Dear 100 Hour Board,
I just got hired in my first non-freelance and also major-related job and, after two months, am going a little crazy and really miss freelancing. Everyone I know says to stay for the full-time benefits but, if I'm being honest with myself, all I want to do is build up my freelancing work on the side and eventually go back to it. I literally feel like I live in The Office every day and my coworkers are super nice, but I feel like I was a lot better and happier when I could work from home.
In this situation, what would you do? Would you wait a few years before leaving if the coworkers are nice and the only issue is that you miss what you used to do? Have any of you worked office jobs before and how did you make it bearable? Also, why is life after college so stressful?
I believe that life is too short to hate your job when you have the luxury of pursuing other reasonable employment options.
Story time to answer your question: I got a well-paying office job after graduating from my undergrad. I hated every moment and stuck it out for one year, the length of my contract. I declined an extension despite the fact that I didn't get into a graduate program and would have to wait at least another year to start. After quitting my job, I got three new jobs. I was a merchandiser at a Home Depot garden center, a babysitter/nanny for a family who had two children on the autism spectrum, and did odd jobs for a small business. I made a bit less money but I enjoyed my life a heck of a lot more. I thought it was well worth taking a pay cut to be active, with plants, with kids, and have flexibility.
I found that listening to podcasts and making friends with my coworkers (some of whom, fortunately, were extremely cool) made the terrible office job more bearable. But the boredom and the bureaucracy were still very miserable for me. I don't think anything could have made that job a pleasant or even neutral experience. My personality was fundamentally a bad match for the culture of my company (baby boomer) and the tasks I had to do (clerical). I often felt like this husky on the inside.
Thankfully, I am now in grad school. I don't make much money and it's really hard because I have so much to do. However, it's also enjoyable and at the end I will have the qualifications I need to have a fun, challenging, meaningful, and rewarding career. I'm really glad I took the risks that I did instead of staying at the company offering financial security.
Obviously, everyone's situation is different. I was in a position where I did not have dependents, which obviously would have impacted my decision because I would have needed more money. Also, I lived in a place that paid reasonable wages (i.e., not Utah). I'm not sure what your situation is. However, I hope you find a way to be happy with whatever you choose.