When I started my first full-time job after college, I was really tired. I wasn’t used to waking up at 6:30am, I wasn’t used to sitting in hour-long meetings about sales reports that didn’t affect me, and I wasn’t used to sitting at a desk for 8 hours a day just staring at a computer screen.
Physically and mentally, it look a lot of getting used to.
A college friend of mine started at the same company a few months after, and we had a running joke. Every day, he’d come in and I’d count down the days until retirement. We were 22 years old, so we assumed 40 years of working 250 days a year. That comes out to 10,000 days of work. I think I got to about 9,990 before it got too depressing to think about each day. We were going to be working for 10,000 days and it wasn’t getting any easier.
10,000 days of work is a LOT of time. It’s hard to think about going into an office that many times in a row, and when you think that the every day will be the same, it does not seem worth it. Some of us have jobs that present new challenges with each day, and I think that’s a really important part of a good job, possibly more important than some other perks, including salary.
On the other hand, I wasn’t so excited about working when I first started, which actually let me to create this site in my spare time. I was bored and not given much to do for the first 6 months, but I wanted something to do that would stimulate me.
I wanted something I created myself and I think I had some daydreams about this becoming something real and viable, so much so that I’d be able to be my own boss full time. I had no idea what I was talking about back then, but dreaming is always fun.
You can do a lot with 6 months. And I did, I start writing, I wrote posts during meetings that I had to attend but wasn’t actively participating in, and by the time I was given real work that took up a larger portion of my day, my site was set to run with much less active monitoring.
Physically, it took me about 3 months to get used to waking up and sitting in meetings regularly. I tried taking short walks every few hours to get my blood moving and I modified my diet to give me more energy through out the day.
Mentally, I got my mind away from thinking about how miserable working for 40 years would be by starting a passion project on the side. If you’ve ever had an idea that you couldn’t wait to get started on, you know what I’m talking about.
As it turns out, I’m much happier at my current position because of the responsibilities I have and the type of work I do. Combine that with my side projects that I’m passionate about, and the next 37 years don’t look so daunting anymore.