Signs You’re Not Cut Out for the 9-to-5 Life

Many of us were raised to a subtle beat (or loud gong) that went something like, “Get good grades. Get into a decent school. Get a solid desk job. Be happy.”

Problem is, for some people this formula doesn’t lead to career fulfillment. In fact, for some, it’s a formula that ultimately makes them want to crawl out of their own skin or run screaming. Could this be you? What are some signs that you may, in fact, not be cut out for a traditional, 9-to-5 job?

Here are a few signs, plus what should you do if this speaks to you.

1. The Office Makes You Feel Like a Caged Animal 

It is not always about resenting authority. For some who aren’t cut out for traditional jobs, it’s the endless sea of desks that makes them want to run screaming.

What to do if you feel trapped?

If your job requires you to sit in one sp and stare at a computer all day (and you actually don’t mind the work), you may consider requesting the option to telecommute a couple times a week. If your role doesn’t really mandate sitting in one place every day, start planning your day (or requesting to do so) in a way that gets you out and about at least a time or two every day.

2. You Don’t Like Working Regimented Hours

Similar to the feeling that a cubicle may give you, being required to punch in and out each day can make some feel like they have no say in their career or life (and having no say make them want out).

What to Do If You Despise Set Hours

If this is your job (and it’s making you nuts), you may want to consider a new position or line of work. If the imposed hours are arbitrary, perhaps you could put together a proposal that shows your boss how you can achieve your goals outside of the current schedule.

3. You Resent Being Told What to Do (by Anyone)

If you feel a bubbling rage when asked to attend a meeting you don’t want to go to or work on a project you don’t think is a priority, this could be a warning sign. If you don’t think you shouldn’t have to arrive at a certain time or put in a request for vacation time at all? The writing’s on the wall.

What to Do If You’re Not Having it with Authority

If you’re feeling super resentful about having to answer to anyone, it may be a clear indicator that you’re meant to be your own boss. This isn’t us saying, “March right in and quit.” In many cases, this could be reckless. But if you truly despise working on someone else’s agenda, consider how you might earn a living as the one who gets to make the agenda.

If you’re simply not cut out for a 9-to-5, find strategic, creative, or brave ways to redefine your current role, or create your own.

Our award-winning coaches at the Ignite Your Potential Centers offer a complimentary 25-minute phone session to help. We are the #1 career coaches in San Francisco and Los Angeles, let us show you how we earned that praise.

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