If you answer yes to at least 2 of these, then welcome to my world!
Second day of my notice period and regret level still at zero. The congratulations started pouring in.
There seems to be a particular interest as to why I resigned without another job lined up. Some people still do not get the concept of happiness first.
With hindsight, I realise now that I refused to see the signs that were already there.
Here are my 8 signs that you are also not meant for this life, inspired by my own story (and yes, I do own a copy of the 4-hour workweek):
You do not understand the concept of a 9-to-5 🔗
For the life of you, you do not get how does someone switches on his brain at 9 and just start producing. Then as if there is an invisible clock, switches off at 5 (or at 7 if the big boss is around).
You cannot understand how is everyone expected to work 8 hours a day when we are all different human beings with different brain capacities?
You would really like to meet the person or consortium who decided to impose a 40-hour work week and give them a piece of your mind.
You do not deal well with authority and being told what to do 🔗
The idea of micromanagement makes you cringe. The thought of having someone hovering over you or watching your every move makes you want to push your fist into a wall.
You hate the flurry of review points that you need to clear. Especially when most of them are futile and could have been discussed live.
You do not like the idea of waiting for public holidays and holidays to enjoy life 🔗
In corporate life, you are expected to work hard then given the impression that they are generous enough to let you play hard too. After all, they ‘gave’ you statutory holidays and weekends off. What more do you want?
You own a copy of Tim Ferriss’ 4-hour work week 🔗
You do not particular enjoy working in teams 🔗
There is a huge difference between teamwork and collaboration. You would rather collaborate with someone you like rather than being thrown into teams of random where congrats are thrown for having survived your team. Hashtag teamwork and there goes team spirit on the CV.
You get bored easily 🔗
You cannot decide whether people like to do the same thing over and over again or they just like the security of a paycheck. You think boring and repetitive tasks could be automated and always trying to find more efficient ways of doing things.
You are brimming with ideas and light bulb moments 🔗
You are constantly churning new ideas in your head, which is sometimes distracting from the reality of your job. You feel scared to share your ideas because nobody else does it. Or the one time you did, it went through so much red tape that JLo and Ben Affleck had time to split up and get back together.
Benefits and perks 🔗
You do not feel the least bit of excitement at the announcement of updated perks or benefits. You cannot fathom why they work you to death and then give you wellness vouchers.
Here are some of my other articles as part of my corporate series, I might have left that life but so many lessons to share still. Thank you for reading.
Here are 6 more ways to know if you are not meant for a corporate life:
You hate filling out forms 🔗
Shout out to Alvin T. for pointing out this one!
(Funny side note: I used to be a financial auditor for the first few years of my career, so I probably just repressed this one from my memory.)
You think there are too many glorified form filling masked as important tasks to be performed under pressure.
You undergo robotic mode for the length of the experience, check boxes like a pro, add a few details with some jargon and then press send.
You feel satisfied as a job ticked off your list but you still ask yourself what was the point of what you just did.
If the idea of process (or -es) gives you nightmares or you have trouble dealing with bureaucracy, then it is not going to get better.
Maybe when you become the big boss and somebody hands you neatly arranged files with post-its on where to sign.
Until then, if administrative tasks make you dread going to work, just maybe rethink your career choices.
You are genuinely scared by the prospect of another google form or futile excel sheet.
You balk at the mere sound of ‘ can you fill…please’ after you are done with your actual work.
It seems like your work has no value if not attached to form 45.
You hate brown nosing 🔗
They told you it was a meritocratic position and you heaved a sigh of relief.
But then you do not understand why some people are playing teachers’ pets.
It reminds you a lot of school where the favorite students would sit close to the teacher and raise their hands fast each time the teacher would ask a question.
Brown nosing: an alternative to a suck-up (from the Urban dictionary).
The big boss knows everything about your life and you do not realize until later, it was because of Suzanne from accounting that you meet at coffee breaks sometimes.
At some point, you said: ‘ I studied all of that for this?! 🔗
Hands up for those who feel like their degrees or studies have nothing to do with their job.
We go through a lifetime of studying including complicated algebra or periodic tables ( I also did further mathematics, I am still waiting to use the normal mathematics one).
Then some of us pursue further studies; another grueling three to four years. Only to use basic skills at work.
You notice that most non-specialist corporate jobs could be learned on the job.
You bought courses on side-hustles and you have great hopes 🔗
Sorting out my google inbox today and I shocked myself with just how many online courses I bought along the way.
I had one on the basics of photography. I do not even like photography as a hobby. Too late to get my money back now.
But if you find yourself buying affordable and quick-fix courses ready for testing a side-hustle (and secretly hoping you will go viral on social media like Prince EA and never having to go back to a day-job).
Also true for self-help books that are gathering dust on your bookshelves (or at the bottom of your kindle).
A few ones of my own collection:
- What color is your parachute? (it gets updated frequently and I am pretty sure i have 2 copies, I know guilty as charged)
- Find your why by Simon Sinek
- So good they can’t ignore you by Cal Newport
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
You feel incompetent 🔗
Your colleagues seem to love their job, they talk about their daily tasks with so much excitement.
Even the process part that feels like drudgery to you.
You feel like you are not good enough and that maybe it will take you more time to get to where they are.
Or maybe you are just in the wrong place where your strengths are not being used.
You start having health problems 🔗
I have been a migraine sufferer all my life but they come in seasons. Ever since I started working for myself I have had zero headaches.
Last year, my migraines came back. The extra screen time at home did not help.
My head is clear as I spend more time outdoors now.
But in any case, your body knows.
If you start feeling tension or aches, especially triggered by events at work, you can sense that maybe this is not for you.
You are not necessarily burning out but your body is having a physical reaction. Humans are generally not programmed to have such a sedentary lifestyle but some people cannot simply be tied down to a chair.
If you crave time in nature or just being out in the open fifteen times a day, you know you are not fit for this life.
I will probably come up with some more additions to my list as my subconscious memories resurface.
But the signs are always lurking, we are sometimes just in denial. Or there is also wishful thinking that we will adapt to the circumstances.