What Working in the City Has Taught Me

March 11th 2018

Working 9 to 5, tryin’ to make a livin’~

I never wanted to work in the city. I thought I would start this post off by saying that because as much as I enjoy the city, (the city being Manhattan for those of you who are new readers to my blog and don’t know that I am from New York) I never wanted to work there. The thought of trudging through a commute that was over an hour long that involves a car, a train, and a mile walk, was something I really couldn’t see myself getting behind.
However, I got this job by accident and it was part time and paid well, so here I am. When I say I got this job by accident, I mean it. I had not applied for this job nor did I think to seek a job like that even slightly. I actually got the job as a result of an off-hand jokey comment from my boss at my other job on the island to our marketing people. My boss chuckled and said “We really want to keep Jess so if there is any other clients of yours who need a part time social media person, she would totally be down for the extra income!” And we all laughed because although she was right, I would love an additional source of income, we thought saying that to our marketing agency was just for a good laugh at the detriment of my wallet.
However, one of their clients DID need a social media person and soon enough, I was there for a whole month. And I can’t entirely say I hated it. I just sort of feel like it was less eventful than I am used to. I didn’t write the copy for the social media nor did I write the emails. I sort of just scheduled and occasionally proofread. I’m not complaining though because the pay was great and it offered me an opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a bit without feeling too stressed and overwhelmed.
I decided to write this post because I really feel that my experience over the past month working in Manhattan has taught me a lot, not really in regards to working, but in regards to life as a whole:

  1. Personal space isn’t always an option and you have to get over it- This is really silly, but I think it is an American thing or a Northern American thing or a New York thing, but we really put a high value on personal space. At least, that is what I have observed for most of my life. During my commute, I realize that not all people have a concept of personal space or are just too jaded to care. People will stand too close to you, bump into you, or sit pretty much on top of you in order to get where they want to be as quickly and with as little effort as possible.
  2. There are a million stories happening at once- When I would get to the train station for my 7:14 AM train, I would stand at the same part of the platform and get in the same train car every time. Every day I would go to the city, I would see a man with this really cool vintage camera and wonder what cool thing he does for a living. When I was walking to work, I occasionally saw a blind woman who walks her beautiful little girl to school every day. I think about how strong a mother this woman must be, living in the city while visually impaired and still walking her daughter to school every day. I admire her despite never meeting her. It makes me wonder if someone has ever stopped to notice me.
  3. I need to step out of my box- my friend Dan came to visit me after work once to explore and get dinner and coffee. He pointed out to me that every time we go to the city together, I choose a chain restaurant. I want to do that less. I want to step out of my box and find new places to explore instead of defaulting to chain restaurants because they are the most comfortable.
  4. Headphones are the key to a happy commute/work day- I don’t think I would survive without my earbuds. When I work at my job on the island, I almost never use my earbuds because I drive to work and I work a rather social position. However, I was constantly using my earbuds at my city job. I had an hour long train ride followed by a 15-20 minute walk then a very quiet 8 hour work day. I got used to using this “headphones on” time to listen to podcasts and explore new music.
  5. Your life happens outside of work- I’m not sure if it was the company culture there or just the city in general, but I found that work is just a place to spend 8 hours then go on with my day and there is very little “life” aspect to it. I always thought work would become my life, especially when I started in the city, but I’ve realized that my day starts when my work day ends. I spent 9-5 working and then at 5, my day really begins (well actually closer to 6 if I caught the 5:13 home). But I find that the city taught me that work is just a day thing and it doesn’t have to be your whole life.

Overall, I am still not too keen on the idea of working in the city for the rest of my working days, but I feel as though I have grown from the experience. I’ve learned to appreciate my independence and my solitude and my overall attitude towards working has improved.
This just goes to show that even situations you didn’t ask for have so much to contribute to you and your life. Onto my next big adventure~


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Jess, 25, yogi, believer in things, book worm, shy, aspiring human of Earth. I like to spend my time on a yoga mat, typing away with my thoughts, or taking pictures of anything and everything. Stop on by for everything from self-care to book reviews to fashion posts and more!

4 thoughts on “What Working in the City Has Taught Me

  1. So many of us “fall” into our first jobs… this happened to pretty much everyone I knew in recruitment! Chances are, like many of us, you’re a good employee who puts in the effort… and before you know it, they want to keep you for the long haul. And you’re like, ok, I guess I’ll be staying then.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well that wasn’t the case with that job, but maybe in the future! I knew that one would be super temporary because I didn’t plan to apply for the position but I can only hope something falls in my lap soon

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Can really relate to the last point there. I think once you have worked for long enough you eventually realize it. Life becomes really boring if you have no other purpose in life than work. I think it’s imp to have your own family to add something to the mix.

    Liked by 1 person

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