Life

Lessons Learned Working 9-to-5

Growing up, I don’t think many people think, “I can’t wait to work 9-to-5!” But the reality is, so many people do end up working the 9-to-5 shift not thinking it would ever be them. Going into college, I never really knew what I wanted to do even when I was finishing my degree, but a part of me believed that getting a sit down down, office job was a bad thing. That conforming to that standard would make me a boring person. At one point in my life, I wanted to work in the music industry, possibly touring with bands or even on Warped Tour – that was my dream. Then I saw the YouTube beauty community and lifestyle blogs take off, and I was convinced that I could do that for a living and never have to work an office job. I haven’t written either ofthose off (I’d love to blog full time!), but once I started my first day job I became assimilated to it and found that it worked for me.

Working during regular business hours comes with perks, but it also comes with a few cons. Getting used to taking time off work to do regular adult tasks like going to the doctor or renewing a drivers license can mean having to put in extra hours to makeup for time lost. I’ve also noticed since working full time that time really does fly. I wish I could hit the pause button and just relax, but that’s not a reality. An office job may not be for everyone out there, but it’s something I’ve come to enjoy and I’m happy it’s worked out for me.

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1. I like consistency and schedule.

Nothing makes me feel more calm and organized than sitting down on Sundays and filling out my schedule for the week. I’m a big fan of having a schedule and knowing exactly what my day is going to look like, and being on a consistent work schedule is part of that. Like most college graduates my age, I worked in retail and the service industry while in college and immediately following college and my work was constantly changing. This made me stressed out, I wasn’t eating a healthy consistent diet, and my sleep schedule was wack. When I started by day job, I was able to plan dinner to know exactly what I was going to cook, pick which days I was going to workout, and I was finally free to plan whatever I wanted on the weekends. The kicker here is that for a long time, I was the only one of my friends who held a day job while most everyone else was working on Friday or Saturday evenings. Nowadays,  a few more of my friends are working the same shift as me, but not all of them so usually I work my schedule around those I want to see who are in retail or the service industry – I know how difficult it can be to get someone to cover your shift even at week’s notice. I’m also quite the morning person so waking up to an alarm everyday doesn’t bother me which makes getting to work on time quite easy.

2. Office jobs are not for everyone.

As much as I enjoy the consistent schedule that a 9-to-5 offers, I can totally see why some people don’t like it. The first reason being because you have to be on a schedule everyday and be able to stick to it. Truth here is that not everyone is a morning person or likes to be indoors during the beautiful days of summer. There is also that feeling that you’ve simply become another regular person in society, and that you’re not doing anything different or outstanding in your life. I have moments like that, especially when I think back to when I wanted to spend a summer on Warped Tour, but part of the benefits to a day job is being able to take time off for vacations. I personally love to travel and make it a point to fit it into my schedule during the year. In recent years, I’ve really opened my eyes to traveling and it’s a great way to learn about other cities or countries, and it lets you see new cultures. I always come home from traveling feeling more confident in myself because I’ve learned new qualities that will help me in my personal and professional life down the road. My first priority is getting my work done and making sure I’m covering all my basis, but getting away from the desk can help to appreciate my professional work even more.

Image credit: We Heart It

3. You have to be active outside of work.

I knew that if I was going to have an office job that I was going to have to stay active. However that wasn’t as apparent to me as when I got my Fitbit and saw how few steps I was getting in a normal day at work. When I got my Fitbit, I was only averaging around 6,000 steps per day – generally it’s recommended to get 10,000 per day. Even though I was getting my exercise from my lifts during the week, I still put in an effort to get to 10,000 steps per day. Ever since investing in a Fitbit in fall 2015, I’d say I hit 10,000 per day six days out of the week, sometimes five when I have more social activities going on. I make it a point to do some cardio before and after my lifts to fit in a few more steps for the day.

I think a lot of people know that if they work a job where they’re sedentary most of the day, that they should be active elsewhere. However I don’t think as many people are as active as they need to be when holding a desk job. Getting the motivation can be half the battle, especially because you just spend eight hours at work, but I promise that you’ll never regret a workout once you start.

4. Work doesn’t need to consume your personal life.

I’ll admit it, that most nights during the week I dream about work, unfinished tasks, and worst of all – endless Excel spreadsheets. It can be tiring and draining when this happens, but I also know that when I leave work for the day, I have the rest of the evening or weekend to myself. There’s pros and cons to all jobs and what comes with it, and some people have their preferences when it comes to being salaried or hourly – neither is right or wrong. You can love your job and what you do, and also love and enjoy your personal life – I think it’s important to keep them separate when it’s appropriate.

Image Credit: We Heart It

Being able to balance work and personal life can be a challenge, but it can be done no matter what your job is. An office day isn’t the only one out there, there’s service and retail, labor and construction, and being your own boss and all of these jobs will come with their own lessons. For me, at the end of the day, it’s about being happy with the person I am no matter what I’m doing for work.

Off to work! Thanks for reading.

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