How To Get Out Of a 9-5 Rut

By Inspiring Interns

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Transitioning from student to full-time employee can be hard. With new workplace responsibilities and pressures, a brand-new schedule and consistently early mornings, the change can be trying for both your mental and physical capacities – not to mention the extensive roll call of co-worker’s names you need to learn, too.

But as the months go by, your early apprehensions start to melt away. Your schedule becomes something you know inside-out, and co-worker’s habits start to gently grate on you. You wake up knowing exactly how your day will play out. You get into a routine…and start to feel like you’re stuck.

It happens to everyone – but here are some things you can do to shake off the rut, and invite interest back into your 9-5.


Seek More Challenges

A big part of feeling unmotivated lies in this – you are so used to your tasks you feel you could do them with your eyes closed. What was initially testing no longer challenges you, and you feel like you’re not being pushed to your full potential.

Keeping in mind that, as a new employee, you need to be careful that you don’t take on too much extra work and burn-out, but once you’ve settled and feel secure in your day-to-day tasks and believe there’s room for more, you can definitely ask.

Even if it’s just one extra thing a week that’s slightly different to usual, it can help to inject an element of challenge back into your job, boosting your motivation.


Plan Social Activities With Your Colleagues

There’s more to a team-building event than throwing a ball around and sharing a ‘quirkyfact about yourself with your colleagues. Instead, we’re talking about those seemingly elusive team-building activities that aren’t the type to be penned into a calendar and resented until the day finally comes around.

There are tonnes of ideas available online, from volunteering to Escape Rooms to Go-Karting. It’s important to see your co-workers as actual people outside of the office, and these activities are the perfect place to let real personalities shine through, and work responsibilities disappear. You spend so much of your life with your colleagues, so it’s important to curate relationships.


Make After-Work Commitments

It’s all too easy to see work as your only calling in life and let pressures ebb out into your personal life. A way to combat this is to start planning activities after work. Don’t fall into the trap of staying past your hours to catch up on work, or to get ahead for the next day. Make plans and stick to them – not only will they give you something to look forward to, they’ll encourage you to be more proactive throughout the day to ensure you finish on time.

Physical activities like going to the gym, taking a bike ride or going for a run help to de-stress after a day at work, and give you the movement you have lacked from being sat behind a desk for eight hours. Get up and out – you’ll feel better for it, and it’ll also encourage a better night’s sleep.


Switch Up Your Lunchtime Routine

Regardless of your industry, this is a point that shouldn’t be missed. It’s important to take proper breaks during the day, making sure you take time for yourself away from your desk.

Try taking control of the things you can change in your day – like where you spend your lunch break, what you eat for breakfast, or switching up your morning routine before you leave for work. Change is positive – and if you’re getting bored of eating the same thing for lunch five days out of the week or taking the same walk every day, change it.


Don’t Be Afraid To Be Honest With Yourself

If none of these pointers are helping you, it may be time for some home-truths. You need to be honest with yourself and ask the question – is the job right for you? If you are struggling to find motivation, lacking passion or the desire to complete tasks, it may be the wrong role for you.

Remember there is no shame in this realisation – and the sooner you work it out, the faster you can start to fix it. The job you are in right now is not all you are defined by. Your career is fluid – but only you have the power to take the plunge and change it if you’re unhappy.



Lucy Farrington-Smith writes graduate careers advice for Inspiring Interns, a graduate recruitment agency specialising in matching career starters with graduate jobs. For everything from marketing internships to graduate jobs Manchester, click here.






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