Out of the Classroom and into the Office:  5 Things I Love about My New Job

office pic by chris-adamus

I’ve worked a lot of jobs in my life—from retail to food services to teaching children and adults all over the world—but I’ve never had a 9-5 office job before.  I’m two days into my new job, and I feel like I’ve stumbled my way into paradise!  Working in a small, tight-knit company feels miles away from being trapped in the endless bureaucracy of my previous teaching job.  Yes, I may have been unlucky before (I heard through the grapevine that the person who took over my position didn’t last the year!), but it’s been an anxious year between my decision to quit, my choice to change careers, and my worries about finding a new job.  Here are a few things I’m celebrating:

  1. Starting work at 9:00am.  Waking up to a bright morning sky is life-changing—especially if you (like me) are not a morning person!  After years of reporting to the classroom by 7:30 (and let’s be honest, every teacher arrives earlier than required to squeeze in some extra prep time), sleeping in on weekdays feels like a huge luxury!
  2. Ending work at 5:00pm.  You mean I can just… leave???  Without worrying about lesson planning or grading papers???  Well then… I guess I’ll just… go home?
  3. Free coffee!!!  I first started fantasizing about joining the corporate world when I went to one of my husband’s office parties.  Companies have so much money, and good ones invest some of it in their employees’ happiness in ways most people barely notice.  Yes, my school made an effort, but working within a publicly-funded institution is a different world.  We were lucky enough to have a second-hand Keurig machine donated by someone on the staff so we could make coffee in the teacher’s lounge.  Having to buy my own coffee wasn’t a huge burden, especially compared to the amount I spent on books, school supplies, and snacks for underfed students… but free coffee is nice!
  4. Everyday is casual Friday.  There is no dress code.  There is no one to dress up for but yourself. (And the sometimes finicky heating system)
  5. It’s okay to be human?  Not all schools are like this, but the one I worked at could have been staffed by Stepford wives.  I could count on one hand the number of co-workers I felt I could have an honest conversation with.  The only way to fit in was to plaster on a smile and pretend everything was perfect every day… and forget about having a sense of humor!  People don’t censor themselves at my new office, and it’s so refreshing.  Everyone is less guarded, more honest, and, well, much more fun to be around!

Okay, so this post could have easily been titled “5 Ways My Last Job Was a Terrible Fit for Me” or “5 Things Teachers Live Without” but here’s the thing: I never would have known what else was out there for me if I hadn’t taken the risk of leaving my old job.  Sure, I may come to find things I dislike my current job as time passes.  I may start to miss the sweet notes students would leave for me, or the funny moments my classes shared every day.  But for now, I’m beyond happy with the way things are going.  I took a risk, and it paid off.  What more could I ask for?

Photo Credit: Photo by Chris Adamus used under Unsplash Licence
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16 thoughts on “Out of the Classroom and into the Office:  5 Things I Love about My New Job

  1. Really happy for you that you’re enjoying your new job! In my opinion, teachers are underpaid and overworked and do not get enough credit so I can understand why you took a leap of faith and changed career. All the best for the future.
    Hayley 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Hayley! I completely agree–teachers are grossly underappreated for the amount of hard work they do! That said, I have a lot of good friends who love teaching and wouldn’t give it up for anything in the world, and I have so much admiration for them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congrats on finding something that feels like a good fit! I do sometimes still miss the cushy corporate office life (free dinner if you’re still in the office after 7 and cab fare home), but my 9-5 ended up being more like 9 – midnight, and it wasn’t worth the trade off. Here’s to hoping 9 – 5 means 9 -5!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! 🙂 And you’re absolutely right–it may seem like the grass is greener in the corporate world, but there are definitely trade-offs! I’m sure I won’t be skipping out the door at 5pm every day, especially when I’ve actually been through enough training to be useful! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sounds like you’ve found a workplace you really like. I’m jealous of the free coffee – we don’t have that, though we do have a Keurig and an industrial-type drip machine. My husband’s work has not only free coffee, but free soda. I think I’d be so hyper if I had access to unlimited Diet Coke!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your husband’s workplace sounds luxurious! You’re definitely right that it can come with risks though–I think my increased caffeine intake is going to come back to haunt me, but I’m certainly enjoying the free coffee as much as I can!

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  4. Glad to hear you’re off to a good start! Best wishes for a successful and fulfilling journey with these folks.

    You remind me of my own days in an office. Years ago, when I employed people, I put everyone whose work allowed it on a quota system. Have x done by the end of the month. Then I told them they could set their own hours, come and go as they pleased, just so long as they had x done by the end of the month. Ran my company that way for years. Free coffee, too!

    As it happened, my workers consistently performed above industry norms for productivity, which more than paid for the free coffee.

    In a way, the best feedback I ever got, however, wasn’t from the balance sheets, it came from a young lady who showed up one day with a throbbing headache. I reminded her she was free to go home. She replied, “No. I came to work because I always feel better here. My headache will be gone faster here than it would be gone if I stayed at home.” She then gave me a minutes long hug — which totally unnerved me since I was pretty uptight at the time. 😀

    I had my share of flaws and human failings as a boss, but I don’t think neglecting my employee’s welfare was the biggest one.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think employers like you who value and trust their employees get the most out of them! I’ve always been happy to put in extra time to do my best work if I’m being treated well, but in workplaces where I felt like I wasn’t being supported was hard to justify the effort. It sounds like your employees were lucky to have you as their boss!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I think I thrive on change! Maybe it’s because my family moved every few years when I was growing up, but I’ve never stayed in the same place or job for more than a few years… I hope I can settle down someday, but maybe I haven’t found the right place yet.

      Liked by 1 person

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