Five signs you actually love your job
Victoria Gottschalk uncovers five signs you’re starting to love your ‘9-5’ more than you originally planned:
Working a 9-5 job isn’t for the faint-hearted; it requires patience, organisation and a love of routine. For some people, it’s the perfect step on the career ladder… Working your way up to Managing Director, where it’s acceptable to come in at 10:30am and leave at 4pm. Affairs in the board room. Your own personalised e-mail address. Client meetings where you can pretend to be way more important than you actually are, and so on.
For others, it’s hell. Structured lunch breaks. Shared fridges. A crappy work identification fob to hang around your neck, just in case you ever forget that you are no longer a person, but simply a statistic.
The latter happens to sum up exactly how I felt about office jobs, ever since I was old enough to make my own decisions (no jokes about that being last week, please).
I like the idea of being my own boss, mainly because I have a massive issue with authority. Taking my lunch whenever I want it. Coming into the office as I see fit. In fact, not even having an office to go to, simply using my second bedroom in my penthouse apartment, overlooking St Katherine’s Dock, as a work space.
But then I left school, realised further education would only numb my ambitions and that I was nowhere near as talented as I assumed I was: getting a 9-5 was my only option. That, or joining the circus.
So I moved to London and took a job as an Admin Assistant at a company located in one of the worst parts of the city. I’m not even joking, it’s horrible.
Within eight months, I’d made friends, got to grips with routine – what I’d been dreading the most – and most lunchtimes were spent in the pub. Alcohol was the only thing getting me through the life experience I’d never, ever wanted.
And that’s exactly what the last two years have been about: getting the life experience I so badly need in order to progress with my writing.
Luckily, senior management saw something in me that I clearly never knew existed and in the last 24 months, I’ve been promoted, moved to a nice office and routine isn’t as boring as it once was.
A week ago, I had my appraisal (again, something I never even imagined myself taking part in…a bit like Sports Day during high school) and something hit me that has been scaring me ever since… Am I actually enjoying the job I swore I’d hate forever?
DUN DUN DAAAAAAH. My idea of hell has consumed me. I LIKE having my own email address. I always pretend I’m much more important that I actually am. I WANT to have an affair in the board room…
But despite the sudden realisation that my five-year plan has changed so dramatically, I’m now questioning whether my maternal instincts are going to start showing soon, experiencing some sort of affection towards my 9-5 isn’t as bad as I originally thought.
I’ve been trying to rack my brains as to when this started happening and so far I’ve come up with five warning signs for any readers who feel the same way… or those who have yet to experience ‘the change’, maybe when you start noticing these five things it’s time to leave. It’s not too late for you…
1) Your Manager becomes one of your closest friends.
I’m not even ashamed to admit to this one, but I guess my attitude towards work started changing when I realised I get to spend eight hours a day sat next to one of my best friends. This might sound absolutely ridiculous to anybody who HATES their manager but trust me: work is so much better when you can discuss everything from client reports to bowel movements with somebody you absolutely adore.
It’s no hidden secret that the above, combined with the fact my Manager is the closest thing to an older sister I’ve ever had, is one of the things pushing me to improve in my current role.
2) You take on extra duties at work, despite being completely wrong for the role.
I am the least ‘Health and Safety’-esque person you will ever meet… in fact, I’m either usually drunk, hungover or moody. I don’t care about wires around the office, broken windows or why the lift doesn’t always work. Yet, for some bizarre reason, I seem to have acquired a seat on the Health and Safety committee and I’m also the Fridge Monitor. Remember that thing I said above about hating having to share a fridge? Well now, I clean it so that the sharing can continue.
3) Your payslip makes you happier than it should.
Five years ago, the thought of a monthly payslip made me feel sick; I wanted to be able to invoice people for the writing they’d commissioned me to do, picking up work whenever I needed the extra cash. Now, when the e-mail comes through to tell me I’ve been paid, I have a smile on my face for about six hours and drinks are on me at the pub.
4) Despite having regular urges to dye your hair the colours of the rainbow, something stops you:
I’ve been dying my hair since I was 14, visiting piercing shops and leaving with numerous facial piercings since I was 13 and I’ve been covered in tattoos I regret since I was 16. To say body modification was part of my personality would be an understatement. But now, when I’m stood outside my local piercing parlour, contemplating a Medusa piercing, the fact I have to be client facing always stops me from entering. How will I be able to explain departmental dashboards and reporting requirements if I have a swollen lip? These things just aren’t practical anymore… am I an adult?
5) You’re actually quite happy to see Sunday evening…and not just because you’ve got fresh sheets.
Sunday evenings used to be on par with unexpected periods, having to pay bills and my phone having no battery. It’s a downhill slope when you being to look forward to getting into bed at 10pm, reading a book and setting you alarm for 7am… a downhill slope I’m happy to ride… at least until I can afford to buy that apartment overlooking St Katherine’s Dock*.
* don’t get me wrong, I may love my job, but I also still want to be a writer so if any big shot magazine editors are reading this… holla!
Five signs you actually love your job – by Victoria Gottschalk.