Filler jobs, and my first time in an office

Last week I finally got to hand in my notice at my office job, ready to head off to my next upcoming volunteer adventure on the 3rd of December. Handing in your notice is always a weird experience, a bit of guilt and nerves but also excitement and relief. Or is that just me?

If you’re going to try to get into zoology work through volunteering, then filler jobs are probably going to be a necessity. This has been my first office job after a long history of hotel/restaurant/bar/catering/cleaning type work.

I can’t get over how lovely working 9-5(ish) and having real weekends is. I would definitely work weird hours and days for the right job, since animals don’t share the same idea of weeks or times we do, but conventional working hours are a massive plus for a filler job. Also my feet don’t hurt and shifts that are meant to be 8 hours don’t end up being 12. Who’d have thought?

The biggest downside is, to put it politely, that I wouldn’t call this job mentally stimulating. I have described this is in many less polite, more creative ways, my favourite of which has been “You know how they say every cell in your body dies and is regenerated within 7 years? In an office, it’s like you can feel that happening.” My mum has worked in several office jobs, and wasn’t that impressed.

I’m not saying everyone in an office feels that way, but I know I’m not the only one in mine. Also, has anyone ever worked somewhere well organised with the right number of staff? Because I’d love to know where that was. I also always seem to end up working places just when they start going through big changes that are shaking everything up and upsetting people. A side note, why is the most sedentary job in the world also the one where there seems to be an endless supply of chocolate and biscuits? Not helping my keep-healthy-through-winter efforts.

I don’t have any complaints about the people I work with, from those who have been with Natural England since before it was Natural England to other recent graduate temps who are also bored out of their minds but very funny with it.

In many ways I’ve been lucky. Work is a sub-10 minute commute on my bike, I got a pay rise (50p per hour adds up guys) about 6 weeks ago, I don’t have to wear smart clothes, overtime is time and a half in the week and double pay on Saturdays… these are all luxuries. Also it’s pure chance that through my temp agency I ended up at Natural England, which sounds surprisingly relevant to my career goals. I’m not sure that I’ve actually learned anything or developed any skills (what’s up, future employers that I told something very different on my CV) but that’s not why I got the job, I got it to get out of my overdraft and save up for my next adventure.

I’ll definitely have to do this again when I get back in April, and I won’t be able to afford to be too fussy. I may end up back in hospitality, or in another office. Let’s face it, I’ll work for wherever offers me a job first. But it’d be nice if it were something that involved fewer mind-numbing repetitive tasks.

Now I actually have to pack and organise myself to head off to the Netherlands in just over a week! More on that soon.

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