This time last year, I made absolutely no secret of the fact that I hated working in retail. I mean, who wouldn’t?!
I hated the hours, working weekends and bank holidays. I hated the work around Christmas. I hated being on my feet all day. I hated the busy days. I hated the rude customers. I hated the random shift patterns, sometimes working until 9, 10, 11 o’clock at night.
In December last year, I found an office job that fixed pretty much all of those problems and, most importantly, took me away from retail hell. Nice, normal shifts, a comfy office chair, only having to talk to customers over the phone where you can eye roll to your heart’s content… I also had plenty of time on my desk computer to write, research, keep up with social media, etc.. Living the dream, right?
Well, now it’s nearly a year on and I’m starting to think that perhaps having such a chilled out job isn’t all that good for me. Don’t get me wrong, I like where I work for a whole bunch of reasons, and all the benefits that lured me to the job in the first place are still true. But at the same time, it’s left me at a bit of a loss.
My old job wasn’t exactly fulfilling but it kept me busy, there’s no doubt about that. I was always rushing here, there and everywhere, and I had responsibility on my shoulders; if I wasn’t there, certain jobs wouldn’t get done. I’d walk into work with a to-do list and, at the end of the day, I’d ticked it all off. I never quite realised the value of doing a productive days’ work, thinking on your feet and having a shed-load to do, and what it was worth to my mental health.
Now I’m in very much a re-active job role; I wait for people to come to me with their problems and I help solve them. There’s not a whole lot else to do in between.
Doing very little and getting paid for it is an absolute dream for some people. It is a pretty sweet deal and, as I said, I really do like where I work. But my mind is crying out for some stimulation. I need to be challenged. I need to feel useful. I need to use my initiative. I need to feel like I bring something to the table, like if I hadn’t been there things wouldn’t get done. Right now, I feel like a zombie.
I’m not saying I’d like to go back to retail – god no! But I really do miss feeling like I’ve done a productive days’ work, knowing I’ve been a proactive worker and being preoccupied for eight hours a day instead of wrapped up in my own head. I never appreciated it at the time, but I definitely miss it now.