The traditional work structure looks something like this: start working at 9 o’clock, take a one-hour lunch break at 12, resume working at 1 o’clock, and sign off at 5. Go work from Mondays to Fridays, spend the rest of the weekend with family and friends, and receive a stable amount every 15th and 30th of the month.
For some people, living on a routine is a good thing – it makes them feel secure and comfortable. But for other folks who crave challenges and yearn for self-expression and autonomy, a 9-to-5 job drives them crazy.
Are you one of them? Here are 4 telltale signs you are no match for a 9-to-5 job and what you can do about it.
1. You always feel trapped in the office
Can you still remember your first day in the office? You may have been eager to work in the company upon seeing those cubicles, with all those fine ladies and gents, all dressed up and doing some serious paperwork. But after a couple of months or years, you find yourself overly demotivated at work, finding any excuse possible to leave the building.
Being required to punch in and out every single day truly makes you feel stuck in a rut – as if you have no control over your career or life. And that lack of authority makes you want to run around the halls, screaming.
2. You can’t stand working regimented hours
You can’t sit in one place for 8 hours. You want to get out and move. You feel like there’s so much to explore, and you can do more if you’re not caged in a small cabin all day. Your creativity craves flexibility.
And you know you’re not just being an annoying nagger – your brain just won’t really allow you to work for eight hours without burning yourself out.
3. You’re not a morning person and it shows on your work quality
You’re not alone – waking up early to go to work is a common struggle most of us share. However, not everyone can manage it and can put themselves into work mode once they sit on their desk and get their coffee.
Let’s say you’re most productive in the afternoon, not in the morning when the job calls for it. And no matter how much you try, and no matter how much caffeine you take, you just can’t wire your brain to produce work.
If it keeps happening and it’s not helping you or the company, you may need to rethink your career path.
4. You don’t like being micromanaged
You don’t like being told what to do and how to do it. You can’t stand attending a meeting you hate to go to or being told to work on a task you don’t feel like a priority. If you’re feeling annoyed about having to follow orders, it may be a clear sign that you’re meant to be your own boss.
Don’t get me wrong – even freelancers have bosses and clients to follow, but they have the freedom to do their work at their own time and pace and inject their own touch to it. You may do better at work (and in life) if you’re able to make your own agenda instead of following someone else’s.
5 Tips When You’re Feeling Stuck in a Rut
Work from home
Maybe you don’t mind your work – you just despise your suffocating workplace. If sitting in one place all day affects your productivity (and sanity), you may consider asking for an option to work remotely a couple of times a week. You can work at home or in a cafe, assuring your boss that you’ll send your report at the end of the day.
Use your breaks wisely
Another tip is to know the things you can control (like your breaks) and use them to make things feel less daunting. You can use your break to walk around the block, eat feel-good grub, talk to a friend or loved one over the phone, visit a nearby bookstore, do art, and just do anything that’ll make you feel more alive. You can also ask for time off and travel somewhere to refresh your mind.
Consider a different line of work
Can’t stand the fixed hours? Consider a new position or a different line of work within the same company that’ll offer you more control. Look for side gigs to fulfill your passion. If possible, you may ask for HR solutions, like changing shifts.
Adjust your sleep schedules
If you’re having a hard time focusing in the morning, you could be one of the folks in this research who are not productive until four hours after their waking time. Sleep and wake up earlier to make sure your mind cranked itself up to full awareness once you get to your workstation.
Quit your day job
Seriously. If you’ve tried everything to make your situation better but nothing seems to be working, then maybe it’s time just pack your things and start anew.
Also read: 15 Signs That You Need To Quit Your Job
Disclaimer: It’s a risky undertaking, so ponder on it. It may be difficult to find a new job and start over again. But if your current job is costing your sanity and creativity, then it’s better to leave.
Who knows? Your dream job might just be waiting for you. You may unlock so much of your potential as an entrepreneur, a travel blogger, a freelance writer, a photographer, an author, or a commission-based graphic designer.
“Monotony crushes even the brightest spirit,” said Jenny Foss, a career strategist, and author. So before your daily grind completely extinguishes your spark, acknowledge these 4 signs to decide whether to stay or leave your job.