Not everyone is meant to live the 9-to-5 life (sorry, Dolly Parton) — and that’s OK.
Though many of us have been led to think of office life as the only "respectable" means of being employed, if you consider yourself to be more of a spontaneous, creative type, you may not enjoy a typical desk job. While desk jobs provide the stability and consistency that some people crave, others may find it more dreadful than enjoyably reliable. And forcing yourself into a lifestyle that doesn't fit you for the sake of so-called respectability isn't the best use of anyone's time.
We’ve outlined the five signs to look out for if you’re wondering whether you aren’t meant to spend your working life in a traditional office space.
1. You hate structure.
The thought of having each day scheduled to be the exact same as the previous one makes you cringe. You need surprises and shake-ups in your everyday routine in order to stay satisfied and happy in your life. And structure not only makes you miserable, it makes you less productive.
2. You can’t focus while being confined to a desk.
Being stuck in one place for hours on end could drive you insane. Your mind begins to wander from your love life to your family to that dinosaur-themed birthday party you had when you were three. You feel restless just attempting to stay focused, and you find it all the more difficult to get your work done.
3. You hate being told what to do.
Everyone needs a little authority in their life, but those who would fare worst in a desk job absolutely despise being ordered to do something. Especially when the task is unnecessary or your boss is over-complicating a minor issue. The person who should probably not take a nine-to-five job also feels that she could better solve a problem or better complete a task using her own methods than the one provided to her by an authority figure.
This type of person also wants to take a break whenever she wishes -- whether that be a bathroom break, a vacation, or a simple stroll through the park. And she does not want to feel chained to her desk, being forced to ask permission to leave.
4. Your purpose in life cannot be fulfilled by sitting at a desk.
If your ultimate career goal involves you going out and meeting people, seeing new places, learning things hands-on -- you may not be a good fit for an office position. If you know you will be miserable from the time you wake up till the time you leave the office and go to bed, you should steer clear of a nine-to-five. You should never take a job that enables you to forget why you went into that field in the first place.
5. You feel like you can’t be yourself if you are confined.
If you feel claustrophobic or anxious in controlled group settings, a desk job may not be right for you. While your weekend-self and your professional-self may always differ slightly, you do not want to have to put on a completely new face every time you go to work. You should not feel restricted from being your true self, a tiring task that could inevitably weaken your mental health. If you refuse to change who you are in order to simply impress the people around you, you may not be cut out for a desk position.