forget it. That’s rude. Want to print 100 pages worth of documents? Wow, thanks for letting us know beforehand. My personal favourite – on your birthday, you’re the one that has to bring in cakes… what is that all about??? It’s my birthday! and you’ll always hear that one person talking about the dishwasher fairy…
  5. Pursue adventures over assets – I guess this is a tip rather than a reality but if all you strive for is materials and assets, your working world will probably become groundhog day. Do something you’re passionate about, the saying is find a job you enjoy and you’ll never work a day in your life and that my friends, is spot on. I absolutely love the job I’m in now – it took 3 attempts to find the one but now I have, I’m so excited for the future. I don’t dread coming to work. I don’t get the dreaded Sunday feeling. I know I can make a difference where I am, even if it’s only a small difference.
  6. The last point really is – that we aren’t prepared for this. School is almost halfway there, the routine and repetition. The 5 days a week 9-3, but then we go to college and university and the routine is 10x worse. (I’m assuming, from Eleanor’s experience anyway!) You go from 5 days a week, to 2 so when you start your first job – that will hit you like a tonne of bricks. So we’re not prepared, but you can be. By doing something that you love, by finding a suitable job in a suitable location, by asking questions and being honest and by being patient.

These are some of the things that I have learnt or discovered since working 9-5, and I could go on all night about the realities of it. But for now, enjoy those 6 points.

Do you agree with these? What do you find difficult about the 9-5 life? Are you at uni and dreading getting an office job? Get in touch – we may be able to help, you’re not alone.

Thanks for reading.


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