An Office Dilemma

Last week I decided I would quit one of my jobs. It was just a casual position, working in an office environment. It was your standard 9-5 type hours, sitting at a desk with an email account open, answering a phone and occasionally printing something. It is the standard job for people when the leave university and AA to find something full-time in the real world.

And I hated every single second of it. I have never wanted to work in an office environment. If you had asked me when I was 15 what I wanted to do when I left school, my answer would be the same as it is today, “I’m not sure, but I don’t want a job where I am stuck in an office all day”. But I took an office job out of desperation because I felt stuck and as if I was drowning in self-pity.

When I left after my first shift, where I trained on the reception desk, I knew this wasn’t for me. I had never felt more useless in my life than I had that day. I couldn’t understand how the person training me could actually enjoy their job. I didn’t understand how that person could be happy having worked that role for 20 years. I felt absolutely ridiculous that I was going to be doing the same thing, and that everyone I saw was going to be thinking the same thing about me that I was thinking about the person training me.

But I continued. I was able to be trained in different parts of the admin role, but I still felt stupid doing them all. I received the opportunity to be trained in the highest section of the admin department, where only one other casual had been trained. I was allotted five days to learn the role, and then run it by myself for two more. I was able to grasp the role extremely quickly, quicker than the time they assigned me, and then easily perform it independently when they actually weren’t expecting me to be able to. But I hated every second of it. I was looking at a whole bunch of people who has been doing simple these mindless tasks for 10 years, and not caring that that’s all they were doing. After this time, I was praised for how well I had grasped the role and offered a more permanent role in this department. I avoided answering this question.

Yes, I could perform the role in my sleep. But I didn’t want to do this role at all. So I was stuck with this dilemma of whether I should accept a job just because it was a job which is hard to come by for graduates or decline it because after this short time I had already felt part of my soul die.

Luckily for me, I was about to travel abroad for two weeks and I could leave all my worries about my future at home. I did not have to face the fact I have no idea what I want to do with my life, despite already being out of university for a year. But when I got home, it all smacked me in my face. I was constantly getting asked to cover shifts, and being reminded that they wanted me to undertake this new role, but I didn’t want to do any of it. I had no desire to work a shift in any department or tie myself to a role with the organisation permanently.

So, I resigned. And a small weight instantly left my shoulder the minute I pressed send. I was out of that office environment I hate so much. I didn’t have to wear dress pants, and flats anymore.

But now I am stuck trying to find a career, not just a job but a career, where I don’t need to be stuck in a stale office without being mentally stimulated or interested in the things in front of me. When I was in high school careers class, the response to my career goal was to be a radio host, but every test result I received was for an accountant. So I am on a mission to find an entrance into a career which I won’t be confined to a desk, both physically and mentally, and find an opportunity that interests me.

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