Growing up, was I the only person who thought 9-5 office jobs were synonymous with twenty something year olds who seemed to have their lives together and really had something going for them?? yeah, that was 19-year-old me day dreaming. Fondly enough now that I’m there, I can honestly say… I have mixed feelings.
Let me preface this conversation by saying that I am fully aware I am in a great position (although I think ‘great’ is largely subjective and differs from person to person) but. and here it comes, I can’t be the only person who thinks it could be better. So short history lesson about myself, I graduated from a biomedical science degree with a fairly average grade (nothing to write home about) and before I finished, I kind of knew that labs and science although very interesting, just wasn’t for me. I was desperate to get into business and obtain a respectable job that would quench that feeling of needing affirmation So with that fire under my butt I just really wanted to get started with “real life” so much so that after I finished my exam, handed in my dissertation I never looked back.
I somehow managed to land a professional job at a stock brokerage company working in customer service, my first taste of 9-5. I knew it wouldn’t be a permanent thing and it was really so I wouldn’t have to hear how I didn’t have industry experience at every other interview I went to. Within the company a position cropped up and a year later I landed a specialised role in the same company but this time, in finance. My new title involved working with client money, reconciling and constantly talking about CASS which prior to my interview for the role I had never really paid much attention to. More impressively I was working with people with financial experience and finical degrees which I most certainly did not have…Funny that!
In my two years of living out my 9-5 “dream” I think to some extent 19-year-old me would be somewhat happy with the change. I would however highlight 3 main things to myself which are not revolutionary but often get forgotten.
Career accomplishments do not define your worth
- Think this goes without saying but we tend to get so wrapped up about wanting the perfect career almost like it’s the climax for all that education and studying that it sometimes turns into an unhealthy obsession. Obviously, it’s important, but it’s not the end all be all.
- If it wasn’t meant to be, you wouldn’t be there. I think we all at some point suffer from this imposter syndrome that sometimes allows you to justify the shitty things you put up with, this can be anything from getting paid way less compared to your peers (because you tell yourself you need more experience) or constantly taking on crappy tasks etc. point is I’d tell myself straight that if I was really that bad, they would have gotten rid of me.
- Enjoy the good moments because MY GOD 9-5s can be mundane and repetitive. I would tell myself to actually build on my interests and hobbies because I would definitely need it in 2020 (Corona).
All in all, I’m still trying to find my feet and as much as I like the benefit of a 9-5 (steady income) I’m more interested in building on my personal interests