I’m Taking a Break From My Nine-To-Five Office Job In The Middle of a Pandemic

    In the previous blog post, I talked about my first experience working in a big office in a corporate environment. After that period I really needed a break. I wanted to be out and about and discovering new places. 

    And so I came back to Slovenia to reconnect with family & friends and do some trips hiking and swimming. At that time, there were no job opportunities in Slovenia, this was the time of the big recession. However, I didn’t want to become stuck or go into a dark hole of despair due to never hearing back from recruiters.

    Because I did not know of all the different opportunities that can exist in life, I followed what was the usual path. Back then I did not know many people who would go out and do their own thing and be successful and managed to make their own living. 

    Being the typical responsible self I did not want my parents to keep on supporting me. Surely they’ve done enough, supporting me for 23 years. Now it’s time for me to find a way to support myself financially. 

    Moving Abroad in My Twenties

    My decision was to move to London, with no job waiting for me, just to see what would happen. I packed my bags and found a room. I started applying for jobs and in the beginning, I didn’t really care what kind of job it was, just a job to start earning money. But I soon realized that I wanted to do more stimulating and challenging work – a job where I can grow.

    So I transferred into another career and I felt like I can really give back to people and to the company and help others grow. Make sure we are fair to everyone. It was okay for a while and I was interested in what I was doing. I was growing and learning. Everything was okay. 

    Until again, I had the same feeling as in Brussels when I was just sitting in a corporate office, and every day started to feel too much like a routine where I have no space for creativity or flexibility. I had to be present in the same office from 9-5.

    I wonder how do other people do it?

    Is it just me that craves freedom in when and how I do my work? The space for being creative?

    To have some days that are different?

    Relocating to London

    How Do I Leave the 9-5 Job?

    I started asking myself, how can some people break free from the safe and steady nine to five? 

    You hear all these stories of a couple or a person and they say that some sort of switch goes off. For some, it happens in one day and for others, it slowly grows inside them for some time. Some people do the change quickly, from one day to the other, they make the cut. Others start their projects alongside their day job, they want a slow transition so that they have stability before making the jump.

    Through the power of the internet, I started discovering all the different ways people live and I learned about what’s out there. Reading blogs and websites gave me a window into an alternative life. 

    And so I started thinking to myself, what is it that I want to be doing? How do I want to spend my life? Do I really want to be sitting in an office? Do I want to be looking at a screen all day?

    What is out there that I could do, and not get bored, a million-dollar question. Where I would feel more healthy and it would bring me joy. I know this sounds idealistic, but why not go all-in?

    Office Life Affected My Health

    Sadly, during those years I worked in an office, my health got worse. My eyesight deteriorated, my posture was bad, I became stiff and started having problems with my neck and back. After using a computer for eight hours every day, this was inevitable regardless of how correct my position would be. 

    I noticed that even though I was commuting by bike every day, which I thought was really lucky, my body and mind deteriorated. 

    It was also that stress every day. Everything was so urgent and it felt like my bosses wanted me to focus on things I don’t enjoy versus things I really enjoy and I’m better at. There was a lot of office politics in every organization – I’m sure that no one is a fan of those. Office life and sitting for long periods of time created a lot of stress in my body. 

    Part of me also suffered because I felt like I didn’t belong there. In order to push through you had to be good at pretending, you had to put a mask on. And that’s just not me. I want to be the same person as I am at home, honest and true to myself. 

    And I didn’t like that, I didn’t think that this is how I want to be spending my days and my life. I just wanted to be true to myself and live to my values and do good to everyone.

    office life affects my health

    My Passion for Nature Grew Stronger

    My passion for nature and the environment grew even stronger while working in offices because I was seeing the waste we were creating every day. At the end of the workday, all the bins were overflowing with single-use takeaway packaging. It was eye-opening. Not many seemed to care or think twice. 

    This made me determined that if there is something good I can leave behind, is helping others find better ways, more sustainable and healthy. To start showing people that our environment is really important. 

    Nature is available to us in all its beauty but it’s limited. Resources are limited and we’re not using them smartly. We’re not looking after forests and the animal species are disappearing every day. Our food system is wrong and nobody’s recycling. 

    All this became so heavy for me and I was thinking every day that I should be doing something more valuable to our planet. 

    I kept on thinking that I should be growing my own food, producing less waste, and using renewable energy. And inspiring others to do the same.

    I want to leave my 9-5 job
    Photo credit Tobias

    By Losing Something I Got to Know Myself Better

    During those long days at the office, I dreamed of spending my time outdoors. I missed the sunshine, the endless forests, the walking, running, and all kinds of sports. These feelings were strong and I couldn’t ignore them any longer.

    Furthermore, I also missed being creative and being able to express myself. Having done this all my life through travels, photography, in school, and with my hobbies.

    I couldn’t bring any personality into the workplace because it was better to be mellow and neutral. To stand out was frowned upon, and if you had any ideas these were quickly dismissed. In a typical office environment, at least from my experience, it was better not to share your opinion or encourage change.

    So I adapted and hence a lot of my creativity diminished over the years. I lost that enthusiasm for creating, writing, taking pictures, and traveling. 

    It finally dawned on me that being in an office behind the computer every day is not the right place for me. But what and how do I transition into something else? And what exactly is that something else?

    This is a journey to find that something else.

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