Most of us go to school to end up making other people rich. #cubiclelife
I thought I was hungry but it turns out, it was just sadness. #cubiclelife
I did a hashtag keyword search on Facebook for #cubiclelife and came across the two posts above. The two posts stood out to me because as a former cubicle worker, both of these quotes are true.
After 8 years of working in a cubicle environment, I will share why I personally believe that working in a cubicle environment is sucking the life out of you.
However, to end this post on a positive (and hopeful) note, I will also share how I escaped cubicle life, why I refuse to go back, and what I am doing to obtain lifestyle freedom (and how you can too!)
Cubicle Life is Killing Me
I know that sounds harsh but it is likely how a lot of cubicle workers feel. Think about what you do all day at work. You sit all day for 8 hours or more!
The most weight I ever gained in my life was due to working in a cubicle. Here’s why:
- Constant eating and snacking due to boredom
- Too mentally exhausted and unmotivated to exercise
- Lack of interest in healthy eating (food was my pleasure)
- Being sedentary for 8+ hours
For me, being at work was drudgery. I was a web developer/designer. I did the same thing every day. Fixing issues on websites, building websites, and dealing with “fires” (a term for the client isn’t happy.)
Taking a break to walk to Starbucks was a treat. I’d order my expensive sugary coffee drink and enjoy it back at my desk.
In fact, every meal began to become my outlet for happiness. I was eating my feelings. Food was my escape from the unhappiness of working in a cube.
If you are noticing a similar pattern in your life, you can change. You have to make your health more of a priority than anything you are doing at work.
The 3 Things I Disliked Most About Working in a Cubicle Environment
I could generate a list of why working in a cubicle environment is not ideal. You can probably search for these lists and find hundreds of them.
Instead, I am going to focus on the three things I disliked most. These things were the most mentally exhausting factors and what drove me to make a vow to myself to never go back to cubicle life.
Deadlines and Working Late
My first cubicle job created the most stress for me. The company had a lot of high-end clients and these clients were catered to.
That meant if we were launching a new website, the deadlines were hard and we had to stick to them. The problem was, when one person on the team lagged, it created delays for all of us.
This seemed to be the issue with every new website launch. The deadline was looming and we had to work late the night before an official web launch.
I’d be so frustrated! Here I worked all day and now I’m told I have to work even longer. Free pizza does not make it any better.
Those were hours of my life taken away. Imagine all of those hours spent working late for someone else. Your employer went home to their loved ones while you devote your time to make your employer rich.
Useless Team Meetings
Ugh. How many of these useless meetings have I sat through in my years of cubicle life? Too many to count.
Most of the time, these meetings didn’t result in much. They would be a rehash of what everyone was assigned to do for the day.
The worst meetings I’ve ever endured were daily “stand up meetings”. Every morning we stood in the conference room and each employee would say what their tasks were for the day.
This information was easily found with a few clicks using Basecamp, the online project management software that the company had us using.
I understand that there is a time for an effective meeting. However, in all my years of cubicle life, there wasn’t a meeting that actually resulted in anything productive.
Taking My Work Home with Me
There were many times that I’d be working on a project at work and couldn’t figure out an issue that the client needed fixing asap.
Having the strong work ethic that I have, I’d take my work home with me and continue spending time hammering out the issue.
Usually, it was either a coding issue, a design issue or a combination of both. Did I have to work on these projects on my off time? Of course not.
Yet, I knew if I didn’t, I couldn’t meet those hard deadlines. It felt like I didn’t have a choice. Taking my work home added another level of stress.
I remember many times when I still couldn’t figure out the issues. I’d be at work early the next morning still working on what I couldn’t accomplish the night before.
It was mentally draining and added to my unhappiness with cubicle life.
Daydreaming About Being Someplace Else
Besides all of the stress and dislike for cubicle life, I did spend a lot of time daydreaming about being someplace else.
I’d stare out of the window into downtown or out at the trees and wish my life was different. I’d daydream about all of the places I could be rather than where I was.
Eventually, I did escape the cubicle via a layoff. That whole period of my life was indeed stressful. However, I came through it much wiser and truly knowing that cubicle life isn’t for me
In fact, I am not going back to it. Instead, I chose a job completely opposite of what I used to do. I no longer sit all day and most of all, I have zero work-related stress.
What I Do Now To Escape Cubicle Life for Good
The job I have now is simply a transition point for working for myself using the internet. During the layoff period, I decided to invest in my education.
I have always used affiliate marketing to make money online. I never knew how to create a legitimate business out of it until now.
My online business consists of creating niche affiliate websites. They take time up front to develop in terms of getting web traffic and earning income.
Having an online business is going to help me achieve my goal of lifestyle freedom for myself and my family.
Lifestyle freedom is the freedom to dictate your time. Having the freedom to choose when to work and when to play. Not asking for permission to take a vacation because life is a vacation.
My goal is to help anyone else who feels trapped by cubicle living to begin making changes to escape the cubicle once and for all.
If surviving cubicle life is no longer working for you, consider starting an online business. It is something you can do while you are making ends meet.