Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 08, 2015
version 8, draft 8

What to Do When Working in an Office is Not For You

When you ask people where they would like to work, the majority would probably say something like this: “I’m not sure, but I definitely don’t want to work in an office”. Since it is often much easier to identify the things that you don’t want in your career than those you do, you are probably one of those people. But, if you are not sure about the options available outside the office, you might want to keep on reading to find out.

See Also: 8 Entrepreneurial Skills You Should Teach Your Kids

Since work environment has a huge influence on your job performance and as such contributes to your career success, you do need to choose ‘your location’ wisely. Apart from improving work performance it increases your overall productivity and efficiency. In fact, a survey by Flexjobs revealed that 76 percent of participants avoid the office when they want to get important work done as they feel more productive when working from home (50 percent) or nearly anywhere else; the coffee shop, or the library (12 percent).

But have you ever thought why you hate working in an office so much? Is it commuting, the routine, the office politics, work distractions or interruptions from co-workers? Perhaps all of these make it apparent that the office is just not the right environment for you.

If you think you wouldn’t survive in an office environment, you have many other options to choose from. Instead of settling for an office job, you could become part of the growing number of people who make money while working from home, by freelancing or blogging. This type of work is more flexible in the sense that you don’t have to follow a strict work schedule nor need to show up at any place other than your house. Also, it has started to become more popular nowadays, considering that about 30 million Americans are currently working from home, and the number is expected to increase by 63 percent in the upcoming years. According to Kenneth Rapoza, contributor at Forbes, these professionals never step foot in an office outside of their own home and 54 percent say they are happier that way.

Business on the Move

Then again, if you have tried working from home and it was starting to feel like the office – minus the distractions, or has gotten really lonely, perhaps your gut is telling you that you should become an entrepreneur and surround yourself with people. Be careful, though, you don’t want to fall into the trap of becoming the traditional entrepreneur and end up being confined in an office – unless of course this is what you really enjoy doing.

What I am really referring to here is becoming an ‘entrepreneur on the move’. Travelling funfair Jamie Clark has been there and done that, and he says the nomadic lifestyle is something that’s inherent to certain people. Jamie’s company called ‘Jamie Clark Events & Amusements’ has been operating for sixteen years now, and it is maintained while he and his wife are spending at least ten months a year on the road. This unique job takes him across the UK while he keeps a base in Hettonle-Hole, near Durham in the UK.

On BBC, he shared his views on working in an office: “If I was to do the same thing, week in week out in an office, I couldn’t do it for long. I’m sure I’d be running another business until at least 10 o’clock at night after the office job.”

Another nomad entrepreneur, Dom Romney, has devoted his life traveling around the world and photographing cars. While working with popular firms like Land Rover and magazine Autocar, he goes on trips to Europe, Asia or whenever his clients need him. In total, he spends about seven months away from home going on forty trips annually and can’t even think about doing anything else for a living.

Dom does point out on BBC that although he is making more money than his 25-year old peers he didn’t become an entrepreneur to get wealthy rather to enjoy the lifestyle and the quality of life that this job provides him. Also, he clearly doesn’t want to confine himself to an office, and he seems to be constantly chasing after adventure. As he adds, “I can’t comprehend how people can have the same routine every day. I never know what’s around the corner.”

Since not everyone can easily leave home and start a business, these people are seen as the non-conformists and the restless. They are the ones who can fit in but choose not to do so for their own personal motives – either to live the life they want or build the career they have dreamt of.

Entrepreneurship vs. the Office Life

But just as every option always has a good and a bad side, it might be worth taking a look at both before you make up your mind...

Entrepreneurship

Becoming an entrepreneur might seem like to solve all of your problems, but that’s not the case. It is wise to first ask yourself how prepared are you to work for a business? An entrepreneur would spend a considerable amount of time working at and for his company, out of office hours and his worries/concerns about the company’s development never stop not even the minute after they clock out of the office. Now imagine the work you will need to put into your business as a nomad entrepreneur and the network of people you have to retain across the globe.

Setting up a business is not easy but it is doable. It is risky but exciting as you get to learn new things, and you never know what you are going to get every day.

The Office Life

Working in an office as an employee might seem a bit compromising, but it certainly has some hidden benefits. It might not be as exciting as being on the move, but it does provide you with a steady income and keeps you on a normal schedule. Also, it has its limitations considering that you are not your own boss, but this does not mean that you don’t have opportunities for development.

While the office life might seem boring, it really isn’t as dull as some people think. No day is the same either, and you still get to learn many things – if not from up close, you can still learn more about the work through your co-workers and, of course, the internet. Isn’t that what it is supposed to be used for anyway (apart from kitten videos, Facebook and adult content)?

See Also: Student or Entrepreneur? How You Can Be Both

Just as CEO of Soultiply, Brittany Ritcher has said, “the hardest part is knowing how you like to work.” If you do take some time to figure out what you really want in your career, then it becomes easier to identify which steps you need to take to make it happen.

Would you choose to become an entrepreneur and know you are always going to be on the move or would you rather be someone’s employee and be carefree and happy while working in an office? Feel free to share your views on the matter in the comments section below…

Executive Sandbox - A Day at the Beach

Even if you can't away from working in the office, there's no one to say that you shouldn't make your work experience thoroughly enjoyable. This executive sandbox will ensure that your desk is a stress-relief zone while it will also remind you that your holidays are not that far away.

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